Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts

MINING the Story

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Write with other writers!

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

  • Memoir and Personal Narrative with Patricia Ann McNair, Retreat Artistic Director
  • Writing Fiction with Christine Maul Rice
  • Digging In: Research and Writing with Sheree L. Greer

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
  • 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.

Writing Retreat Instructors

Photo of Patricia Ann McNair

Patricia Ann McNair

Patricia Ann McNair’s short story collection, Responsible Adults, was named a Distinguished Favorite by the Independent Press Awards. The Temple of Air (stories) was named Chicago Writers Association’s Book of the Year, Southern Illinois University’s Devil’s Kitchen Readers Award, and Society of Midland Authors Finalist Award. Her collection of essays, And These Are the Good Times, was a Montaigne Medal Finalist for Most Thought-Provoking Book of the Year.…Read More

Patricia Ann McNair’s short story collection, Responsible Adults, was named a Distinguished Favorite by the Independent Press Awards. The Temple of Air (stories) was named Chicago Writers Association’s Book of the Year, Southern Illinois University’s Devil’s Kitchen Readers Award, and Society of Midland Authors Finalist Award. Her collection of essays, And These Are the Good Times, was a Montaigne Medal Finalist for Most Thought-Provoking Book of the Year. McNair’s fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in Barrelhouse, American Fiction: Best Unpublished Short Stories by Emerging Writers, Hypertext Review, River Teeth, Fourth Genre, Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, and other publications. She was named to Chicago’s NewCity Lit 50 list, and A Writer to Watch by Chicago’s Guild Literary Complex. She is on the editorial board of Solstice Lit Magazine, and the curatorial board of the Ragdale Foundation. McNair taught at Columbia College Chicago for more than three decades and was nominated for the U.S. Carnegie Professor of the Year. She lives in Tucson with her husband, visual artist Philip Hartigan.

Instructor Website

Workshops

Memoir & Personal Essay – Writing Retreat

Manuscript Consultations – Writing Retreat

Photo of Christine Maul Rice

Christine Maul Rice

Christine Maul Rice’s novel-in-stories Swarm Theory (University of Hell Press) was awarded an Independent Publisher Book Award, a National Indie Excellence Award, a Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year award, and was included in PANK’s Best Books of 2016 and Powell’s Books Midyear Roundup: The Best Books of 2016 So Far. In 2019, Christine was included in New City’s Lit 50: Who Really Books in Chicago 2019 and named One of 30 Writers to Watch by Chicago’s Guild Complex. …Read More

Christine Maul Rice’s novel-in-stories Swarm Theory (University of Hell Press) was awarded an Independent Publisher Book Award, a National Indie Excellence Award, a Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year award, and was included in PANK’s Best Books of 2016 and Powell’s Books Midyear Roundup: The Best Books of 2016 So Far. In 2019, Christine was included in New City’s Lit 50: Who Really Books in Chicago 2019 and named One of 30 Writers to Watch by Chicago’s Guild Complex. Most recently, Christine’s short stories and essays have been published in the anthologies 2020 The Year of the Asterisk (University of Hell Press), MAKE Literary Magazine, BELT’s Rust Belt Anthology, The Literary Review, and online at The RumpusMcSweeney’s Internet TendencyThe Big Smoke, The MillionsChicago Tribune, Detroit’s Metro Times, among other publications. Christine is the founder and editor of Hypertext Magazine. Twitter: @ChrisMaulRice 

Instructor Website

Workshops

Short Story – Writing Retreat

Manuscript Consultations – Writing Retreat

Photo of Sheree L. Greer

Sheree L. Greer

A Milwaukee, Wisconsin, native, Sheree L. Greer is a text-based artist and educator living in Tampa, Florida. In 2014, she founded The Kitchen Table Literary Arts Center to showcase and support the work of Black women and women of color writers and is the author of two novels, Let the Lover Be and A Return to Arms.…Read More

A Milwaukee, Wisconsin, native, Sheree L. Greer is a text-based artist and educator living in Tampa, Florida. In 2014, she founded The Kitchen Table Literary Arts Center to showcase and support the work of Black women and women of color writers and is the author of two novels, Let the Lover Be and A Return to Arms. Her work has been published in First Bloom Anthology, LezTalk Anthology, VerySmartBrothas, Autostraddle, The Windy City Times, Bleed Literary Journal, and the Windy City Queer Anthology: Dispatches from the Third Coast. Sheree has received a Union League of Chicago Civic Arts Foundation award, earned her MFA at Columbia College Chicago, and is a VONA/VOICES alum, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice grantee, Yaddo fellow, and Ragdale Artist House Rubin Fellow. Her essay, “Bars” published in Fourth Genre Magazine, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and notably named in Best American Essays 2019, and her latest essay, “None of This Is Bullshit” was published at The Rumpus and featured in “Memoir Mondays.”

Author Website

http://www.shereelgreer.com

Workshops

Manuscript Consultation – Writing Retreat

Panel Discussion & Craft Talk – Writing Retreat

Books by Faculty, Panelists & Presenters

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6th Annual Writing Retreat

May 20-22, 2022

Writing Retreat Details & FAQs

Friday, May 20

10-10:30 am: Welcome & Faculty Introductions

10:45-11:45 am: Craft Talk: Feeding the Habit: Writers’ Journals, Patricia McNair

Noon: Lunch

1:30-4:30 pm: Workshop Groups

  • Patricia Ann McNair, Memoir and Personal Narrative
  • Christine Maul Rice, Writing Fiction
  • Sheree L. Greer, Digging In: Research and Writing

4:30-6 pm: Meet & Greet

5:30-7 pm: Manuscript Consultations | Registration required ($40)

Free Evening to Explore Mineral Point and/or Write

Saturday, May 21

9-10 am: Morning Pages, Patricia Ann McNair

10:15-11:15 am: Craft Talk: Octavia Taught Me: Creative Practice and Accountability, Sheree L. Greer  | open to the public ($15)

11:30am-12:30 pm: Lunch & Participant Open Mic

12:45-3:45 pm: Day Two Workshops

4 pm: Mineral Point Gallery Crawl (optional)

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

Sunday, May 22

9-10 am: Morning Pages, Patricia Ann McNair

10:15-11:15 am: Craft Talk: Making Sense of it All: Literary Response to Historic (& Personal) Events, Christine Maul Rice | open to the public ($15)

11:30am-12:30 pm:  Lunch & Participant Open Mic

12:45-3:45 pm: Final Workshops

4-5 pm: Publishing Panel

5:15-5:30 pm: Closing Remarks & Toast

Select the genre you would like to focus on: (Details coming soon!). Register for that workshop.

All workshops meet simultaneously. All retreat participants meet jointly in the Lind Pavilion for craft talks, readings, and lunch.

Add a manuscript evaluation if you would like to meet one-on-one with an instructor to receive feedback on work submitted prior to the retreat. The instructor you meet with does not need to be the one teaching your workshop.

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.

Details coming soon!

Writing Retreat Workshops

select one to register for the retreat

(workshops meet simultaneously)

Only Registered Workshop Participants May Purchase Manuscript Consultations

open to the public

Faculty & Local Author reading

saturday, may 21 - 7:30 pm

lind pavilion | 411 commerce st. | Mineral Point

free & open to the public

Campus Map: Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts

Coach House
18 Shake Rag Street

1 of 33

Art Café

2 of 33

Ellery House

3 of 33

restrooms

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restrooms

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restrooms

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Open Air Parking

7 of 33

Lind Pavilion Parking

8 of 33

Roadside Parking
allowed on Commerce Street

9 of 33

Smejas’ Studio parking

10 of 33

Smejas’ Studio
30 Doty Street

11 of 33

Curbside Parking
as indicated

12 of 33

Accessible Parking
with curb cut

13 of 33

Accessible Parking
with curb cut

14 of 33

Alley Stage

15 of 33

Cabinet Shop

16 of 33

French Cabin

17 of 33

1830 Log Cabin

18 of 33

Potter’s House

19 of 33

Blacksmith Barn

20 of 33

Federal Spring

21 of 33

Monarch Garden

22 of 33

Lind Pavilion
411 Commerce Street

23 of 33

two blocks to

High Street & Commerce Street
Restaurants, Shops & Galleries

24 of 33

To Grocery Store
Point Foods
622 Dodge Street

25 of 33

Street Parking with Additional Parking behind Smejas’ Studio

26 of 33

The Green
open air park

27 of 33

Stair Steps
between
Cabinet Shop & Lind Pavilion

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Stair Steps
to Alley Stage

29 of 33

Stone Bridge
over
Federal Spring

30 of 33
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.

32 of 33

Footbridge

33 of 33

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