about the retreat

In 2017, Authors at Large (AAL) will hold two international writing retreats in conjunction with the Iowa Summer Writing Festival.  The Festival was first established in 1987 at The University of Iowa’s campus in Iowa City, A UNESCO City of Literature.  This is the first time the Festival is offering writing workshops internationally.  

Our first writing retreat and workshops will be held at the Siglo Hotel in Siglufjörður, Iceland’s northernmost town and a historic fishing village. It is located at the heart of a narrow fjord beneath towering mountains, 24 nautical miles from the Arctic. 

Brenda Miller     Nonfiction Workshop

Brenda Miller Nonfiction Workshop

Come join AAL for a six days/five nights retreat with the award-winning essayist and author Brenda Miller and AAL partner Xu Xi.  We will also be joined by visiting writer Rúnar Vignisson, noted Icelandic author and translator and John Fanning who directs the La Muse Artists and Writers Retreat in France.  We will offer two small group workshops in Nonfiction (Brenda) and Fiction & the Novel (Xu).  Each workshop will accept no more than 7 authors and total retreat participation is capped at 14.

Runar Vignisson     Visiting Writer

Runar Vignisson Visiting Writer

Arrival is Saturday May 27 for a welcome reception and orientation that evening.  The schedule each day will reserve mornings for private writing time.  In the afternoons from Sunday to Wednesday we will meet for workshop.  Each author’s previously submitted manuscript (maximum 5,000 words) will be discussed for at least an hour.  Guidelines are provided by your workshop leader to ensure a constructive discussion.

Evenings we’ll gather for informal salons at which authors may read from their work to the group.  Brenda and Xu will also offer topics of interest to writers for conversation.

Airfare & accommodation are not included.  You must make your own travel arrangements and book directly with the Siglo Hotel.  Please email siglohotel@siglohotel.is and refer to the AAL booking # 5834 under Guðrún Guðmundsdottir.

Getting to Siglufjörður  You can take a shuttle from Keflavik International airport to Reykjavik airport and fly from there to Akureyri (approx. 50 minutes), from where you can rent a car or take a bus (approx. 70 minutes).  The most direct way is to rent a car from Keflavik International airport and drive (approx. 6 hours).  If you wish to try to arrange a ride share let us know when you register and we can connect you with other participants who have also expressed interest in doing so.

Both Brenda and Xu will also each offer a limited number of longer manuscript critiques (up to 25,000 words), specially priced for retreat participants.  Register at this link soon as we anticipate these will go fast.

Note: Although we prefer participants to come alone (or with another writer for a room share), we understand that a spouse or partner might wish to join you and enjoy the hotel. Since this is a private retreat for writers, we do charge a small fee for a non-participant who accompanies you. Non-participants may not attend the afternoon workshops but are welcome to join the evening informal salons.