Writers’ Retreat – Raise Your Voices
Raise Your Voices: An Intensive Nonfiction Writing Retreat for Women
April 9-11, 2010; Ancramdale, NY
October 8-10, 2010; Ancramdale, NY
November 12-14, 2010; San Francisco Bay Area
(Retreat starts Friday at 1PM and ends Sunday at 3PM)

Click here to Register for this Retreat

Who: Deborah Siegel, PhD 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 & Feminist Online.
Sunny Sea Gold, 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.
Kristen Kemp, magazine freelancer.

Catherine Orenstein, journalist and author.
Barbara Victor, 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.

Why: Women 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.
Cost: Due to the rising price of fuel Woodhull has adjusted our prices for the 2009, 2010 Calendar Year. While tuition will stay at $495 there is a fee of $100 a night for room and board. We encourage you to seek scholarship from your institution or place of employment.

The Outline

Surprisingly, many otherwise talented non-fiction writers have never been taught the basic skill of organizing their material – their narrative or argument – along the lines of a coherent and clear outline. The outline is the scaffolding for all good and marketable non-fiction writing and teaching retreatants to apply an outline method clarifies their work for publication, whether the text in question is as short as a 700 word op-ed or as substantial as a 100,000 word book.

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 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. Instructor Catherine Orenstein 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.

About Catherine Orenstein: Ms. 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 is a fellow at the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership and at the Center for Work-Life Policy. She is currently spearheading a national op-ed project, to target and train women experts in all fields to project their voices in major forums of public debate. For more information: www.catherineorenstein.com

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. These venues also pay extremely well which is not insignificant to a serious writer. Instructors Kristen Kemp and/or Rebecca Skloot 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.

About Kristen Kemp: Ms. Kemp has been a freelance writer for seven years. Prior to that, she was associate editor at Cosmopolitan. She has been staff writer at Twist and assistant editor at Girls’ Life. Currently, she writes for Self, Glamour, Ladies’ Home Journal, CosmoGIRL!, Girls’ Life, Marie Claire, The New York Daily News, Men’s Health, and many other publications. She has written profiles, essays, news and service pieces, and she’ll teach you what all of those terms mean and help you pick your own specialties. Kristen is the author of 12 young adult books, fiction and non-fiction. She’s currently hard at work at her summer 2007 release called Breakfast at Bloomingdale’s. For more information: www.kristenkemp.com

How to write a book proposal:
In this module, the instructor will teach the group 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. She will show participants what the common mistakes are 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.

Deborah Siegel, PhD 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 & Feminist Online. She writes about women, sex, feminism, contemporary families, and popular culture for a range of venues, including The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The American Prospect, More, Psychology Today, The Progressive, The Mothers Movement Online, and on her blog, Girl with Pen. In addition to writing, Siegel consults with both organizations and individuals who link research on women and girls’ lives to media, policy, and philanthropy including the National Council for Research on Women, the National Women’s Studies Association, Catalyst, the Council on Contemporary Families, and the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership, where she is currently a Fellow. Siegel received her doctorate in English and American Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2001. Read more about her work at www.deborahsiegel.net.