The work you exchange with your Mentor will include: creative work, responses to your reading, process considerations, and a number of progress letters. After your Mentor reviews each bundle of your work, you will receive feedback in the form of margin comments, textual mark-ups, and a Progress Letter. While HillHouse Writer’s Retreat Series, you will work with your Mentor to create a customized Study Plan, thereby determining the materials your Creative Bundles will contain. Post-retreat, the bundles will be mailed (or emailed, depending on your Mentor’s preference) at four week intervals, for a total of three submissions, responses, and epistolary exchanges over the ensuing 12 weeks.*
*For the Hill House Writer wishing to extend his or her Mentorship Program beyond the period included with the basic Moveable Feast Package (12 weeks), please inquire into our Premium Feast Offerings, as well as our Take-It-To-Finish-Line Program.
What Follows Is a Nuts and Bolts Description of What Your Packet Might Typically Include:
What You Send
- The bulk of your packet will consist of pages from your memoir, novel, story collection, hybrid text, or a number of poems.
- Each of the three post-retreat packets should include 15 – 30 pages of new short or long-form fiction, nonfiction, hybrid prose, or (up to) ten pages of poems.
What to expect in return:
- Editorial feedback including (but by no means limited to) content, style, overall aesthetic cohesion, and structural organization. The form of this commentary will vary with regard to your Study Plan, but will arrive either in the form of Word comments / track changes, or good old, hard-copy, pen-and-ink notation.
At The HillHouse Writer’s Retreat Series, we believe that critical curiosity is the key to developing and subsequently transmuting one’s ‘sense of taste’ into a functional aesthetic. Grounded in the understanding that being a quality reader is integral to the process of becoming a quality writer, our Craft Response Option enables and encourages the HillHouse Writer to investigate, discover, and explore the implications, leanings, and subtleties of his or her own personal tastes. As an element of your Study Plan, your customized Craft Response Program will provide you with the opportunity to look into the limitless possibilities of a given genre. By engaging with such possibilities—mining techniques and mechanisms, stumbling upon this-or-that previously undiscovered tool, method, device, or conceit—your own expressive abilities will inevitably be advanced.
Craft Responses can take on a protean variety of forms—conversational, academic, playful, serious, positive, or even vengeful. The key is to focus on your personal creative illuminations. That is, the work should aspire to place some specific element of craft under the authorial microscope.
What You Send:
- Three short (2 – 3 page), craft responses to three separate—or, if applicable and desirable, combinative responses to those—texts listed in the Reading Component of your personalized Study Plan.
What to expect in return:
- Some degree of margin commentary and notation on the Craft Response essays themselves, with the bulk of Mentor Feedback being housed within the Progress Letter you will receive within give-or-take ten days of your Mentor’s having received your bundle.
Progress Letters are a continuance of the discussion you began with your Mentor at the Movable Feast. The Progress Letter should include questions, epiphanies, doubts, worries, and all other correspondence concerning your creative work, readings, and artistic process. These exchanges tend to detail the ideas, elations, depressions, eureka moments, et-cetera you stumble upon in the course of completing your Study Plan.
Foremost and above all, the Progress Letter is a no-holds-barred opportunity to pick your Mentor’s brain. Explore creative obsessions. Penetrate the dark core of your textual ambition. Lament your struggles with dialogue. Praise your impending mastery of scene. Analyze that moment when the hairs on the back of your neck stood up on end. In other words, ths is your space. Anything goes.
What You Send:
- 3 – 5 page letter. (Length requirements are flexible, and will be discussed/determined with your Mentor.) One per bundle.
What To Expect In Return:
- Explicit and detailed feedback concerning your Creative Work.
- Requests/ideas for revision.
- Response to your Craft Response essays.
- Response to and discussion of previous letter(s).
As creating a fully realized manuscript requires time, patience, organization, and tantamount effort, HillHouse Writers are encouraged to plan on attending multiple retreats. Such a commitment can ensure you consistent access to a specific (or multiple) Mentors over the full life of a given project.
If you have questions concerning the availability of our Extended and/or Intensive Mentorship Packages, or our premium Take-It-To-The-Finish-Line Program, or would simply like to chat about future retreat schedules, creating a project timeline, group-pricing, or any other such inquiries, please Contact Us.