In the week prior to the conference (Monday morning through Thursday), March 16-19, 2015, Wordcrafters will offer two intensive, four-day retreats at the Eugene Hilton. These sessions will focus on individual work and provide attending writers with valuable feedback on their craft. Space will be limited to twelve students per retreat class.

The Novel: From Inspiration to Expression, with Nancy Holder

How to turn an idea for a novel into a concrete story inhabited by compelling characters involved in significant conflicts.

  • Day 1: Finding and refining our “what-if’s” and deciding the form for dramatizing them 
  • Day 2: Creating a viewpoint character and his/her supporting cast
  • Day 3: Structuring the novel: plotting out inciting incident, crisis, climax, resolution, and beginning to write
  • Day 4: Workshopping work you have done in class—refinement from one of the three days or new material you’ve written for homework
Emotion-driven Story Telling, with Eric Witchey

Long or short, no heart is the same as no story. This interactive sequence focuses on character and theme as touchstones for all decisions in story development. Retreat attendees will walk away with new story ideas and, quite possibly, new stories.

  • Day 1: Managing the four voices and the reader’s experience
  • Day 2: Planning and developing based on themes
  • Day 3: Building scenes and stories based on what the characters think they want and what they really want
  • Day 4: Getting it DONE: composing fast, analyzing, revising, and marketing

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Retreat Leaders

Nancy HolderNancy Holder 

Nancy’s work has appeared on many bestseller lists. A five-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award from the Horror Writers Association, she has also received accolades from the American Library Association, the American Reading Association, the New York Public Library, and Romantic Times. She and Debbie Viguié coauthored the New York Times bestselling Wicked series for Simon and Schuster. They have continued their collaboration with the Crusade and the Wolf Springs Chronicles series. She is also the author of the young adult horror series, Possessions, for Razorbill. She has sold many novels and book projects set in the MTV Teen WolfBuffy the Vampire SlayerAngelSaving GraceHellboy, and Smallville  universes. She has also sold approximately two hundred short stories and essays on writing and popular culture. Her anthology, Outsiders, was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award in 2005. She is an editor and writer of comic books, graphic novels, and pulp fiction for Moonstone Books, where much of her work centers around Sherlock Holmes. She writes a column for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Bulletin. She also teaches in the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing Program, offered through the University of Southern Maine. Last summer, she served as the Writer in Residence at Odyssey, a six-week summer intensive workshop at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire.

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Eric WitcheyEric Witchey

Eric has made a living as a freelance writer and communication consultant for over 20 years. In addition to producing many corporate non-fiction titles, he has sold more than 90 short stories and four novels. His stories have appeared in six genres on five continents, and he has received recognition from New Century Writers, Writers of the Future, Writer’s Digest, The Eric Hoffer Prose Award program, Short Story America, and other organizations. His How-To articles have appeared in The Writer Magazine, Writer’s Digest Magazine, and other print and online magazines. When not teaching or writing, he spends his time fly fishing or restoring antique, model locomotives.