Write-by-the-Lake Writer’s Workshop and Retreat

Join us June 26-30, 2017, for a new, expanded slate of 14 topics including Picture Book writing.

Immerse yourself in hands-on mini-workshops, critiques, and time to focus on your writing. Choose from fourteen sections in fiction, nonfiction, freelancing, and poetry. Master classes including full-novel critique. For master classes, you can only register with permission of instructor.

At a glance

What: 5 days of professional instruction for writers of all levels

When: June 26-30, 2017 • 9:30a-12:30p each day

Who: Taught by leading educators and writers from UW-Madison and across the country

CEUs: Continuing education units available, including optional graduate credits in English. See fees & credits» for more information.

Questions? Contact Christine DeSmet at christine.desmet@wisc.edu or 608-262-3447


Our writers get published!

What the Mirror Sees, a women’s fiction novel by Teria Robens, won the 2015-2016 African American Arts Alliance of Chicago's Black Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Literature-Fiction at their black-tie gala at the DuSable Museum on Oct. 24, 2016. Teria took this women’s fiction novel through a Master Class at the Write-by-the-Lake Writer’s Workshop & Retreat, with instructor Christine DeSmet. She’s also been a part of the writing community regularly attending the annual Writers’ Institute in Madison.

Read more success stories from Write-by-the-Lake here»

2017 sections and speakers

A new, expanded array of sessions and topics to choose from plus several new instructors, as well as our back-by-popular-demand returning instructors. See the full list of sessions here»

Keynote speaker

Our keynote speaker for 2017 is Ann Garvin. You may recognize as the keynote speaker two years ago at Writers' Institute.

New feature for 2017: Bonus workshop with Tim Storm

Many have asked for a Saturday workshop for additional reflection and wisdom after the week. Join Tim Storm for an exploration of the internal arc of your story, as well as the writing issues you encountered during the week. This 5-hour workshop includes critiques of 1-5 pages. Turn problems into publishable prose. Open ONLY to those participating in the retreat. All retreat writers may sign up; you need not have been in Tim's week-long program. Limit 15. See more and REGISTER here»

How it works and what we offer

Choose the one section you're most interested in. Limit of 15 participants per section unless noted. (Master Class #31 has a limit of 8 participants, master class #14 has a limit of 6.)

Sections for beginning writers as well as those at publication level.

Optional: 1-3 graduate credits in English (offered in a partnership with UW-Madison Dept. of English).

Special low fees for nontraditional credit students. Plus, some grants may be available. See fees & credits page»

Meet your director

Author and scriptwriter Christine DeSmet teaches writing online and in person. She is the director of the annual June “Write-by-the-Lake Writer’s Workshop & Retreat" and coordinator of “Critique Services” for writers.

Learn more about the sections & speakers, location & lodging, fees & credits, other resources, and how to register.

Thank you for your interest in Write-by-the-Lake!