2019 Retreat Schedule

August 24—27





1:30 Registration/Check-in at E Bar L Ranch (cabins available by 3:00)

5:00 Orientation

5:30 Cocktail Hour with music by TBA

Artisanal cocktails by Montgomery Distillery

6:30 Dinner

7:30 Shotgun Lovesongs—A reading by bestselling and acclaimed novelist Nickolas Butler, followed by Introductions & Contributors Notes.

9:00 Bonfire




7:00 Breakfast

8:00 Horseback Trail Ride (pre-registration required; a la carte pricing)

8:30 Poetic Pilates — an optional generative writing exercise led by award-winning poet Alicia Mountain.

10:00 In Silhouette — acclaimed nonfiction writers Jeremy Smith and Dean Kuipers discuss the art of the profile, freelancing one’s way to freedom, and the nuts and bolts of queries. Jeremy closes with a reading from his extraordinary new book Breaking and Entering.

11:00 The Waiting is the Hardest Part — raved-about debut novelists Nickolas Butler and John Larison discuss the risks, rewards, heights and depths of going all-in on one’s fiction. Q and A to follow.

12:30 Lunch

1:15 The Literary Village It Takes — Agent (and former editor) Sarah Bowlin, FSG Editor Emily Bell, and Milkweed Publisher Daniel Slager sit down to talk with agent Julie Stevenson about the many pairs of hands required to nurture a literary project to completion.

2:30 He Who is Laughing has Not Heard the News: A few thoughts on how humor works in the service of the serious — acclaimed fiction writer Jack Driscoll’s, surefire annual nonpareil craft lecture, AKA an MFA semester in an hour.

4:00 Shape-shifter Seers — award-winning poets and prose writers Melissa Kwasny and Kaethe Schwehn read from their new prose works and discuss the pleasures and difficulties of setting aside one genre for another. Q and A to follow.

5:00 Open Mic Cocktail Hour — led by the effervescent Jeremy Smith. Artisanal cocktails by Montgomery Distillery

6:30 Dinner

7:30 Some View — Award-winning writers Alicia Mountain and Jon Pineda read from their stunning new books, the poetry collection High Ground Coward and the acclaimed novel Let’s No One Get Hurt.

Bonfire to follow




7:00 Breakfast

9:00 First Thought, Best Thought: Morning Poetry Exercise with Chris LaTray

11:00 An Act of Discovery — What do agents, editors, publishers mean when they say they’re looking to “discover new talent”? Editor Emily Bell and agent Sarah Bowlin tell us. A no-question-is-a-bad-question Q and A to follow. Jon Pineda, whose latest novel was edited by Bell, sits in.

12:30 Lunch

1:30 Tender Carnivores — nonfiction writers Bryce Andrews and Dean Kuipers read from their singular, exquisite new long-form books, Down from the Mountain and The Deer Camp. Q and A to follow.

2:45 Listening to the Literary Light-bulbWhitefish Review editor-in-chief Brian Schott talks about founding the acclaimed Montana literary magazine, which has featured Tom McGuane, Tom Brokaw, Christina Eisenberg, and others.

4:00 – Gathering the Voices — Iconic Montana author Annick Smith discuses her latest editorial undertaking, the acclaimed anthology Hearth. Special Guest Daniel Slager, publisher of the anthology. Q and A to follow.

5:30 Cocktail Hour with music by TBA.

6:30 Dinner

8:00 “Life is But a Dram” — Los Angeles Times bestselling author John Larison reads from his debut novel Whiskey When We’re Dry.

9:00 Reception & Bonfire




7:00 Breakfast

10:00 Old Ties, New Companions — Gratitudes and Salutations

12:00 Check out of cabins

12:30 Lunch / Departure

*** Manuscript consultations available with all guest authors/editors/agents for a separate fee.

Missoula's independent bookstore Fact & Fiction will be selling books on-site throughout the retreat. Schedule subject to change.