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Beach Shack Writers Spring Retreat: The Memoir 2018-01-28T08:14:11+00:00

Beach Shack Writers and The Pat Conroy Literary Center present
The Memoir: Looking Back, Moving Forward at the Hilton Head Island Beach & Tennis Resort

March 1-5, 2018

Anchorage 1770 Inn

Learn to tell and sell your story. Beach Shack Writers, in partnership with the Pat Conroy Literary Center, presents a weekend writers retreat for visitors and locals alike. Join us on March 1–4 at the Hilton Head Island Beach & Tennis Resort for The Memoir: Looking Back, Moving Forward.

Retreat packages also include a field trip to the Pat Conroy Literary Center’s second annual March Forth on March Fourth, featuring National Book Award-winning poet Nikky Finney, two-time Lillian Smith Book Award-winning novelist Anthony Grooms, master naturalist and memoirist J. Drew Lanham, poet and educator Tim Conroy, and best-selling novelist Cassandra King Conroy.

Retreat Faculty: Jessica Handler, a student of Pat Conroy’s and author of Braving the Fire and Invisible Sisters, Stephanie Austin Edwards, a classmate of Pat Conroy’s and author of What We Set in Motion, and Rockelle Henderson, founding director of the Bluffton Book Festival.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, March 1

Arrival/Check-in for retreat guests.

5:00–6:30 p.m.: Welcome Happy Hour & Pat Conroy presentation by Jonathan Haupt, executive director of the Pat Conroy Literary Center, at CocoNutz Bar & Grill at the Hilton Head Island Beach & Tennis Resort

Dinner on Your Own

Friday, March 2

8:00–9:30 a.m., Beach Shack morning beach walk, grab & go breakfast

10:00–11:30 a.m., WORKSHOP 1, Part 1: Looking Back, Moving Forward: A Memoir Writing Workshop with instructor Jessica Handler (memoirist and novelist), Registration includes parts 1 & 2, limited to 25 participants.

Lunch on Your Own

1:30–3:00 p.m., WORKSHOP 2: Book Marketing Essentials with instructor Stephanie Austin Edwards (novelist and author consultant), limited to 25 participants

4:00–5:30 p.m., Beach Shack Retreat open readings

Dinner on Your Own

Saturday, March 3

8:00–9:30 a.m., Beach Shack morning beach walk, grab & go breakfast

10:00–11:30 a.m., WORKSHOP 1, Part 2: Looking Back, Moving Forward: A Memoir Writing Workshop with instructor Jessica Handler (memoirist and novelist). Registration includes parts 1 & 2, limited to 25 participants.

Lunch on Your Own

1:30–3:00 p.m., WORKSHOP 3: An Insider’s Guide to Book Publishing with instructor Rockelle Henderson (author consultant, book marketer, and literary representative), limited to 25 participants

4:00–5:30 p.m. Beach Shack Retreat open readings

6:30–8:00 p.m. Dinner: Beach Shack Retreat lowcountry boil

Sunday, March 4

ALL DAY: Beach Shack Retreat field trip to Pat Conroy Literary Center’s March Forth on March Fourth Day of Learning at Penn Center, St. Helena Island, featuring National Book Award-winning poet Nikky Finney, two-time Lillian Smith Award-winning novelist Anthony Grooms, master naturalist and memoirist J. Drew Lanham, poet Tim Conroy, and novelist Cassandra King Conroy; with box lunches catered by cookbook author Debbi Covington, 10:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m. (Depart resort: 8:30 a.m., return 6:30 p.m.)

Monday, March 5

8:00–9:30 a.m., Beach Shack morning beach walk, grab & go breakfast

10:00 a.m. Check-out for retreat guests

Workshops Description

WORKSHOP 1

Looking Back, Moving Forward: Memoir

Instructor: Jessica Handler
Part 1: Friday, March 2, 10:00–11:30 a.m.
Part 2: Saturday, March 3, 10:00–11:30 a.m.
$195/person (includes parts 1 & 2), limited to 20 participants

Description: Robert Frost wrote, “no tears for the writer, no tears for the reader,” but how do we create effective story from emotionally difficult material? Writing well about life-changing circumstances rooted in trauma, loss, and grief requires more than capturing slippery memory on the page. Reflection must advance the narrative. In the first half of this two-day workshop, memoirist and novelist Jessica Handler will guide participants through representative elements of renowned memoirs and then a series of writing exercises that will help participants examine how conflict and joy are foundational in powerful creative nonfiction.
The second part of the workshop will be dedicated to facilitated, craft-focused discussion of our writing, with the instructor’s feedback on material written for the class. Participants will explore strategies for writing about loss and trauma in pursuit of insight, wholeness, and connection to readers. We will depart with a new understanding of the little-known continuation of Frost’s quote: “No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader.”

  • Open to writers of all levels of experience. Looking Back, Moving Forward workshop participants will:
    Engage in close reading of specific craft elements that make good writing about loss, grief, and trauma powerful;
    Generate new material from writing prompts designed to explore memory from new angles;
    Explore the narrative balance of research, memory, and imagination; and
    Develop confidence in their right to write their version of events.

WORKSHOP 2

Book Marketing Essentials

Instructor: Stephanie Austin Edwards
Friday, March 2, 1:30–3:00 p.m.
$35/person, limited to 25 participants

Description: Book marketing has changed forever. In this workshop, author and consultant Stephanie Austin Edwards will offer insights for writers to effectively and efficiently focus their own marketing efforts on what sells books and builds meaningful visibility and reader connectivity.
Whether being published commercially or self-published, it is up to the author to promote her or his book. So, if you’re thinking of writing a book, let’s start your marketing plan now. If you’ve written a book, don’t let your marvelous, hard-earned masterpiece languish in obscurity. You can learn to build your marketing plan and platform in minutes a day. What it takes is time, patience, and a little online savvy. This workshop offers an informed overview of pragmatic marketing techniques for writers at any stage of their careers—including brand-building, social media and networking, blogs and website building tools, reader communities, distribution, and DIY content marketing.

WORKSHOP 3

An Insider’s Guide to Book Publishing

Instructor: Rockelle Henderson
Saturday, March 3, 1:30–3:00 p.m.
$35/person, limited to 25 participants

Description: You are writing a book! Now what? Rockelle Henderson, a New York publishing insider and founder of the Bluffton Book Festival, will outline the steps toward publishing successfully among today’s many options. This workshop will teach writers how to position their books for the appropriate target audience by first understanding and committing to that audience. The class offers insight into what it really means to be published in a market in which publication can take an increasing number of forms, and how marketing and distribution play key roles in the process. The goal of the class is to better prepare writers for the next step in the path to publication after (or before) they have their finished manuscript in hand.

Meet Your Faculty

Faye Bender

Jessica Handler is the author of Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief. Her first book, Invisible Sisters: A Memoir was named one of the “Twenty Five Books All Georgians Should Read” and Atlanta magazine’s “Best Memoir of 2009.” She writes essays and nonfiction features, too, which have appeared on NPR, in Tin House, The Bitter Southerner, Drunken Boat, Full Grown People, the Manifest-station, Brevity, Newsweek, The Washington Post, and More Magazine. She has been a guest on the New York Times’ Dear Sugar podcast, hosted by Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond. Her novel, The Magnetic Girl, is forthcoming in 2019.

Praise for Jessica’s Workshops:
“Masterful!”–Bess K.
“Damn excellent!”–Melanie G.
“The workshop helped confirm my story is worthy of sharing with others.”–Catherine C.
“Gets to the core of memoir writing.”–Ron J.
“Motivated me!”–Katharina M.

Faye Bender

Stephanie Austin Edwards  is a novelist, writing teacher, and author services consultant. Her twenty-two-year career in theater began in San Diego and moved her to New York City. She worked on Broadway, in film and on television with such talents as Liza Minnelli, Michael Jackson, Lauren Bacall, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Hal Prince, Stephen Sondheim, Bill Cosby, and Michael Bennett. Later, she returned to her roots in the South Carolina Lowcountry where, when not writing or cruising down the river with her husband, she facilitates writer’s groups, teaches writing workshops and volunteers at The Pat Conroy Literary Center. Her debut novel, What We Set in Motion, won a Best Submission Award at the Atlanta Writer’s Club Conference.

Faye Bender

Rockelle Henderson is the president of Rock Inked, Inc., an author consulting, marketing, and literary management firm. She serves on the board of the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) and has led its communications and marketing committee for the past two years. Over a career that’s spanned twenty years, Rockelle has held positions at Random House, Penguin, HarperCollins, and Disney/Hyperion. She’s worked with authors such as Jacqueline Woodson, Karin Slaughter, Eriq La Salle, and Edward P. Jones, and on the marketing campaigns for books by Michael Crichton, Terry McMillan, Bill Gates, Stephen King, Jeffrey Toobin, and Louis V. Gerstner. In 2016, she launched the Bluffton Book Festival in Bluffton, South Carolina, a literary festival that brings together local and national literary talent to raise awareness and funds for two charities—the Literacy Center of Bluffton and the Binc Foundation.

Options & Pricing

Visitors

  • All-Inclusive

  • Beach Shack full retreat

  • All workshops

  • Activities

  • Lowcountry boil

  • March Forth field trip

  • Cost: $800 + Lodging Choice (see lodging options and pricing below)

Commuters

  • All-Inclusive

  • Beach Shack Local

  • All workshops

  • Activities

  • Lowcountry boil

  • March Forth field trip

  • Cost: $620

Individual Workshops Only

  • Looking Back, Moving Forward Memoir Workshop, 2-parts, with Jessica Handler: $195

  • Book Marketing Essentials with Stephanie Austin Edwards: $35

  • An Insider’s Guide to Book Publishing with Rockelle Henderson: $35

March Fourth Field Trip Only

  • Admission, box lunch, round-trip shuttle transportation from resort: $100

Beach Shack Writers Retreat Lodging Options

  • 1 Bedroom Resort View: $421 (4 nts, Thursday-Monday)

  • 1 Bedroom Ocean View: $461 (4 nts, Thursday-Monday)

  • 1 Bedroom Ocean Front: $581 (4 nts, Thursday-Monday)

  • 2 Bedroom Resort View: $541 (4 nts, Thursday-Monday)

  • 2 Bedroom Ocean View: $621 (4 nts, Thursday-Monday)

Book Your Reservation Here
Questions? Ask Cindy Whitman at beachshackwriters@gmail.com
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