"I am trying to check my habits of seeing, to counter them for the sake of greater freshness. I am trying to be unfamiliar with what I'm doing." - John Cage

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Calling Writers for the Surprise Valley Writers Conference 2019

The Surprise Valley Writers Conference is different from any writing conference you've gone to before. While four mornings of workshop and afternoons with craft talks and a keynote are rigorous, the rural high desert and mountain surroundings make you feel as if you've entered another world for a very long weekend. I would ride my townie bike into town in the mornings and learned the patterns of the local quick red fox, the packs of quail, and the sweet brown cow on the corner. I had plenty of quiet alone time to write, but I also found inspiration from my time carousing with writers of all genres from around the West. 

Four-Day Schedule — May 31-June 4

Four days of writers’ workshops; Friday afternoon, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday mornings with ample time for lunch, craft lectures, writing and exploring. Evening events include a Welcome Reception, Staff Readings, Keynote Speech, Campfire Open Mic, shared meals, community building and a field trip. We also encourage attendees to write and discover Surprise Valley on your own. Our staff is available to offer suggestions on local sights, drives and adventures.
All workshops and lectures are held in downtown Cedarville.


Fees: $525 for the Poetry, Fiction and Non-fiction workshops. Opening reception and two dinners included. Breakfast and lunch on your own.

Limited Enrollment

The The Surprise Valley Writers' Workshop Conference is limited to 50 participants.


Typical accommodations in Surprise Valley and neighboring Alturas range from motel rooms to ranch-style lodging to a hot springs spa. Rates vary from around $60 to $145 per night.
ADVISORY! Room accommodations in Surprise Valley are somewhat limited. We urge you to make your reservations as early as possible.

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