AUTHORS AT LARGE is the brainchild of Robin Hemley and Xu Xi, two award winning authors who met in 2002 at the Foreign Correspondents Club bar in Hong Kong. Since that first meeting, their writing lives have crossed transnationally numerous times.
In 2005 or thereabouts, over a drink by a body of water in the U.S., they imagined the solitude of their writing lives buoyed by a literary community that connected regularly around the world. An early, over-ambitious attempt to launch AUTHORS AT LARGE was abandoned. Then, their careers as creative writing teachers took unexpected turns towards Asia, where each has a personal stake.
Ten years since they first articulated their idea, the time is now right to relaunch AUTHORS AT LARGE. They will begin with intensive writing retreats that feature small group workshops and weekend writing workshops in Asia. Their hope is to grow their community of writers in this region by sharing what they've learned in their transnational writing lives.
Robin Hemley is the author of 11 books of nonfiction and fiction, and has won numerous awards for his writing, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, three Pushcart Prizes in both fiction and nonfiction, The Independent Press Book Award, an Editors Choice Award from The American Library Association, State Arts Council grants from Washington, North Carolina, and Illinois, The Ohioana Library Association Award, and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, The MacDowell Colony, and many others. His work has been published in the U.S. Great Britain, Canada, Australia, Japan, Germany, the Philippines, Singapore, and elsewhere. Among his works are two popular craft books, Turning Life into Fiction, now in its fifth edition and A Field Guide for Immersion Writing. He has also written two memoirs: Do-Over and Nola: A Memoir of Faith, Art, and Madness, four collections of short stories, a novel, and a book of investigative journalism, Invented Eden: The Elusive, Disputed History of the Tasaday, which centers on a purported anthropological hoax in the Philippines. Invented Eden is currently in development with the BBC for a feature length film. With, Michael Martone, he co-edited the ground-breaking literary anthology, Extreme Fiction: Fabulists and Formalists, and with Hope Edelman, he co-edited an anthology representing the first thirty years of writing from Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program (forthcoming from University of Chicago Press). A graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, he returned to Iowa to direct the Nonfiction Writing Program for nine years before moving to Singapore to direct the writing program at Yale-NUS College and also serve as Writer-in-Residence there. He was also the Faculty Chair of the low-residency MFA at Vermont College of Fine Arts, and has been a tenured Full Professor at The University of Utah, Western Washington University, The University of Iowa (where he is now Professor Emeritus), and Yale-NUS College. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.
Xu Xi 許素細 is the author of ten books of fiction & essays, most recently a new novel, That Man In Our Lives(May, 2016). Other recent titles include Access: Thirteen Tales (2011); the novel Habit of a Foreign Sky (2010), a finalist for the Man Asian Literary Prize; an essay collection Evanescent Isles: from my city-village (2008). She is also editor of four anthologies of Hong Kong writing in English, including The Queen of Statue Square: New short fiction from Hong Kong (2014).
Prior to her full-time writing life, Xu had a parallel career in corporate marketing, mostly in the international arena. She worked in Asia and America for several major multinationals, and held management positions at Dow Jones (TheAsian Wall Street Journal), Federal Express, Leo Burnett and Pinkerton's. Other marketing positions she held were at Cathay Pacific Airways, the Wall Street law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy and PDT Architects in Cincinnati. In 1998, after the publication of her third book, she finally surrendered completely to the writing life.
At home in both New York and Hong Kong, she was on the faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in writing from 2002-12, and was elected and served as faculty chair from 2009-12. She is writer-in-residence at City University of Hong Kong (since 2010) where she established and directs Asia's first low-residency MFA in writing that is internationally recognized; unfortunately in 2015, this highly successful program was abruptly closed by the university. In 2016 she is the distinguished visiting writer at the Virginia G. Piper Center for creative writing at Arizona State University in Tempe. She holds a MFA in fiction from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
1st edition 1997, Asia 2000; 2nd edition 2004, Chameleon Press, Hong Kong.
Access Thirteen Tales (short stories)
2011 Signal 8 Press, Hong Kong.
Evanescent Isles (essays)
2008 Hong Kong University Press.
Intensive Writing Retreats 2016
At the retreats, our authors lead small group workshops in fiction and nonfiction. Your manuscript is closely read by the workshop leader and others in your group. Guided by your workshop leader, each manuscript is discussed to discover what could make it an even more effective literary piece. Critiques are moderated in the communal spirit of writers reading and supporting other writers. There are also talks & discussions on writing craft, as well as informal sharing of our work. We offer an opportunity for all participants to reflect upon the writing life and its challenges. Personal writing time is factored into the daily schedule.
Click on WHAT WE DO for more information about the retreat schedule.
Our first retreat will be held on TELUNAS Private Island which is close to and readily accessible from Singapore.
Sunday July 24 to Thursday July 28, 2016
Two workshops offered: NONFICTION with Robin Hemley and FICTION with Xu Xi. Also, a limited number of individual manuscript consultations are offered at a special rate for participants attending the retreat.
Interested? Click on APPLY to submit an application for acceptance to our retreat.
At the retreats, it's all about living like a writer in the company of writers. We use this time to write and read, to immerse ourselves in the challenge of putting our hearts and minds on the page.
US $750 to participate in the retreat & workshop. Each participant may submit up to 20 manuscript pages or 5,000 words of prose for their workshop. 10% discount for former students of the Hong Kong CityU MFA.
Note: Authors at Large prices are for the writing retreat & workshop only. Accommodation & travel are extra and those arrangements must be made by the participants.
US $500 per individual manuscript consultation. These are available for a limited number of participants accepted to our retreats. Up to 75 manuscript pages or 25,000 words will be read in advance by the author of your choice. One-hour private consultation at the retreat will include feedback and notes on your manuscript to help you develop your creative work further.
Weekend Writing Workshops 2016
Authors at Large offers intensive weekend workshops in book-length creative projects such as the novel or memoir as well as workshops in short creative works such as the short story, novella or literary essay. These are intensive and limited to small groups. Acceptance is by application with a manuscript. A minimum of 5 registrants is required to hold an intensive weekend workshop.
Authors accepted to these intensive workshops submit a manuscript at least 8 weeks in advance and are asked to read and discuss all manuscripts in their group. Attendance on both days is expected. Each manuscript is discussed for at an hour. Guidelines for constructive critiques are provided. Readings in writing craft and contemporary literature will also be assigned to assist discussion. The instruction is comparable to that of a top-quality MFA & above. Preference given to those with previous workshop experience.
Hong Kong workshops led by Xu: For those who opt to do so, Xu will continue the conversation over drinks or food on the Sunday evening after the workshop is ended. Also, for a month after the workshop, Xu will engage in a reasonable amount of informal individual conversations or email exchanges about your work at no extra cost.
These workshops can also be custom designed for your group's special interests.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Information & Contact
ALL PRICES FOR RETREATS, WEEKEND WRITING WORKSHOPS & OTHER SERVICES ARE LISTED IN US$ (for credit card charges on this website)
Authors at Large Writing Retreat prices are for the retreat & workshop only. Accommodation & travel costs are extra and you must make those arrangements yourself.
To attend our Telunasretreat or the Hong Kong weekend writing workshops, please submit an application. See APPLY for further information. Once your application has been accepted, your place at the retreat needs to be guaranteed by a paid registration. Until payment has been received, your place is not guaranteed. All registrations are first come first served.
If you have specific questions for either of us, please email.
Reservations for accommodations must be made directly with and paid to Telunas Private Island Retreat. Any cancellation of your stay will be subject to their policies. Authors at Large will not assume any responsibility for expenses incurred by your reservation.
Send us your queries and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.
Cancellations & refunds
We will refund 100% of your registration fee for a retreat if you cancel by no later than 90 days prior to the start date. Later cancellations are partially refunded: 75 to 90 days - 75%; 60 to 75 days - 50%; 30 to 60 days - 25%; less than 30 days -10%. All refunds are less service fees charged by our billing provider.
For the Telunas Retreat cancellation deadlines for refunds are on or before:
April 23 100%
May 8 75%
May 23 50%
June 23 25%
After June 23, only 10% of your fee will be refunded.