Pam HoustonWinter Generative Writing Adventure with Pam Houston

February 13 - 18, 2022 Go back
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This retreat is perfect for those who want to get a jumpstart on their writing, or have an old project to reinvigorate. Mornings will be spent in class talking writing, talking about contemporary essays and stories, getting started on daily writing assignments. Afternoons are for writing and/or for fun in the snow. Some evenings we will share work in the retreat center after dinner. The snow and the cold and the lake and the forest will remind us we are still alive.

This retreat is open to all levels of writers.

Check In: February 13, 2022
Check Out: February 18, 2022

Tuition + Meals: $1,220
With RicePod Lodging Package: $2,240
With Nest Lodging Package: $2,540
With TreeHaus Lodging Package: $1,880

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  • Class description
  • Bio
  • Supply List
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Class description

Come to the cozy Nest and Treehaus’s of the Wild Rice Retreat to reconnect with those stories that have long been trying to work their way from your psyche to the page. Pam has a dozen tricks to turn those glimmers you dashed onto the back of envelopes into full-fledged stories, and she will share them with you every morning. Afternoons will be spent out in the clarity of the cold and snow, skiing, dog-mushing, snow-shoeing, or, if you like, holed up writing. We will gather some evenings to share what we have made.

Morning conversations will include talks about image, metaphor, dialogue, beginnings and endings, tense, point of view, memoir versus essays versus autofiction versus fiction. There will be assigned readings that we will discuss in class. There will be daily writing assignments, as well as projects to work on over the course of the week.

Afternoons will contain always optional fun in the snow, but I hope everyone will avail themselves of at least a few snowy activities, because when you free your body for play, you often free your mind.


  • A feeling that their stories have value and the desire to give those stories more of their time
  • A feeling of aliveness after spending time having fun in the outdoors
  • A belief in themselves as artists and vibrant human beings


Pam Houston is the author of the memoir, Deep Creek: Finding Hope In The High Country, which won the 2019 Colorado Book Award, the High Plains Book Award and the Reading The West Advocacy Award and more recently, Air Mail: Letters of Politics Pandemics and Place coauthored with Amy Irvine. She is also the author of Cowboys Are My Weakness, Contents May Have Shifted, and four other books of fiction and nonfiction, all published by W.W. Norton.

She lives at 9,000 feet above sea level on a 120-acre homestead near the headwaters of the Rio Grande and teaches creative writing at UC Davis and at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is cofounder and creative director of the literary nonprofit Writing by Writers and fiction editor at the Environmental Arts Journal She raises Icelandic Sheep and Irish Wolfhounds and is a fierce advocate for the Earth.

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Supply List

  • Lap top and/or writing materials
  • Clothes for outdoor play