Writing is hard. This is a fact. It takes a lot of time and energy to complete a fully realized story. When you couple this undeniable truth with the added reality that most writers also have day jobs; the feat of a finished book can become a monumental task.
Because of this we at AWP like to schedule a yearly writing retreat. Nothing overly grand, just a few days away from all the things that distract from our writing.
The first AWP writing retreat was held in the summer of 2014. Of course, AWP was nothing more than a twinkle in the eye back then, but the formula established that first time has remained.
Step 1) Find a nice house/cottage out of town to rent for the weekend. Things to consider when booking: How many bedrooms? Is there an appropriate space for writing (i.e. large dinner table)? How many bathrooms? The last isn’t as important, but still, the more the merrier.
Step 2) Who’s coming? Although the retreat is labeled an AWP retreat, the authors invited are not necessarily AWP authors. We are fans of all genres (even those we don’t publish), so it is nice to have writers of different genres. This year, the retreat will host New York Times Bestselling author Elly Blake (YA fantasy), Christian Laforet (horror), Ben Van Dongen (science fiction) and Sara Johnstone (historical romance).
Step 3) Pack what you need. Besides the obvious writing tools, it is wise to bring a few books or other forms of entertainment (nothing too distracting mind you!). Don’t forget to bring some food. If you are like us, you will bring too much.
Step 4) Get cracking! Some writers like to do long, uninterrupted stretches, while others prefer to pop in and out of their story throughout the day. Whatever your method, take advantage of the weekend and make some words!
This year’s retreat goes down Feb 28th to March 1st in Stratford, ON. Updates, and possibly pictures, to follow!