Writer’s Resolutions: A Daylong Retreat

January 14, 2023

9 am – 6 pm CST

all sessions virtual


Start your writing year right with an inspiring day of resolution-setting. Live virtual sessions on freewriting, establishing healthy habits and habitats, submitting, querying agents, and working with editors will give you the tools to meet your writing goals—all while nurturing your spirit. And it comes with the flavor and mystique of New Orleans’ long literary history.

Register HERE.



All times are CST.

Morning Sessions

9 am – 11 am:  Write Every Day

Begin the day with unbridled writing. A New Orleans Writing Marathon will cure your writer’s block as you learn to freewrite with no critical voices or feedback—just pure joy. Correspondents from an in-person French Quarter writing marathon will check in, bringing us bursts of New Orleans. (see more about that below)

11 am – 12 noon:  Create Successful Habits and an Inspiring Habitat

Peek into the workspaces of successful writers and hear about the strategies, habits, and organizational methods that help them structure their writing and their days. Includes genre-based breakout groups.

 12 noon – 1 pm:  Nurture My Creative Spirit

Take a break! Focus on positive affirmations for the creative spirit and hear about writing from the perspective of a New Orleans chef.

Afternoon Sessions

1 pm – 2:20 pm:  Find a Home for My Writing

Learn what the editors of literary journals wish writers knew before submitting their work. Plus, get a front row seat to the editorial process, as editors critique the opening paragraphs of short stories live.

2:30 – 3:50 pm:  Find Someone to Represent My Writing

Prepare yourself for the spotlight! Find out what you need to know—and do—before seeking representation, and get your questions answered by a panel of literary agents. Watch live as the agents dissect and discuss real query letters.

4:00 – 5:20 pm:  Seek Feedback on My Writing

Learn about the editorial process from magazine, book, anthology, and freelance editors. Have all your editing questions answered in small groups broken down by genre, where editors will discuss how they read.

5:30 – 6:00 pm: Form a Writing Community

End your day at a virtual happy hour hosted by a New Orleans mixologist, who will shake up a favorite cocktail recipe. Sip on one of your own while you network with new writing buddies.

Speakers Confirmed


  • C. Morgan Babst, Fiction Writer
  • Robert Feiseler, Nonfiction Writer
  • Skye Jackson, Poet
  • T.L. Jacobson, Playwright
  • Donika Kelly, Poet
  • Gab Reisman, Playwright
  • Christopher Louis Romaguera, Poet & Prose Writer
  • E.M. Tran, Fiction Writer
  • Nikki Ummel, Poet


  • Caroline Sanders Clements, Garden & Gun
  • Anna Gazmarian, The Sun
  • Erin McReynolds, American Short Fiction
  • Halimah Marcus, Electric Literature
  • Andra Miller, Freelance Editor
  • Joe Vallese, Editor, It Came from the Closet: Queer Reflections on Horror
  • Autumn Watts, Guernica


New Orleans Writing Marathon

  • Richard Louth
  • Susan Martens


  • Melissa Martin: Chef, owner, and James Beard award-winning author–Mosquito Supper Club: Cajun Recipes from a Disappearing Bayou
  • Neal Bodenheimer: James Beard award-winning bar owner and author of Cure: New Orleans Drinks and How To Mix ‘Em

What do I get with registration?

Writing time; access to successful writers, agents, editors, and other literary professionals; a peek into writers’ creative spaces; organizational structures that work; inside information about the profession; networking opportunities; a community of writers; post-retreat online writing sessions and check-ins; downloadable PDFs with retreat notes; newsletter with exclusive content just for participants; plus a 10% discount for one year on TWFest events.

Oh, and some lagniappe, with love from New Orleans. Lagniappe means a little something extra, so you can expect some New Orleans fun and flavor at our retreat, including some recipes.

What happens after I register?

You’ll receive a confirmation email, followed later by a survey that will let us know your preferred genre (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, playwriting) and a bit about yourself. This will help us place you in the correct breakout sessions by genre. You’ll also ask your burning questions about submitting, querying, and working with an editor, which we will forward to our experts to answer during the retreat. Plus, fiction writers can submit a first paragraph or two of a short story and might be chosen for a quick critique by our editors. Everyone can submit an agent query letter, and we’ll pick some for our agents to discuss. Your fiction and/or query letter will remain anonymous. We’ll send you a Zoom link the night before the retreat, along with some Zoom tips to improve your experience.

How is this different from most writing retreats?

Writer’s Resolutions is focused on habits, habitats, and advice from experienced writers, agents, and editors to help you create and sustain a professional writing life. And when it’s over, we’ll follow up and offer online events to help you keep those resolutions all year.

Do I have to be published?

No, the retreat is for all experience levels, from the novice who’s just decided to focus on writing to experienced writers who just need a bit of structure, accountability, and support. All are welcome!

I can’t do the full retreat, but I’d like to attend the in-person Writing Marathon (FREE!) in the French Quarter. How do I sign up for that?

The in-person New Orleans Writing Marathon will be Jan. 14 from 10 am until 5:30 pm. More info and free registration HERE.

Still have questions?

Email Tracy Cunningham, managing director, at tracy@tennesseewilliams.net

I’m ready to register!