By Megan Burkhart, a professional writing student at Taylor University.
Here’s a brief snapshot of what our 2018 writer’s retreats looked like:
BAM! POW! PUNCH!
In honor of the release of Marvel’s Infinity War, the theme of the retreat was heroes vs. villains. Every pro-write suited up and came for writing workshops, games, food, a costume contest, and a battle to save the civilian.
The heroes and villains came together to listen to talks on “How to Make Platform Building Fun,” “Creating Memorable Characters,” and “Writing Action Scenes Using Comics.” The pro-writes were even visited by some infamous alumni who had gone before them. There was a time for Q&A where the alumni bestowed their wisdom upon the pro-writes.
Overall, it was a fantastic day, and there were no casualties (except for those killed during our traditional game of mafia). The heroes and villains enjoyed the gray area together and put aside their differences to learn some new things about writing.
“Not all who wander are lost.”
For the fall retreat, the pro-writes wandered through a hobbit sized door into Middle Earth for a Lord of the Rings themed day. Each person had a choice to make: elf, dwarf, human, or hobbit? Costumes were encouraged, and by far the best one was Carson’s $7 Goodwill Gandalf costume. Or as he put it, “Gandalf on a budget.”
Pro-writes also got to hear some wise words about finding their author voice, how humor can help their writing, and how setting can be a character. There was also a writing prompt game with a giant chocolate bar at stake as the prize. First place winner was Mandi Hall, second place was Carson Jacobs, and third place was Hope Bolinger.
Later in the afternoon, a LoTR themed mafia game ensued in which the mafia were defeated. At the end of the retreat, there were two final games, one that required finding the safe path across the river to save the elf, and the other required getting through a maze of webs in the dark without getting stuck.
Overall, we had a great turnout and were even able to sneak in some Just Dance competitions between the various groups. Seeing Frodo and the son of Sauron do the Macarena was certainly a highlight.
And of course, the ring is in good hands, and everyone returned safely from their writing adventures.