Summer Writing Retreat

August 3 & 4, 2019

This overnight immersion combines the most desirable elements of both writing conferences and retreats.

WRITING The writing instruction includes professional, workshop-style manuscript evaluation, multi-genre master classes, guided writing sessions and an industry agent/editor/publicist Q&A panel and pitch session.

bryn athyn cathedralRETREAT With single room residences in the four charming stone cottages, the retreat incorporates yoga for all levels, evening meditation, fresh fare, wine tasting, excursions in the Pennypack Nature Preserve, tours of the local Glencairn Museum and gothic Bryn Athyn Cathedral, and more.

Master Classes*

Guests participate in seven 50-minute master classes in multiple genres, including fiction, creative nonfiction, young adult and industry-specific tutorials on building your author platform/social media. The master classes are suitable for anyone who loves to write and wants to learn more about the craft, including life-long learners, hopeful novelists, memoir writers, bloggers, professionals, and college students. *Open to day audit

student sitting on a wall reading a book

Guided Writing*

These optional one hour early afternoon sessions encourage pen-to-paper writing time, with staff-guided inspiration to get the creative juices flowing.  *Open to day audit

Manuscript Workshop

Afternoon sessions include group manuscript critique led by Chandra Hoffman. The writing submitted with your application will be distributed in advance as a packet to all participants, for reading and generating discussion of the work and craft. In addition to the benefit of group critique, participants receive detailed manuscript notes at both the macro and micro level from the workshop leader.

Industry Q&A and Pitch

During Sunday’s lunch, industry experts answer participants’ questions on the ever-changing world of publishing. Afterwards, SWR participants are invited to sit down with agents, editors and publicists in a one-on-one, six-minute speed dating-style pitch session.

residence hall cottage family room

Housing/ Meals

Guests may stay in single residences in one of four charming stone cottages on the green. These have WIFI, air-conditioning and feature first floor open-plan Great Room, living/dining area, washer/dryer and a large appliance-equipped kitchen. Each cottage has a private outdoor patio overlooking the meadow and opens on to the communal green for socializing and morning yoga.

Most meals will be served in a private room in the Bryn Athyn College’s Brickman dining hall. The menu features fresh, healthy, local fare and includes gluten-free and vegetarian options.

glencairn museum Excursions

Optional outings highlight the natural, architectural and unique gems of the surrounding community, including creekside hiking in the Pennypack Nature Preserve, a local farm/craft market and tours of the Bryn Athyn Historic District’s Glencairn Museum and gothic Bryn Athyn Cathedral.

Guests over 21 years old are welcome to participate in tasting events.


  • $850 all-inclusive with lodging and meals
  • or $600 includes everything except overnight lodging
  • or $30/each to audit master classes/writing sessions

(there is no day audit option for workshop or industry lunch)
50% is due on acceptance into the program, with the remaining balance due by July 31, 2019.
See Refund/Cancelation policy below.

How To Apply:




Writing Submission
Interested participants are asked to submit a writing sample. This work is copied and distributed to fellow participants in advance of the retreat for study in the afternoon writing workshop. Workshops are designed to accommodate both experienced writers and those in the earlier stages of honing their craft. Please email your writing submission to

Writing Sample Guidelines:

  • Poetry—up to 10 pages of poetry, 12 pt font, single spaced.
  • Fiction, Young Adult and Creative Nonfiction—up to 20 pages, 12 pt font, double spaced
  • All submissions must include a header with the author’s name and page number. (ex Smith, 7)
  • Electronic document name must include applicant’s last name.
  • Applicants must be at least eighteen years of age.


Applicants may be eligible for the following two scholarships

  • 2019 Bryn Athyn College Full Scholarship—open to students who have been or will be enrolled in Bryn Athyn College at any time in the 2019 calendar year. This full scholarship covers the $850 all-inclusive fee for one student recipient. The scholarship will be blind-judged by the language and literature faculty of Bryn Athyn College and the recipient notified no later than June 15, 2019. The deadline for this scholarship is May 1, 2019.
  • The Donald O. Kistner Half Scholarship—open to unpublished female authors, this half scholarship will be blind-judged by the admissions panel and the recipient notified no later than June 15, 2019. The deadline for this scholarship is May 1, 2019.

Refund/ Cancellation Policy

A 50% deposit is due upon acceptance. Participants who cancel before July 1 will receive a refund minus a $100 cancellation fee. If you cancel after July 1, 2019 there is no refund. This policy also applies to scholarship students.

If it is necessary for Bryn Athyn College to cancel a master class for any reason, students will be notified and offered another class in its place. We cannot be responsible for nonrefundable airline tickets.

facebook iconFacebook

Like us on Facebookopens in a new window for more information!