UPSTATE: Master Class Retreat Week featuring Carole Maso

Carole Maso

Master Class Retreat
September 1 to 8


Join us for a week of writing workshops, publishing seminars, and manuscript evaluations at our beautiful Berkshires campus.

Carole Maso will open this week-long intensive with a five-day deep-dive writing workshop.DEEP WRITING AND STORYTELLING:  What might writers learn from other art forms about how to create narrative shapes that are deeply personal, resonant, and surprising?  In this workshop we will engage with film and music during the evening hours, discuss storytelling strategies, and from what we have experienced with these other forms, do a series of pieces that will open our pages to new and exciting possibilities, ways of seeing, and expression. All genres are welcome

Seminars also included with the workshop:

Critic and essayist Naomi Huffmanwill teach a crash course on publishing with an independent press, what they’re looking for, and how to interact with their editors:

Independent presses are publishing some of the finest and most original literature in America and are routinely recognized by national awards organizations. No longer viewed as just a proving ground for publishing with one of the Big Five, they offer a characteristically more experimental approach to finding, making, and selling books. In my workshop, we’ll discuss some of the small presses producing great work, what they’re looking for, and how to interact with their editors.

Naomi Huffman spent five years working in independent publishing in Chicago, where she ran the small press Curbside Splendor. She also edited for featherproof books, and organized numerous reading series and book fairs. She established Book Fort, a non-profit that advocates for community among small presses and collaborates with the annual Pitchfork Music Festival. After many years crusading for publishing communities outside of New York, she in fact moved to Brooklyn (and, admittedly, likes it a lot). Her work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Bookslut, Newcity, and elsewhere.

Submission as Invitation with Melissa Ragsly:

We will discuss the basics of lit mag submissions with a primary focus on how to see an opening page as an invitation to enter the rest of the story. If it is not engaging on the sentence and thematic level, eyes might never see the second page. The world of lit magazines run the gamut from small online ones with a great social media presence, MFA-program affiliated journals and the juggernauts that are career-making. What types are right for you? No matter what type of place you are sending your work, your writing will most likely have to be read, understood and appreciated by several readers and editors. How do you get these editors’ attention? Why are some rejections “good” rejections? And beyond this one submission, how do you develop a relationship where even if you are submitting to the slush pile, you will get a close read of the second page and beyond.

Melissa Ragsly’s work has appeared or forthcoming in Best American Nonrequired Reading 2017, Iowa Review, Epiphany, Southern Humanities Review, Hobart, and others. She is an Associate Editor for A Public Space and a Program Coordinator at the Authors Guild. She lives in the Hudson Valley where she’s working on a novel about London in the 90s. More can be found at

This magical week includes a private bedroom and studio, meals, manuscript reviews options, and an intense week of work and community. This retreat will change your summer, it will change your work, it will change your writing career.

Want to attend the workshops but not stay overnight at Millay Colony? Check out our day option.

Logistics: Schedule, Fees etc.

Master Class Retreat Schedule: Each day begins with coffee and breakfast. The daily schedule will vary but includes a Master Class in writing, seminars, a field trip or two, and optional outings and hikes.

Fees: $1,700 includes food and lodging for the duration as well as all field trips and events.
Day attendance only: $950, includes lunch.
Private Consultation with instructors for $150 are also available. Manuscripts (20 pages maximum) must be sent in advance.

Payment in full is required at sign up.

Workshop cancellations will be accepted up to 30 days before the workshop start date with a 50% refund issued.
Unfortunately, we are not able to offer refunds beyond the cut-off date.
In the unlikely event that a workshop is cancelled by The Millay Colony, full refunds will be issued.

To Sign Up: Email or snail mail us a brief work sample (not more than 10 pages, links to online work are fine). Please indicate if you require lodging and studio space for the Retreats. Send To:  Calliope Nicholas at, or The Millay Colony for the Arts, 454 East Hill Road, Austerlitz, NY. Attention: Workshops. Payment can be made via PayPal by clicking the DONATE NOW button HERE or by check. Make checks payable to The Millay Colony for the Arts. 

For more information please contact Calliope Nicholas,, 518 392-3103.

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