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Sandhill Writers Retreat - About

FACULTY & SCHEDULE - Sandhill Writers Retreat
SWR Readers Series

    9th Annual Sandhill Writers Retreat


    SWR Reading Series

    May 9-12 and 16-19, 2022
    from 7:00 - 8:30 PM EST on Zoom

    Register for Reading Series

    Faculty & Schedule

    May 9-12 & 16-19, 2022

    Each evening features guest faculty who will give workshop presentations and a short reading of their work.

    MONDAY, MAY 9, 7PM

    SWR-Amina-GautierAmina Gautier ~ This is How We Do It: How Guidance Can Guide Your Creativity

    Amina Gautier is the author of three award-winning short story collections: The Loss of All Lost Things, which won the Elixir Press Award in Fiction; Now We Will Be Happy, which won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize, the USA Best Book Award in African American Fiction, a Florida Authors and Publishers Association Award Gold Medal in Short Fiction and was long-listed for the Chautauqua Prize in Fiction; and At-Risk, which won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and received an Eric Hoffer Legacy Award and a First Horizon Award. Gautier has published a record number of short stories. One hundred and twenty-five of her short stories have been published.

    TUESDAY, MAY 10, 7PM

    SWR-Julia-KoetsJulia Koets ~ The Architecture of Memory: Archives, Maps, and Houses in Nonfiction

    Carmen Machado begins her memoir In the Dream House with an epigraph from Louise Bourgeois, a French-American sculptor and installation artist, "You pile up associations the way you pile up bricks. Memory itself is a form of architecture." If we think of writers of nonfiction as architects of memory, how do they/we/you use research of all kinds--photographs, artifacts, maps, interviews, trips, etc.- to build our stories and ask questions about the larger implications of the personal? This workshop will give you some ideas for how you might weave research with personal narrative, and we'll go over some generative writing prompts to get you started.

    Julia Koets is the author of The Rib Joint: A Memoir in Essays (2019), Pine (2021), and Hold Like Owls (2012). She is the winner of the 2017 Red Hen Press Nonfiction Book Award judged by Mark Doty, the 2019 Michael Waters Poetry Prize, and the 2011 South Carolina Poetry Book Prize judged by National Book Award Winner Nikky Finney. Julia's essays and poems have been published or are forthcoming in literary journals including Creative Nonfiction, Indiana Review, Nimrod, The Los Angeles Review, Carolina Quarterly, and Portland Review. She earned her M.F.A. at the University of South Carolina and her Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Cincinnati. She is an assistant professor of creative nonfiction at the University of South Florida in Tampa.


    SWR-Kim-DavisKimberly Parish Davis ~ Submitting to and Working with a Small Press

    What do we mean when we say "small press”? Publisher and editor Kim Davis describe what sets a small press apart from a larger press and the pros and cons to working with each of them. She will explain how to successfully contact a small press and get a response. Then she will discuss steps in the workflow and how your manuscript fits into the editorial calendar at a small press. It takes longer than people think, and she’ll explain why. If time allows, she will touch on advertising and promo you can do to help your small press market your book, because no matter what size press you publish with, you are the head of the marketing department.

    Kimberly Parish Davis is the director of Madville Publishing, and she spent five years on the editorial staff at Texas Review press. Her short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in various literary journals, both online and off, including The Helix, Jerry Jazz Musician, époque press, Fredericksburg Literary and Art Review (FLAR), Flare: The Flagler Review, Kestrel, 50-Word Stories, and the Sad Girls Club Literary Blog. Her website is


    SWR-Geoffrey-PhilpGeoffrey Philp ~ Rediscovering Florida through Haiku

    During the lockdown, many writers began writing haiku. Besides the sheer pleasure of composition, writing haiku is a way to train the senses—a valuable skill in any form of writing. With the Florida landscape as the subject, participants in this workshop will learn to use some of the techniques of Matsuo Bashō, Kobayashi Issa, and Richard Wright to write original haiku.

    Geoffrey Philp is the author of five books of poetry, two collections of short stories, three children's books, and two novels, including Garvey's Ghost. His poems and short stories have been published in The Oxford Book of Caribbean Verse, sx salon, World Literature Today, The Johannesburg Review of Books, The Oxford Book of Caribbean Short Stories, Bearden's Odyssey Poets Respond to the Art of Romare Bearden, Rattle: Poets Respond, and Crab Orchard Review. A recipient of the Luminary Award from the Consulate of Jamaica (2015) and a former chair for the 2019 OCM Bocas Prize for Poetry, Philp's work is featured on The Poetry Rail at The Betsy--an homage to 12 writers that shaped Miami culture. His next collection of poems, Archipelagos, is forthcoming from Peepal Tree Press.

    MONDAY, MAY 16, 7PM

    SWR-Gregory-ByrdGregory Byrd ~ Negative Capability to Move Your Stories Forward

    How often has this happened to you? You have a great idea for a story. That time you saw the guy on the bicycle get hit by a car right in front of you. Or the time your daughter went with you to Easter service in a foreign country. Whatever. The details are vivid—horrifying or edifying—and the setting is perfect. But, as you begin to work the story out, you get stuck. If you’re paying attention, you probably turn it into a nonfiction essay. This could be a loss of a great story. What’s often missing in these situations is the fiction part of the story. In this workshop, I’ll propose a few different strategies for saving the story by turning it more fictional.

    It will help if you can bring part of a mostly autobiographical story you’re struggling with, or at least a page of autobiographical-ish writing about some event, experience, place that you think will make a great story. You don’t have to share it with anyone, but it will be useful to have something to work with.

    Gregory Byrd is a Fulbright fellow (Albania, 2011) and Pushcart nominee. Byrd’s poetry and prose have appeared widely, recently in Baltimore Review, Apalachee Review and Puerto del Sol. Greg has completed manuscripts for World War I novels Where Shadow Meets Water, about a pilot from Florida, and, Long Train Home to Scarborough, about a young woman who is a reporter. Greg’s recent poetry chapbook, The Name of the God Who Speaks, won the Robert Phillips Prize from Texas Review Press. Greg graduated from the writing workshops at Eckerd College and Florida State University. He teaches writing and humanities at St. Petersburg College in Clearwater.

    TUESDAY, MAY 17, 7PM

    SWR-Rick-CampbellRick Campbell ~ The Business of Submissions and What I Submit

    Suggestions and tips on how to submit your work to literary magazines with plenty of time for your questions.

    Rick Campbell is a poet, essayist, and editor living on Alligator Point, Florida. His collection of essays, Sometimes the Light is forthcoming from Main Street Rag Press in the spring of 2022. His most recent collection of poems is Provenance (Blue Horse Press.) Campbell’s published six other poetry books as well as poems and essays in journals including The Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, Gargoyle, Fourth River, Kestrel, and the Alabama Literary Review. He teaches in the Sierra Nevada University MFA Program.

    WEDNESDAY, MAY 18, 7PM-8:30PM

    Sign up in the zoom chat starting at 6:45PM.


    SWR-Denise-DuhamelDenise Duhamel ~ Laying the Foundation: Concrete Imagery in Poetry

    Using Pablo Neruda’s “Ode to things” (“Oda a las cosas”) as our maxim, we will explore arrivals to the sublime via naming and detail. William Carlos Williams wrote, “No ideas but in things,” and Pound applied “imagism” to H.D. who was influenced by Sappho’s compressed lyrics. A brief overview of concrete imagery just might lead us to some collaborative haiku.

    Denise Duhamel’s most recent book of poetry is Second Story (Pittsburgh, 2021). Her other titles include Scald; Blowout; Ka-Ching!; Two and Two; Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems; The Star-Spangled Banner; and Kinky. A recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, Duhamel teaches in the MFA program at Florida International University in Miami.