Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership
TEACHING THE COMPASSIONATE USE OF POWER
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Writers’ Retreats

NON-FICTION WRITERS’ RETREAT:

no current dates

FICTION WRITERS’ RETREAT:
no current dates

REGISTER!

NON-FICTION WRITERS’ RETREAT:

WHERE

NY Retreat Facility: The Woodhull Retreat Center, Ancramdale, NY (2-1/2 hours north of New York City) in the beautiful Berkshire Mountain region.

CA Retreat Facilities: San Francisco Bay Area TBD

WHY

stephanie-readingWomen are underrepresented as nonfiction authors and opinion writers. In a long weekend of writing instruction and one-on-one critique, participants gain fundamental knowledge of: Op-ed pieces, features, book proposals and pitching ideas.

OVERVIEW:

Surprisingly, many otherwise talented non-fiction writers have never been taught the basic skill of organizing their material – their narrative or their argument – along the lines of a coherent and clear outline.

How to write an op-ed:
It is vitally important in a democracy for regional writers to raise their voices about issues of concern in their own communities. At present a few highly funded think tanks are churning out opinion pieces while ordinary citizens – and most of the nation’s writers – hesitate to submit their own opinions to regional and national publications and thus civic discourse suffers. As a result, in this module every retreatant will learn how to write a 750 – 1100 word op-ed that will have a better chance to be published in a regional or national opinion section of a newspaper. Our faculty will teach what is an “evergreen” topic and what is a news hook; how to craft an engaging lead and how to draw on their own life experiences to illuminate issues in the debate and enliven their community’s newspapers. The retreatants will learn the appropriate etiquette and timing of submitting an op-ed and will be walked through the complete editing and publication cycle.

How to write a feature article:
Many non-fiction writers are taught to disdain publication in middle brow markets such as women’s magazines, Sunday supplements, and specialty magazines. However, these publications influence millions and there is room in many of them for a good writer to tackle important and timely subjects.

Instructors  will teach retreatants how to pitch an editor by phone and by e-mail; how to write a query letter; how to identify an important or exciting subject that is likely to engage a readership; how to research and write a classic 3,000 word magazine feature; and how to pursue the etiquette of the editorial and publication cycle of a mainstream magazine.

How to write a book proposal:
In this module,  the group will learn how to take a subject about which they are passionate and generate from it an exciting, marketable, serious non-fiction book proposal. She will cover the proposal itself, the chapter outline, the bio, and the marketing section. (This module, like the op-ed and the feature article, simply expand and develop the core skills of the outline section). The instructor will then walk the participants through the cycle of submission to an agent; the agent’s submission of the proposal to multiple houses; the bidding process; the signing of the contract; the writing cycle; the editing and copy editing and fact checking cycle; the publishing cycle and the publicity phase of the hardback non-fiction book. Participants will learn the common mistakes that writers make in crafting book proposals and will demonstrate the difference between an unpublishable and a highly commercial book proposal, both of which are based on an identical subject.

Cost:

$495; Tuition**

$100 per night; Room & Board

REGISTER!

**We are dedicated to providing women with these trainings regardless of financial situation. To that end we will work with applicants to find funding and are willing to create feasible payment plans. We also can provide group discounts and special rates for organizations or educational institutions. Please do not hesitate to contact Rebecca at 646-435-0837 or at RMarcus@woodhull.org with questions about this matter.

FICTION WRITERS’ RETREAT:

WHERE

NY Retreat Facility: The Woodhull Retreat Center, Ancramdale, NY (2-1/2 hours north of New York City) in the beautiful Berkshire Mountain region.
CA Retreat Facilities: San Francisco Bay Area.

WHY

Women are underrepresented as authors and opinion writers. In a long weekend of writing instruction and one-on-one critique, participants gain fundamental knowledge of: developing, marketing and pitching works of fiction.

OVERVIEW

Surprisingly, many otherwise talented fiction writers have never been taught the basic skill of organizing their material – their narrative or their argument – along the lines of a coherent and clear outline.  Areas to be covered are: the young adult market, novels, and essays.

WHO:

Faculty for this retreat is composed of successful published authors and varies depending on the date of the event.  Faculty includes Kristen Kemp, Margot Magowan, Catherine Orenstein, Sunny Sea Gold, Deborah Siegel, PhD, and Barbara Victor.

Kristen Kemp has had articles in Glamour, Marie Claire, Self, The New York Daily News and other publications. She writes for teen magazines and is also the author of seven young adult novels, including The Dating Diaries and Genny in a Bottle, and her latest book Breakfast at Bloomingdales’, was released in the Summer of 2007 for Scholastic.

Margot Magowan is a writer and commentator. Her articles on politics and culture have been in Salon, Glamour, the San Francisco Chronicle and numerous other newspapers. She has appeared on Good Morning America, Crossfire, Fox News and other TV and radio programs. She produced a top rated program for KGO Radio, the ABC affiliate in the Bay Area. She is currently working on a novel about marriage. She lives with her husband and daughters in San Francisco.

Catherine Orenstein has contributed to the op-ed pages of the New York Times, Washington Post and Miami Herald. Her opinion pieces on women, power, popular culture, and human rights have run on the Knight-Ridder newswire and appear in anthologies. She has lectured at Harvard, Penn, and Columbia universities, and appeared on ABC TV World News, Good Morning America, MSNBC, CNN and NPR All Things Considered.  A graduate of Harvard (BA) and Columbia (MA) universities, she is the author of Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked: Sex, Morality and the Evolution of a Fairy Tale, and she is a fellow at the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership.

Sunny Sea Gold is the Articles Editor, Health, for Glamour magazine. She plans and assigns most of the health coverage for the magazine, including stories on heart disease, cancer, body image, mental health, pharmacology, fitness and nutrition. She’s also worked at Seventeen and Popular Science. She edits at work, but indulges her love of writing by freelancing whenever possible for outlets like Parade, Men’s Fitness and Parade’s HealthyStyle. She’s also written for Glamour, Real Simple and Popular Science and is working on a book proposal about binge eating for teen girls.

Deborah Siegel, PhD, is an expert on gender, politics, and the unfinished business of feminism across generations. She is the author of Sisterhood, Interrupted: From Radical Women to Grrls Gone Wild, co-editor of the literary anthology Only Child: Writers on the Singular Joys and Solitary Sorrows of Growing Up Solo, and co-founder of the webjournal The Scholar and Feminist Online.  Deborah’s writings on women’s lives, feminism, masculinity, contemporary families, sex, and popular culture have appeared in venues including The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The American Prospect, More, Psychology Today, The Progressive, and The Mothers Movement Online. A Fellow at the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership and a Board Member of the Council on Contemporary Families, she is a frequent media commentator and lectures at campuses and conferences nationwide.  She is a Founding Partner of She Writes (www.shewrites.com), the leading online destination for women writers today.

Barbara Victor is a journalist who has covered the Middle East for most of her career.  She worked for CBS television for fifteen years, has worked at U.S. News and World Report, Elle, Femme and Madame Figaro.  She was the first person to interview Moammar Ghadaffi after the American bombing of Libya in 1986, and has interviewed many major political figures in the U.S. and the Middle East.  Barbara is the author of five novels and seven non-fiction books.

How to write a book proposal:
In this module,  the group will learn how to take a subject about which they are passionate and generate from it an exciting, marketable, serious fiction book proposal. She will cover the proposal itself, the chapter outline, the bio, and the marketing section. (This module will simply expand and develop the core skills of the outline section). The instructor will then walk the participants through the cycle of submission to an agent; the agent’s submission of the proposal to multiple houses; the bidding process; the signing of the contract; the writing cycle; the editing and copy editing and fact checking cycle; the publishing cycle and the publicity phase of the hardback non-fiction book. Participants will learn the common mistakes that writers make in crafting book proposals and will demonstrate the difference between an unpublishable and a highly commercial book proposal, both of which are based on an identical subject.

COST

$495; Tuition

$100 per night; Room & Board

REGISTER!