Friday, August 30, 2013

Weekend on the Water's fearless leader

 The indefatigable and superhuman Jolie Stekly, retreat director for Weekend on the Water, dishes on this year's upcoming event:

What is the biggest reason to come to this year's WOW retreat?
Personally, I'm so excited for this year's retreat faculty. Usually it's the faculty that gives each retreat a new flavor. Those who have been involved with our local chapter might remember Patricia Lee Gauch's visit about 10 years ago; she was also part of the first Weekend on the Water six years ago. Patti is an icon in this industry, and she has worked with legends. Legends! Not only is she packed with genius knowledge, she's also immensely generous with it. She truly has a desire to help writers grow, and her energy is infectious. If you've ever had the desire to work with her, this is your chance. Who knows if and when she will be in our area again?

Don't let me leave out Linda Urban! She came too highly recommended to be ignored. Both Patti and Linda have been a dream for me, as the retreat director, to work with. Their discussions about planned workshops have me excited for the retreat to get here already! Patti and Linda really want to deliver a great experience. They have both discussed workshops that will encourage each writer attending to go farther with his or her work. 

My guess is that attendees will walk away from this retreat feeling like they had a breakthrough in their stories, and maybe even personally as writers. 

How should a first-time attendee get as much as possible from the experience? 
First, if you are thinking of applying for the first time, don't be intimidated. Go for it! Then, if you're accepted, don't stress about it at all––just look forward to it. It will truly be a retreat. You'll feel like you're getting away and being pampered in so many ways (personally and writer-ly). Each year, I have found each group of attendees to be so wonderful. And great connections are made, often resulting in wonderful friendships and even critique partners. It's usually hard to say goodbye, and many apply again in following years. Attendees really love participating in the peer critiques, so I'd highly recommend that option. 

Will a picture-book author get as much out of it as a novelist? How so?
Yes. Picture-book writers who have attended in the past have loved the experience just as much as the novelists. Patti and Linda will be focused on the craft of writing for kids, and it applies to all formats. 
A huge bonus this year is that Patti has offered to have a sit-down with the picture-book writers for an informal discussion. I have no doubt that she will share amazing insights.

No comments: