The HillHouse Commitment

Writers attending The Hill House Writer’s Retreat Series will arrive with a diverse range of artistic ambitions, desires, and objectives. When considering these differences and diversities, our goals are simple and straightforward:

  1. To support by all possible ways and means the development of your craft and practice.
  2. To help you identify and obtain whatever it is you need to most effectively take the next step along your own unique and individual artistic path.
  3. To provide you a free and open environment conducive of maximum creativity.

mike-stilkey-painted-book-sculptures13Many literary greats—including Raymond Carver, Ernest Hemingway, Grace Paley, Stephen Elliot, Karen Russell, and nearly anyone who ever attended an MFA program—benefitted from editors shaping their work as first-reader, and mentor. This is the ideal our Mentorship Program strives to fulfill.

Through our dynamic eight-night, nine-day On-location Retreat and its corresponding, twelve-week The Moveable Feast Goes Home program, HillHouse writers explore a vast range of developmental questions.


Among these are:

  • Increasing lyricism and power in prose
  • Finding confidence in my own voice
  • Learning the joys and dangers of a genre’s norms
  • Considering the marketplace
  • Strengthening the backbone of a story
  • Deepening characterization
  • Practicing poetic forms
  • Shutting down the internal editor
  • Discovering what the work wants to say
  • Reading for craft
  • Coming to grips with the daily task
  • Satisfying the reader’s needs
  • Balancing didacticism
  • Finding the “truth” in my story
  • Deciding who it’s alright to piss off
  • Owning my writing process
  • Learning more about the genre in which I write
  • Feeling affirmed that this is working
  • Getting honest feedback
  • How to be always closing
  • How to finish things
  • Thinking in terms of the ‘project’

Supportive, corrective, expansive. Whatever the relationship between you and your Mentor, the work you do as a HillHouse Writer will move you forward in essential ways.


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