The Pulse of Narrative: a Workshop in Memoir April 14 – 16th

You have a true story to tell, but how do you sift through all of the details, facts, and information to find the beating heart of your narrative? The art of memoir is often an exhausting and solitary task, so our retreat will bring together a group of like-minded writers for a weekend of writing, reading, and community.

Mornings will be spent studying key passages from both conventional and unconventional memoirs to find various examples of successful narrative structures, widening our understanding of the form. We will discuss these passages in detail and generate our own work through targeted exercises and prompts. Afternoons will be focused on workshopping prepared manuscript pages. Evenings will be devoted to readings and, of course, dinner, though you’re free to slink off at any point to work on more writing.

Come enjoy the first awakenings of spring on our 29 acres, relax by the fire with a new community of talented writers and carve time to dive into your work- the story that only you can tell.  Breakfast and lunch will be provided by Holes in the Wall, all vegan and vegetarian, with dinner provided the first evening.

Instructor Garrard Conley is the author of the memoir Boy Erased (Penguin, 2016). His work has been featured in Time, VICE, CNN, Buzzfeed BooksVirginia Quarterly Review, and others. He has received scholarships from the Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and Elizabeth Kostova Foundation Writers' Conferences and has facilitated craft classes for Catapult, Grub Street, Sackett Street Writers Workshop, and the Fine Arts Works Center in Provincetown. He is currently the Memoir Incubator instructor for Grub Street Writers' Workshops. “His memoir is not simply a story of survival — in this book, a true writer comes of age. Conley writes vividly, with intelligence, wit, and genuine empathy. By embracing complexity and compassion, he reclaims his life and reminds us that a story rarely belongs to one person alone.” LA Review of Books.  His memoir has been named an Oprah Top 10 Memoir of 2016.  


$360 Single room //  $600 Double Room (price for two) // $320 Dormitory style (per person rate, up to three people)

Includes lodging, workshop, breakfast, lunch and dinner on the first night

Food provided by Holes in the Wall Collective - all vegetarian with vegan options and choices to satisfy multiple palates

The Holes in the Wall Collective Cabin and Tiny Farm/Big Garden is situated on the 29-acre Art in the Fields Property in New Jerusalem, PA.  With ample outdoor space - woods, fields and a one acre pond, our four bedroom Mary Poppins Cabin is both cozy and expansive.  Each room has its own working desk, with a communal kitchen and living room space, a large screened-in porch and a converted barn for additional studio space.  Come sit by the fire, float on the canoe and find inspiration from the land.