**The Great River Writers Retreat accepts applications from writers currently residing in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin**
The Great River Writers Retreat winner is selected from an applicant pool of writers from Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin across multiple genres, and allows the winner to spend a week working on a specific writing project they have underway.
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Announcing the Winner of the 2023 Great River Writers Retreat!
Congratulations to this year’s winner of the great River Writers Retreat, Dee Robb!
Dee Robb holds degrees in Communication, Education, and English as a Second Language, with a certificate in Creative Writing from UW-Madison. Her poetry can be found in the Highland Community College press, Oprelle’s Rise Up Anthology, Illinois Reading Today, and The Illinois Reading Council Journal. She was a short story first-place winner of Galesburg Public Library’s Big Write in 2022 with her story Ebonne’s First Day of School, and a second-place winner of poetry in 2023 with her poem, Losing Her Face. She is a member of the American Academy of Poets, the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the Midwest Writing Center. She currently teaches ESL in the Galesburg School District and serves on the Mercer County Family Crisis Center Board of Directors. She lives with her husband Russell in rural Illinois, has a daughter who is a law student at the University of Arkansas, a son who farms their family Centennial Farm, a daughter-in-love who is an ob/gyn nurse, and two delightful grandchildren. She is beyond honored to be this year’s Great River Writers Retreat winner.
Robb will be in residence July 25-31, 2023, at Benet House Retreat Center in Rock Island, concentrating on a story-in-verse project about teen domestic violence. She will share some of her work-in-progress as one of the featured readers at the SPECTRA Reading Series event at Rozz-Tox (2108 3rd Ave, Rock Island, IL) at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 27.
The Great River Writers Retreat winner is selected from an applicant pool of writers from Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin across multiple genres, and allows the winner to spend a week working on a specific writing project they have underway. This year’s finalists include:
Angela Chenus (Davenport, IA)
Tate Lewis-Carroll (El Paso, IL)
Kathrine Yets (St. Francis, WI)
The Great River Writer’s Retreat Contest will open for all writers on November 1, 2023 and close on May 1, 2024. The retreat dates for 2024 are TBD.
The Great River Writer’s Retreat is generously sponsored by Dr. Nicolas Shammas and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
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The Great River Writer’s Retreat Contest will open for all writers on November 1, 2023 and close on May 1, 2024. The retreat dates for 2024 are TBD at the Benet House Retreat Center in Rock Island, IL.
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2024 Great River Writers’ Retreat – Submissions Open November 1, 2023!
“The week I spent at the Great River Writers’ Retreat was amazing. I got more accomplished during the retreat than I’d dared to hope, completely revising one manuscript and drafting several poems to include in a new one. Whether I was walking the paths of the 90 acres of land behind the monastery, reading in the library overlooking the lake, or writing at my desk in my room, my solitude and work were encouraged and protected. The nuns were kind and hospitable, and I felt very welcome. I am so grateful to the Midwest Writing Center for the gift of this time to reflect and write.”
–2010 Retreat Winner, Ann Hudson
**Update on the 2023 Great River Writers Retreat**
Currently, our plan is to host the winning writer for a residency at the Benet House Retreat Center in Rock Island, Illinois (including a travel stipend, and an invitation to read to the literary community of the Quad Cities), 2024 dates TBA.
The application must include the following:
1. Cover page
2. Proof of residence in IL, IA, MN, or WI (valid photocopy of driver’s license, current utility bill, etc.). Sensitive information, such a Social Security numbers and Driver’s License numbers, can be redacted.
3. Short bio, listing publications and any relevant work experience (100 words max)
4. Statement describing the project you intend to work on and what goals to your project are you hoping to achieve while at Great River Writer’s Retreat (500 words max)
5. 10-page sample of your work (poets: 10 pages of poetry, one poem per page; fiction and nonfiction writers: 10 pages of a short story, essay, novel excerpt or other work, accompanied by a brief synopsis if necessary) Work sample should be in 12 pt. font, Times New Roman). The work sample should be taken from writing done within the last 3 years.
**Deadline for submissions is May 1, 2024**
The Great River Writer’s Retreat is generously sponsored by Dr. Nicolas Shammas in collaboration with the Midwest Writing Center