The Retreat

River Pretty Writers Retreat is a writing intensive program that offers generative workshops in poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and graphic narrative 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.

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We are proud to announce a new workshop offering for RP10, led by featured visting faculty Heather Sharfeddin:

Novel Writing Workshop 
In this 3-part series, we will discuss approaches to long-form narrative writing. Activities include developing setting, scenes, tension, character, plot, and conflict. Each is designed to lay the foundation to carry the writing forward to a book-length manuscript. Participants should come with a novel idea/concept or existing work-in-progress, writing materials, and imagination. 

Heather Sharfeddin will also be offering a manuscript consulation at RP10:

Looking for professional feedback on your manuscript?

Does your opening engage the reader? Are you taking advantage of all the tools available for great storytelling? Meet one-on-one with Heather Sharfeddin for a detailed line-edit and overall story consultation on the first 25 pages of your manuscript. $50.00 ($75.00 value) special offer to interested RP attendees.

Manuscripts must be received via email 30 days prior to the retreat in the following format: double-spaced, one inch margins, 12 point font. Include page numbers in the footer, and your name in the header.  Email her at

We're pleased to announce the following visiting writers for RP10:

Gregory Donovan: Greg is the author of the newly published poetry collection, Torn from the Sun (Red Hen Press, 2015), and the earlier Calling His Children Home, which won the Devins Award for Poetry, along with poems, essays, and fiction published in The Kenyon Review, American Poetry Review, TriQuarterly, Gulf Coast, Copper Nickel, Crazyhorse, and many other journals, as well as in a number of anthologies, including Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets of Virginia (University of Virginia Press, 2003). Among other awards for his writing, he is the recipient of the Robert Penn Warren Award from New England Writers, as well as grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and fellowships from the Ucross Foundation and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Donovan is a faculty member in the graduate creative writing program at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he has often served as the Director of Creative Writing, and he is Senior Editor of the internationally recognized online journal Blackbird.

Abby Frucht: Abby is the author of five novels including SNAP, Licorice, Are You Mine?, Life Before Death, and Polly's Ghost, and two collections of stories, Fruit of the Month, which won the Iowa Short Fiction Prize in 1987, and The Bell at the End of a Rope. A recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, a New Voices Award from Quality Paperback Book Club, several grants from the Ohio Arts Council, and the Kay W. Levin Short Non-Fiction award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers, Abby is also an essayist whose works have been anthologized in Best of the Web, For Keeps, He Said What?!, and Winter Tales. She has raised two sons, lives in Wisconsin, has been part of the VCFA faculty for twenty years, and will serve this year as one of a three judge panel for the Pen Faulkner Award for Fiction. Abby's new novel, A Well Made Bed, on which she collaborated with Laurie Alberts, will be published in March, 2016 by Red Hen Press.

Heather Sharfeddin (Sharf-a-deen): Heather Sharfeddin is the author of four novels about the Pacific Northwest. Her work has earned starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and Library Journal, has been honored with an Erick Hoffer award and at the New York and San Francisco Book Festivals, as well as the Pacific Northwest Book Sellers Association. She holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a PhD in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University (Bath, England). She has taught creative writing at Randolph Macon College, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and is currently an adjunct professor at Linfield College. For more information about her writing visit