Writing Retreat

Write with other writers!

Join us for the fifth annual Writing Retreat at Shake Rag Alley, open to writers of all levels. Enrich your talent and prospects in one of three genres:

•  Memoir & Personal Essay with Patricia Ann McNair (Retreat Artistic Director)

•  Short Story with Christine Rice

•  Writing for Young People with Sarah Hammond

These in-depth workshops will challenge you across the three days and are led by award-winning published authors and experienced teachers of writing.

Interwoven around these main workshops will be optional and inspiring creative activities, including:

•  Craft Talks and Panel Discussions

•  Faculty and Local Author Reading

•  Two Participant Open Mics

We look forward to welcoming you to a retreat jam-packed with opportunities to learn, share, network, and write.

Manuscript consultations are available with instructors on a first sign up, first served basis, at a very affordable price.

We are pleased to work in partnership with Hypertext Magazine & Studio, a social justice writing nonprofit organization.

Books by Faculty, Panelists & Presenters


Mining the Story

May 21-23, 2021

Writing Retreat Details & FAQs

Friday, May 21

10 – 10:30 am: Welcome & Faculty Introductions

10:45 – 11:45 am: Panel Discussion: Literary Citizens and Building Community, Sheree L. Greer, Sarah Hammond, Patricia McNair, Shawn Shifflet

Noon: Lunch

1:00 – 4:30 pm: Workshop Groups

  • Patricia McNair, Memoir & Essay
  • Christine Rice, Short Story
  • Sarah Hammond, Writing for Young People

4:30 – 6 pm: Meet & Greet

5:30 – 7 pm: Manuscript Consultations

Free Evening to Explore Mineral Point and/or Write

Saturday, May 22

9 am: Manuscript Consultations

10:00 – 11:00 am: Craft Talk: Writers Dreaming, Shawn Shiflett

11:15 am – 12:15 pm: Professional/Publishing Talk: Confessions of a Literary Magazine Editor, Christine Rice

12:30 – 1:30 pm: Lunch & Participant Open Mic

1:30 – 4:30 pm: Workshop Groups

4:45 – 5:45 pm: Craft Talk: Writing Your Opposite, Eric Charles May

7:30 pm: Faculty and Local Author Reading | open to the public

Sunday, May 23

9:30 am: Manuscript Consultations

10 – 11:00 am: Craft Talk: Magic in Your Pocket (Easy Handmade Books), Philip Hartigan

11:00 am – noon: Craft Talk: Trust Your Voice, Trust Your Reader: Revision as Craft, Sheree L. Greer

12:15 – 1:15 pm:  Lunch & Participant Open Mic

1:30 – 4:30 pm: Workshop Groups conclude

4:30 – 5 pm: Closing Remarks & Toast

Writing Retreat participants may sign up for a 25-minute one-on-one manuscript consultation with select faculty members. You may submit one piece no longer than 12 pages.

Saturday, May 22 | 12:30-1:30 pm

Sunday, May 23 | 12:15-1:15 pm

Registered workshop participants are invited to read from their own work. Please limit your selections to under 10 minutes.

Writing Workshops

select only one as they meet simultaneously

Only Registered Workshop Participants May Purchase Manuscript Consultations

select only one as opportunities are limited

open to all retreat participants at no cost

Friday — 10:45-11:45 am

Literary Citizens &
Building Community

What does it mean to be a good literary citizen and how does one find, or build, a writing community?

Panel Discussion with Patricia McNair, Sheree L. Greer, Sarah Hammond, and Shawn Shiflett.

10-11 am

Craft Talk

Writers Dreaming
Shawn Shiflett

11:15 am — 12:15 PM

Professional/Publishing Talk

Confessions of a Literary Magazine Editor
Christine Rice

11:15 am — 12:15 PM

Craft Talk

Writing Your Opposite
Eric Charles May

10-11 am

Craft Talk

Magic in Your Pocket (Easy Handmade Books)
Philip Hartigan

11 am — 12 PM

Craft Talk

Trust Your Voice, Trust Your Reader: Revision as Craft
Sheree L. Greer

12:30-1:30 Pm
12:15-1:15 PM

Participant Open Mic

Sign Up in Person
to read for
10 minutes or less

open to the public

Faculty & Local Author Reading

Saturday, May 22
7:30-9 pm

Gather in the spacious Shake Rag Alley Lind Pavilion, at 411 Commerce Street, in Mineral Point for a reading by Writing Retreat faculty and Galena author Kathy Gereau.

Campus Map: Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts

Coach House
18 Shake Rag Street

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Art Café

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Ellery House

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Open Air Parking

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Lind Pavilion Parking

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Roadside Parking
allowed on Commerce Street

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Smejas’ Studio parking

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Smejas’ Studio
30 Doty Street

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Curbside Parking
as indicated

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Accessible Parking
with curb cut

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Accessible Parking
with curb cut

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Alley Stage

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Cabinet Shop

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French Cabin

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1830 Log Cabin

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Potter’s House

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Blacksmith Barn

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Federal Spring

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Monarch Garden

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Lind Pavilion
411 Commerce Street

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two blocks to

High Street & Commerce Street
Restaurants, Shops & Galleries

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To Grocery Store
Point Foods
622 Dodge Street

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Street Parking with Additional Parking behind Smejas’ Studio

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The Green
open air park

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Stair Steps
Cabinet Shop & Lind Pavilion

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Stair Steps
to Alley Stage

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Stone Bridge
Federal Spring

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The Sardeson
223 Commerce St.
The Sardeson is home to the
Sardeson Pottery Studio,
Roland’s Loft,
and Tuckpoint. 31 of 33

Weaving & Fiber Arts Studio

Cannery Row Arts Incubator
121 Water St.

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ADA accessible buildings: Lind Pavilion, Coach House, Smejas’ Studio