By JESSICA CHRYSLER and KATYA DOVE
This year’s Working Writer’s Retreat brought together writers of all skill levels and backgrounds to the Holy Spirit Retreat Center in Encino, Sept. 28-30. From actors to teachers, newbie writers to seasoned veterans, participants had something to gain from the faculty and each other. In workshops, writers were grouped by category and genre and had ample opportunity to mix and mingle throughout the weekend, including a karaoke party.
Faculty included agent Nephele Tempest, agent Victoria Wells Arms, Delacorte Press associate editor Kelsey Horton, Harper Collins assistant editor Stephanie Guerdan, and author E. Katherine Kottaras.
In this post, writer and illustrator Jessica Chrysler and writer Katya Dove share a conversation about their experiences at the retreat.
Jessica Chrysler: It was so great to see you again at the retreat this year, Katya. As much as I love getting to know new people, it’s always nice to find friendly faces. Every year the organizers try to change up the panels and workshops, so I’d like to know, what was the highlight of your weekend?
Katya Dove: I thought the critique sessions were amazing. Listening to other writers read their work, sharing my own, and bonding over words was by far one of the most powerful experiences. There’s so much talent among the attendees. I was blown away by how focused and committed everyone was. Though I must say, the karaoke party brought out a whole new side to fellow writers and faculty—a wild and vivacious side!
JC: I have to agree on the karaoke! It’s always my favorite part of the retreat since it gets everyone out of their quiet, writerly shell. I also really enjoyed the presentation by Katherine Kottaras on “The Joy of Revising.” It’s important to love revision as part of the writing craft and it felt like everyone had similar challenges when facing editing demons. It was great to share and learn different strategies to tackle those obstacles. Continue reading