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

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our 17th year of Write by the Lake!

We're already looking forward to next year. In the meantime, we leave the 2015 information here for your reference.

It’s a roll-up-the-sleeves, friendly, professional atmosphere overlooking the lake in Madison.

Last June we again hosted writers from several states and from all the coasts, including beginners to published writers who chose from 11 sections with writing coaches and mentors.

Check back January 1, 2016 for the new lineup for June 13-17.

At a glance

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

When: June 13-17, 2016 • 9:30a-12:30p each day

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

CEUs: Continuing education credits 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


NEW! "Write-by-the-Lake Book Fair" on Thursday, June 18

Let's celebrate your publishing success!

Participants and instructors are invited to display and sell their books on Thursday, times to be determined. Authors will have free space for their displays. You must handle your own sales.

How to participate: You must be enrolled in the program or be an instructor or guest speaker. Because space is limited, please contact program coordinator Laura Kahl as soon as possible AFTER you've registered. Email: Laura Kahl, laura.kahl@wisc.edu, or call 608-262-3982.

Our writers get published!

Two members of the same Christine DeSmet Master Class at Write-by-the-Lake Writer’s Workshop & Retreat recently signed contracts for the publication of their novels. Barbara Belford, Chicago, writing as Bibi Belford, sold her middle-grade historical novel, Crossing the Line, to Skypony, a division of Skyhorse Publishing. This is Barbara’s second novel sale. Her first hardcover novel for middle-grade readers, Canned and Crushed, was published recently and features a Hispanic boy and his family.

Blair Hull, of San Jose, CA, sold St. Mary’s Private Dancer, a mystery featuring a woman minister sleuth, to Apocryphile Press in Berkeley, CA. It will be a Spring 2016 release.

Looking for inspiration from other writers who have signed deals, gotten published, and won awards? Read more Success Stories here»

Keynote luncheon speaker Brad Schreiber of Los Angeles speaks about the “Role and Responsibility of the Writer” at our 2014 retreat.

2015 sessions and speakers

1. Thrill Me: Creating the Momentum That Publishers Crave, with Tim Storm
2. Your First Novel: Fast and Finished! with Kathy Steffen
3. The Writer’s Advantage: A Toolkit for Mastering Your Genre, with Laurie Scheer
4. Richer Nonfiction Now (Stories, Essays, Short Memoir), with Amy Lou Jenkins
5. Turning Your Life-Changing Experiences into a Book, with Julie Tallard Johnson
6. Unpack Your Memory Attic: Creating Your Event or Personal Memoir One Dust-Free Word at a Time, with Sue Roupp
7. Writing Compelling Creative Nonfiction Books, with Brad Schreiber
8. Master Class/Complete and Ready to Compete? with Lori Devoti (full novels; limit 6; send application; enrollment with instructor permission)
9. Master Class: Your First Fifty Pages, with Angela Rydell (full novels; limit 8; send application; enrollment with instructor permission)
10. Master Class: Finish, Polish, Publish, with Christine DeSmet (limit 6; send application; enrollment with instructor permission)
11. Mastering the Music of Poetry: Sound, Rhythm, and Voice, with Marilyn Taylor

How it works and what we offer

Choose the one session you're most interested in. Limit of 15 participants per session unless noted. (Master class #8 and #10 have a limit of 6 participants, master class #9 has a limit of 8.)

Sessions 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," director of the fall “Weekend with Your Novel,” and coordinator of “Critique Services” for writers.

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

Thank you for your interest in Write by the Lake!