Write with the river at your door

Write on the River 2017

September 28-October 1, 2017

A long weekend of Peace, Permission, and Page-filling Hours


If you're looking for inspiration and community, join novelists Karen Gettert Shoemaker and Amy Hassinger for a weekend writing workshop at the River Inn B&B in historic Brownsville NE.

Our home for this limited enrollment workshop is the beautiful  River Inn Bed and Breakfast, a floating inn on the Missouri River in the historic town of Brownville NE. The weekend will include craft talks and conversation, writing time and writing guidance, all focused on helping each participant expand skills and open up to the possibilities of the writing life. There will be plenty of free time to write, and the presence of the river for inspiration.

Meals and lodging included.

Meet our instructors:

Amy Hassinger is the author of three novels: After the Dam, Nina:Adolescence, and The Priest's Madonna. Her writing has been translated into five languages and she has won awards from Creative Nonfiction, Publisher’s Weekly, and the Illinois Arts Council. Her work has appeared in numerous venues, including Creative Nonfiction, The Writers’ Chronicle, and The Los Angeles' Review of Books. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and teaches in the University of Nebraska’s MFA in Writing Program.

Karen Gettert Shoemaker is the author of the novel The Meaning of Names, and the short story collection Night Sounds and Other Stories. Her novel was selected for the ‘community read programs’ One Book One Nebraska, 2016 and Omaha Public Library’s Omaha Reads 2014. She holds a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and has taught creative writing and literature classes for more than 25 years. She is currently a faculty mentor with the University of Nebraska’s MFA in Writing Program.


Where will we be staying?

The workshop weekend will be at the River Inn Resort in Brownville Nebraska. The Inn is floating right on the river so when we say “write on the river” we mean it. 

Brownville is an historic little town rich in history, nature and the arts. It is tucked away in the southeast corner of Nebraska, 78 miles south of Omaha, 79 miles east of Lincoln, and 122 miles north of Kansas City. It’s worth the trip. We chose this site because it has long been one of our favorite retreat spots and we wanted to share it with other writers. 

You can learn more about the town itself at www.brownville-ne.com
Details about the River Inn can be found at www.river-inn-resort.com/

When will it take place?

Thursday, September 28 to Sunday, October 1, 2017. (Check in at the hotel after 3 p.m. on Thursday. Dinner will be around 6:30. Check out time on Sunday 2 p.m.

How much will it cost?

Tuition, meals, and lodging in a private room is only $799. A $200 registration fee will lock in your spot and will be applied to the total cost. Early Bird Discount: Pay balance before July 1st, and the fee is only $699.

I’ve been to a Write on the River workshop, can I come back?

Yes! Not only do we want to see you again, we also offer a 10 percent discount to returning Write on the River participants.

What will we be doing?

Days will consist of a combination of workshop sessions and time to write and/or explore the area. Evenings we’ll gather for dinner and an after-dinner activity or discussion. Karen and Amy will be available throughout the weekend for individual consultations about each writer's work. (For more specific details on our daily activities, check out the Daily Schedule section below.)

Will there be a Dinner Cruise this year?

Yes! On Saturday we'll dine on board the Spirit of Brownville Riverboat as it cruises leisurely on the Missouri River. The fall colors should be at their height that time of year so you'll want to bring your camera. Dinner and cruise are included in the workshop fees.

Who are the instructors?

Writers and teachers Karen Gettert Shoemaker and Amy Hassinger are both successful, published writers who have been teaching other writers for many years. They are both currently faculty mentors with the University of Omaha’s MFA in Writing Program. Karen is the author of the One Book One Nebraska 2016 selection, The Meaning of Names. Amy is the author of the prize winning novels Nina: Adolescence and The Priest’s Madonna. For more specific information about the workshop leaders, check out the About Karen and About Amy pages.

How do I apply?

Easy as filling out the form linked to this page. You can also contact the administrators at larksongwritersplace@gmail.com

This is a limited enrollment workshop so don't wait too long to send in your application.

I’ve been accepted! What do I do now?

To reserve your place, submit a registration deposit of $200 (we will send you the address with your acceptance notification). This deposit fee will be applied to the cost of the workshop. Pay balance by July 1st and you get that Early Bird Discount. After July 1st the total cost will be $799.

Remember, limited enrollment! Only 12 writers will be accepted to this sure-to-be-fabulous weekend, so register early! 

Daily Schedule

Day 1 - Thursday, Sept 28

5:30 - 6:30 p.m. –Welcome reception- Upper Deck

6:30 p.m. Dinner: Dining Room

7:30 p.m. Gathering Circle – Upper Deck

Day 2 – Friday, Sept. 29

8:30 - Breakfast - Dining room.

9:00 – Noon - Workshop – the Writer’s Life – Our Daily Practices

(There will be a ten to fifteen minute break mid-morning.)

12:30 – Lunch - Dining room

1 – 5 p.m. – Writing Time

6 p.m. Dinner - Dining Room

7 p.m. Gathering Circle - Upper deck. Game night.

Day 3 – Saturday, Sept. 30

8:30 - Breakfast

9 – Noon – Workshop – What’s the Body Got To Do With It?

(There will be a ten to fifteen minute break mid-morning)

12:30 – Lunch – Dining Room

1 – 4:45 – Writing Time

5 p.m. Dinner Cruise – gather on upper deck for boarding 15 minutes prior to departure.

Day 4 – Sunday, Oct. 1

8:30 – Breakfast – Dining Room

9 – 11:30 – Workshop – The Tools We Use

(There will be a ten to fifteen minute break mid-morning.)

Noon – Lunch – Dining Room

1 p.m. Gathering Circle – Upper Deck

2 p.m. - Check out

Workshop Notes: Our motto for this weekend is: “Peace, Permission, and Productivity.”  With that in mind we ask that you refrain from conversation outside of your private room until 8:30 each morning, and respect one another’s desire just to be with the page all throughout the day. Keep conversations on board muted please.

·       Feel free to explore the area, walk the trails, and/or wander the streets of Brownville during free time.

·       During Free Time both Karen and/or Amy will be available to discuss specific projects that you’re working on.

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