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Sandhill Writers Retreat

Sandhill Writers VIRTUAL Retreat

8th Annual Sandhill Writers VIRTUAL Retreat


"Renewing the Writer in You"

The Conference Will be Held Virtually
Friday, May 14 - Saturday, May 15, 2021

Go to Retreat Schedule

Featuring "An Evening with Brian Turner"

Join us for an intimate and memorable evening with award-winning poet and memoirist Brian Turner.

Friday, May 14, at 7:00 pm

Streaming live & free to the public via Zoom

Sandhill Writers Retreat, image of attendees at the faculty reading

The Eighth Annual Sandhill Writers Retreat is our biggest yet! And it’s VIRTUAL!

Having weathered a difficult year, many of us are hungering right now for connection and for familiar activities that inspire us, nurture us and remind us who we are as artists. That’s what the Sandhill Writers Retreat has always been about, and what we’ll be about this year.

Our full-day retreat will take place on Saturday, May 15th from 9am - 4pm on Zoom. Participants will have access to sixteen hands-on writing classes in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, writing for veterans, environmental writing, publishing, spoken word, and creating literary community. Classes will focus on lessons in craft, insider tips and imaginative exercises that lead to new works and new skills. We plan to offer all workshops live, record them and make them available for several weeks after the retreat. That means every participant can “attend” every session. One BIG advantage of being virtual!

This year, for the first time, we’ll open the retreat with a free Friday night reading. We are thrilled to welcome celebrated veteran writer and award-winning poet Brian Turner (Here, Bullet; Phantom Noise; My Life as a Foreign Country). What a way to kick off Central Florida’s most popular writers retreat!

Retreat classes on Saturday will be led by a nationally-acclaimed faculty. Along with Brian Turner, visiting faculty include American Book Award and Pushcart Prize winner Janisse Ray, poet Yolanda J. Franklin (Blood Vinyls); spoken word artist Walter B. Jennings; creative nonfiction writer Bob Kunzinger (A Third Place: Notes in Nature); Orlando Poet Laureate Susan Lilley (Venus in Retrograde); literary community impresario Tiffany Razzano (founder of Wordier Than Thou); Saint Petersburg Poet Laureate Helen Pruitt Wallace; and novelist and founder of Writers in Paradise Sterling Watson (The Committee).

These outstanding writers will be joined by Saint Leo writing faculty members Steve Kistulentz (Panorama; Little Black Daydream); Patrick Crerand (The Paper Life They Lead); Anne Barngrover (Brazen Creature); and retreat director Gianna Russo (One House Down; Moonflower).

A very limited number of private one-on-one manuscript consultations is available on a first-come, first-served basis. See more info under Registration.

The Sandhill Writers Retreat is open to writers of all levels who wish to hone the craft and renew the joy of writing. Teachers, students, service members, and the general public are all invited to attend.

The Sandhill Writers VIRTUAL Retreat full-day event is
Saturday, May 15, 2021, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM.

More About Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University is a Catholic teaching university that is firmly grounded in the liberal arts tradition and the timeless Benedictine wisdom that seeks balanced growth of mind, body, and spirit. The Saint Leo University of today is a private, nonprofit institution that creates hospitable learning communities wherever students want to be or need to be, whether that is a campus classroom, a web-based environment, an employer’s worksite, a military base, or an office park. Saint Leo welcomes people of all faiths and of no religious affiliation, and encourages learners of all generations. The university is committed to providing educational opportunities to the nation’s armed forces, veterans, and their families. Saint Leo is regionally accredited to award degrees ranging from the associate to the doctorate, and the faculty and staff guide all students to develop their capacities for critical thinking, moral reflection, and lifelong learning and leadership.

The university remains the faithful steward of the beautiful lakeside University Campus in the Tampa Bay region of Florida, where its founding monks created the first Catholic college in the state in 1889. Serving more than 13,000 students, Saint Leo has expanded to downtown Tampa, to other sites in Florida and beyond, and maintains a physical presence in seven states. The university provides highly respected online learning programs to students nationally and internationally. More than 90,000 alumni reside in all 50 states, in Washington, DC, in three U.S. territories, and in 76 countries.

Media contact: For more information, contact Jo-Ann Johnston, Saint Leo University media coordinator, (352) 588-8237 or

THANKS to Our Partners and Supporters
Dr. Mary Spoto
Vice President of Academic Affairs
School of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Heather Parker, Dean
Department of Language Studies and the Arts
Dr. Chantelle MacPhee, Chair
Jennifer "Megan" Orendorf
Administrator of Events and Special Programs

For more information about the Eight Annual Sandhill Writers Retreat please contact Gianna Russo, at