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Events and Learning Cohorts

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Write the Night: Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction Writer’s Retreat

Mon 01.18.21 - Fri 01.22.21

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Some of us sense a call to write. The well-crafted words of others have moved and amused us. It seems that there is a story in us wanting to be told, a puzzle to be explored, a conviction searching for an audience. So, summoning a bit of courage, we find an idea or two that merits our attention and commence to write. We sharpen our skills. We even strategize about places to publish.


And then the obstacles arrive—writer’s block, self-doubt, and rejection. If the writing life invites this kind of resistance, it also requires us to stare it down. That’s why Upper House is hosting Write the Night, an opportunity in the opening weeks of the new year for writers of fiction and creative non-fiction to get to work. This event will be offered virtually via Zoom for five nights the week of January 18-22 from 6:00 pm to 9:15 pm.


The core concept animating this retreat is to help participants set aside time to write—three hours each evening for an entire week. To encourage you in this endeavor, each session will begin with a stimulating warm-up exercise and close with evening prayer. Along the way, we will offer several optional workshops, community time to share your writing with others, and, as we are able, one-on-one coaching. Each evening will look like this:


6:00-6:30 pm Writing Warm-Up Exercise

6:30-9:00 pm Writing Time (off Zoom)

8:00-8:45 pm Elective Workshop

  • Monday: “Writing Strategies,” Andy Le Peau author of Write Better: A Lifelong Editor on Craft, Art, and Spirituality (2019)
  • Tuesday: “Crafting the Story,” LaShawn Wanak author of the novelette, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Memphis Minnie Sing the Stumps Down Good (2019)
  • Wednesday: “Building a Character,” Susi Jensen, author of Sarai of Earth (forthcoming)
  • Thursday: “A Writer’s Liturgy,” Bobby Gross, author of Living the Christian Year: Time to Inhabit the Story of God (2012)

9:00-9:15 pm Evening Prayer


Note: If you are able to join us, we do ask you to participate in at least four of the five evening meetings, including the first and last session on Monday and Friday night. Participants will be provided a more detailed schedule of the week upon registering.

We are offering two registration options for Write the Night.
Virtual Access Ticket: $25
This provides you full virtual access to the writing retreat.
In-Person Package Ticket: $60
This provides you a personal (and socially-distanced) writing space at Upper House for the week, nightly pre-packed dinners at 5:30 pm, and full virtual access to the writing retreat.

Cameron Anderson at


Retreat Leaders

Cameron Anderson is a visual artist and writer. In 2018 he joined the team at Upper House where he serves as Associate Director. Cam completed his M.F.A. at Cranbrook Academy of Art and, prior to his current role, was the Executive Director of CIVA | Christians in the Visual Art for ten years. His book, The Faithful Artist: A Vision for Evangelicalism and the Arts was published by IVP Academic in 2016. He is co-editor of a forthcoming book, God in the Modern Wing: Viewing Art With the Eyes of Faith, also with IVP Academic.


Susi Jensen is a Stanford creative writing graduate. She worked as a college minister for ten years at UC Berkeley following graduation, then started writing dramas for the stage. She turned toward science fiction writing about ten years ago and is currently working on a final edit of her Young Adult science fiction novel, Sarai of Earth. Susi consumes a lot of sci-fi via all mediums and reviews all of what she sees, hears, and reads at her author website,


Feature Art

Anderson, Cameron. In Memoriam. 2018. Enamel on panel.



Mon 01.18.21
Fri 01.22.21
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Upper House
365 East Campus Mall, Suite 200
Madison, WI 53715 United States
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