The Retreat

River Pretty Writers Retreat is a writing intensive program that offers generative workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction for registered participants. You will be led by dedicated writers who are committed to sharing their love of the craft. We believe that when a community of writers come together to create new work, we are able to break through old habits and generate a product that is much stronger and truer than before.

Panel discussions, informal talks, as well as all readings (by participants, faculty, and featured writers) are free and open to the general public.

*Per Dawt Mill policy, if you are not a guest of the resort you must leave the property at midnight.

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Featured visting writers for RP17 October 4th-6th, 2019:  

Laura McHugh: McHugh is the award-winning, internationally-bestselling author of novels The Weight of Blood, Arrowood, and The Wolf Wants In. The Weight of Blood won the International Thriller Writers Award for Best First Novel, the Silver Falchion Award for Best First Novel: Literary Suspense, and the inaugural Missouri Author Award for Fiction, and was named a Best Book of the Year by BookPage, the Kansas City Star, and the Sunday Times in the UK. Arrowood was a finalist for the International Thriller Writers Award for Best Novel. McHugh’s work has also been nominated for an ALA Alex Award, a Barry Award, a GoodReads Choice Award, and a Pushcart Prize. Her novels have been translated into multiple languages, and The Weight of Blood was optioned for film by Warner Brothers. McHugh lives in Columbia, Missouri with her husband and daughters.

Peter Bradley Adams: A singer and songwriter whose work is musically subtle but emotionally forceful, Peter Bradley Adams was born in Birmingham, Alabama and grew up in a musical family, taking inspiration from his grandfather, a jazz musician proficient in the piano and clarinet. Adams began learning the piano when he was six years old, and went on to study music at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. Adams worked in film scoring for a while, but in 1999 he teamed up with singer and songwriter Kat Maslich-Bode to form the group Eastmountainsouth. In 2003, after the duo was discovered by Robbie Robertson of the Band, Eastmountainsouth released their first album through Dreamworks SKG Records. While the record received positive reviews and tracks appeared in the movies Elizabethtown and Lucky Seven and on the TV shows One Tree Hill and Dawson's Creek, Dreamworks' record division was dissolved later the same year, and Eastmountainsouth broke up in 2004. In 2005, Adams launched his solo career with a self-titled EP, and began a side job as a session musician, playing on albums by Michael Penn, Juliana Hatfield, and Josh Groban, among others. In 2006, Adams released his first full-length solo effort, Gather Up, on the independent High Wire Music label, and partnered with the Seattle-based indie label Sarathan Records for his second album, 2008's Leavetaking. Adams' third album, Traces, appeared in 2009, and Between Us was issued in 2010. In 2011, Adams and fellow songwriter Caitlin Canty collaborated on a side project, Down Like Silver, who released a six-song EP of songs they wrote together. Adams launched his own record label, I Me Mine Records, in 2014 with his fifth solo album, The Mighty Storm, which was recorded in Nashville at the legendary RCA Studio A. Three years later, Adams released the self-produced A Face Like Mine on Tone Tree Music.

Richard Jackson is the author of fifteen books of poems including Broken Horizons (2018), Traversings, with Robert Vivian (2016), Out of Place (Ben Franklin Award, 2014), and Resonance (2010; Eric Hoffer Award), as well as the anthology The Heart’s Many Doors (Wings Press, 2017).

He has published two books of translations, Last Voyage: The Poems of Giovanni Pascoli from Italian (2010) and Alexandar Persolja’s Journey of the Sun from Slovene (2008). He is also the author of two critical books, two anthologies of Slovene poetry, as well as editions of poems by Toma┼ż Šalamun and Iztok Osojnik. A Bridge of Voices is available on Kindle. His work has been translated into seventeen languages, including a book in Slovene and one in Catalan, and he has been awarded the Order of Freedom Medal by the President of Slovenia for literary and humanitarian work in the Balkans, and has been named a Guggenheim Fellow, Fulbright Fellow, Witter-Bynner Fellow, NEA fellow, and NEH Fellow. In 2009, he won the AWP George Garret National Award and has had five Pushcart Prize Poem appearances.

Robert Vivian’s latest collection of dervish essays, Immortal Soft-Spoken, was published by Awst Press in June 2018. He’s contracted with co-editor Joel Peckham for an anthology called Wild Gods: Ecstatic Writing in Contemporary Prose and Poetrywith New Rivers Press. Vivian’s forthcoming book, All I Feel Is Rivers, a new collection of dervish essays, will be published by the University of New England Press in 2020.

Vivian’s collection of prose poems, Mystery My Country, and Traversings, a book co-written with Richard Jackson, were published in 2016. He is the author of The Tall Grass Trilogy—The Mover of Bones, Lamb Bright Saviors, and Another Burning Kingdom, in addition to the novel Water and Abandon. He’s also written two books of meditative essays, Cold Snap as Yearning and The Least Cricket of Evening. Several of his plays have been produced in New York City and his monologues have been published in the Best Monologues series. His essays, poems, and stories have been published in Harper’s, Georgia Review, Creative Nonfiction, Alaska Quarterly, Ecotone, and dozens of other journals. He is the chair of the English department at Alma College in Michigan and has taught several times at various universities in Turkey, especially in Samsun, Turkey.