Exciting New Alliances, Amazing New Retreats and…


oh my

Dear Friends of HillHouse,

It has been a busy month here at the offices of HillHouse Writers Retreat. We have all sorts of exciting news. So rather than just post it in small bits as we have been, I decided to begin a monthly newsletter – in the truest form, it will bring you news, and it will be in letter form.

New Advisor

I’d like to welcome our newest advisor, Lisa Marie Basile. You can check out her bio here. Lisa is a celebrated poet with several chapbooks to her credit, and her full length poetry collection, APOCRYPHAL, is releasing this August. Her work and poetry can be seen in Best American Poetry blog, Tin House, Coldfront, The Nervous Breakdown and the Huffington Post. Lisa is the founding editor at Luna Luna Magazine and a dynamo advocate for poets and poetry.


Our Amazing New Retreats

You may have already heard about our Mount Hood Movable Feast retreat. Unfortunately we have had to push the date up into next year. We will happily refund anyone who has already paid their retreat deposit or, you may apply your funds and acceptance to the new date as soon as we verify it.

The big news is our new Once Week Intensive series in Spain. The house, situated in Spain casastoneis a hundred year old villa on a hillside (in keeping with our original namesake property in rural Tennessee). There are only 2400 inhabitants in this small provincial village in the heart of Cordoba Province. This retreat will only accommodate five (singles or couples). Each attendee will have a private bedroom. All meals will be prepared by our chefs.

And that’s just the place! Each weekly intensive will feature a different visiting artist. You will eat, sleep and live writing for seven days and nights, while you every whim is catered. As the dates for this exceptional event are verified it will be presented on the website along with the visiting artist/mentor/advisor. We are not completely sure about it yet, but I hear that the spring is the perfect time, so we are working toward a March or April date. And as this retreat fills, we will be adding weeks until we have filled our one month limit. The cost for this is an exceptional value at $3,500. And does not include travel (which is estimated at about $1,100.00). We suggest planning a two week trip in Spain and spending a week before or after the HillHouse Spain Retreat in Madrid or Lisbon.

All HillHouse Retreats are designed to create a lifetime experience and to provide the opportunity for writers in any genre to meet and develop a vibrant community, but this retreat promises to be a pinnacle life event. Don’t miss the opportunity to participate.

Grants and Scholarships

typewriterWhen we imagined HillHouse Writers, we knew it had to include a way for every writer to experience the best of a writing environment regardless of their financial ability. Not everyone has access to the thousands of dollars it is necessary for us to charge (and if you look at the cost of one semester in a prominent low residency college, you can see that we are offering our mentor oriented retreats at a quarter of the price of an accredited program[1]). That is why from the beginning we have offered grants where a prospective student an pay a $30 application fee and submit writing to see if you are good enough to win a week for free.

With the evolution of HillHouse Writers Series, A Movable Feast, we are expanding and enhancing our past grant programs. You will still be able to apply for a 100% grant for $30, but we will also be making a limited discounted retreats available as well as free add-ons like our extended mentoring (and our soon to be announced advanced editor programs for writers with finished products).

In addition to our paid application grants we are also offering one full ride scholarship to one talented new writer every year. Guidelines are on our site.

While we were making our retreats available to everyone we decided to add an award program which as it progresses will lead to the publication of an annual Best of HillHouse publication. The first phase of this program is the inclusion of the HillHouse Writer in Residence program. Here is what Just wrote about it on the site:

Our Writer In Residence Program provides an unpublished or minimally published author with the opportunity to teach workshops and give readings in a professional setting (at the retreat), as well as receive a living-expenses stipend to support his or her writing. Unlike traditional residency options, which require artists to move to some middle-of-nowhere location, uprooting themselves from the community that supports them, our Residency Program believes that, through empowering and supporting a writer’s work, they will deepen their ties to the community they live in, becoming more intertwined into the goings-on of the local artistic scene, and will thereby support and help to create a more sustainable artistic community.

At HillHouse we believe in being serious out our art. But a large part of being a serious artist is understanding the need for a serious good time. Drudgery and pressure never made a masterpiece. We aim to include music, visual art, food, dance and games in our serious study of writing. We believe in having fun. So to show you what sort of people we really are we are going to put our money where the type usually speaks for us.


 We will be running Facebook contests. Once a week we will come up with some sort of goofy thing for you to write, some goofy way for you to help us promote the retreats. But the prizes will not be goofy, even if they are a little creative. Actual details are forthcoming – but you can be assured that our offerings are always cooperative, supportive and socially engaging, that they inspire rather than criticize and always build up rather than break down.  Follow us on Facebook or better still, sign up for our mailing list so that ever hair brained scheme we hatch can be delivered directly to your lonely inbox the moment the contests open. You can even get the jump on the folks who are only on Facebook, hows that for an incentive.

Some sample prizes?

How about attendance at a special unadvertised HillHouse Weekend Retreat? We are planning to have them in various cities around the country (Advisors are standing by in Portland, OR, Seattle, WA New York, Virginia, Arizona, California…). We are planning chap books, e-publications, dinner parties, Hats, jackets, mugs, Notebooks, and other cool and customized swag. We might even provide airfare to one of our retreats.

The big prize, of course is a completely free attendance at one of our one week intensives in Spain. But be forewarned that a contest with that kind of prize will require winning many levels and getting a lot of help from your friends. Sign up here for our mailing list and stay apprised of developments as they occur to us. Don’t miss anything.


Ron Heacock, MFA
Founder and Proprietor HillHouse Writer’s Retreat Series, A Movable Feast




[1] HillHouse Writers retreat series can help you find a path to college level accreditation. Note that you will have to pay a per credit price in addition to our fees. Contact us via email for more details on this valuable consideration.

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