EVENT RECAP

2017 Highlights

2017: Diverse & Inspired

With 120 participants joining us from 20 different countries, our diverse group of writers found inspiration from Iceland and from each other. By adding more faculty and new breakout sessions we were able to keep our workshops small and the event still felt intimate. In 2017, we proudly offered four scholarships and places at the retreat for two travel-writing contest winners. Multiple public events meant we could share our writing and techniques with an even wider audience.

FEATURED AUTHORS

2017 Speakers

Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir

Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir

Award-winning author
Bret Anthony Johnston

Bret Anthony Johnston

Head of Creative Dept, Harvard University
Carsten Jensen

Carsten Jensen

Olof Palme Prize winner
Chris Cleave

Chris Cleave

New York Times bestselling author

Claudia Casper

Author, IWR Alumna
David Lebovitz

David Lebovitz

Chef, Author
Esi Edugyan

Esi Edugyan

Giller Prize Winner
Hallgrímur Helgason

Hallgrímur Helgason

Icelandic Literary Prize winner
Madeleine Thien

Madeleine Thien

Man Booker Prize nominee
Meg Wolitzer

Meg Wolitzer

Bestselling Author
Nadifa Mohamed

Nadifa Mohamed

Somerset Maugham Prize winner
Oddný Eir

Oddný Eir

Award-winning author
Paul Murray

Paul Murray

Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse winner
Paula McLain

Paula McLain

Author of The Paris Wife & more
Sigurlín Bjarney Gísladóttir

Sigurlín Bjarney Gísladóttir

Golden Circle tour guide
Vilborg Davíðsdóttir

Vilborg Davíðsdóttir

Author, Ethnologist, Journalist

2017 Workshops

21:37 - 21:37
Whether you are travelling with a circus in India like John Irving, spelunking through a squeeze, getting behind the scenes at Washington DC’s Museum of Natural History, or interviewing a Starbucks
21:37 - 21:37
Creative processes are as various as the authors who write. Atwood, for example, just starts writing and doesn’t worry about mapping it out, John Irving starts with the ending, Carol Shields started
21:37 - 21:37
The most intriguing characters react to plot events in a particular way because of who they are, deep down. This is a workshop for people who like to write psychology-driven fiction, where the protago
21:37 - 21:37
Four out of five literary critics are pitiable creatures, but the fifth is a genius. As writers, we must learn to tell one kind from the other. This workshop reviews reviewers. It looks at examples of
(General, all-purpose level.) Difficulties and trauma are the best thing that can happen to someone who wishes to write a compelling memoir: it opens new horizons that you did not
(General, all-purpose level.) Since there is no time-machine, the historical novel is the next best thing. But how to create a credible picture of a time long gone and understand p
21:37 - 21:37
This workshop will explore the uses (and abuses) of slang and dialect in contemporary fiction. From Peter Carey’s ribald historical novels, to the futuristic tales of George Saunders, slang and dial
21:37 - 21:37
This workshop will explore the complicated nuances of writing about other art forms. How do we begin to describe the sound and texture of music? To convey the act of painting, or the effect that that
21:37 - 21:37
Richly imagined, evocative settings can transport readers to the world of your book. Good novels are grounded in landscapes that work in tandem with character and plot to evoke nostalgia, recognition,
21:37 - 21:37
Narrative drive is the sense of movement that propels a story forward, creating momentum. It is what makes readers want to keep reading. This workshop will teach you how to create forward propulsion t
21:37 - 21:37
Many writers use facts as a springboard for their fiction. Others deploy research to ground their stories in a plausible reality. Most combine both strategies. Whether your factual material comes from
21:37 - 21:37
All stories proceed through conflict. And the more complex and nuanced that conflict, the more your readers will engage emotionally in your narrative. This workshop looks at how to go about creating e
This course will be a hands-on and practical exploration of how writers create characters in narrative.  Using classic and contemporary examples of dynamic characters and a good many craft-based writ
In this course, we will look at the nuts and bolts of POV.  We will consider the pros and cons of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-Person perspectives, and we'll explore how to more fully inhabit the consciousnesse
21:37 - 21:37
Cookbooks are more than just collections of recipes. They inform and tell stories. They can be historical references, personal memoirs, or sociological explorations of cultures. Cookbooks are thriving
21:37 - 21:37
Food is what separates, and defines, cultures. Writers use food, flavors, recipes, cooking and eating to recreate and recall experiences for readers. The key, and challenge, is to transmit your excite
21:37 - 21:37
“This was the trouble with families. Like invidious doctors, they knew just where it hurt.” The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy. All families have their secrets and all families have their s
21:37 - 21:37
Music is an integral part of my writing process; certain songs and pieces of music guide the mood and atmosphere of whole novels. From Louis Armstrong to Purcell, I will discuss the influence performe
21:37 - 21:37
“Nothing is as expensive as a start,” wrote Friedrich Nietzsche. Actually sitting down and beginning is one of the hardest parts of the writing process – and the beginning of your novel is one o
21:37 - 21:37
Building a novel or story is in many ways like building a three-dimensional object (plus spacetime). The story must be spacious enough, but detailed enough, to allow its readers to exist inside it. Ho
21:37 - 21:37
Throughout his writing life, the Japanese writer Yasunari Kawabata wrote “palm of the hand stories,” narratives that were only a page or two long. These miniatures exist at the crossroads of the p
21:37 - 21:37
Writers are often told “Write what you know,” but perhaps the advice should really be “Write what obsesses you.”  In this class, we’ll explore ways that fiction writers might develop ideas
21:37 - 21:37
What are your biggest problems when you try and write?  It might be the "strong start/mushy middle" problem, or the "I've been working this piece to death and I can't see it clearly anymore" problem,
21:37 - 21:37
Every writer's practice is different, and what works for one may not work for another. You listen to black metal while you're working; I need total silence. Here, instead of talking generally, I will

Iceland Writers Retreat 2018

April 11-15, 2018

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Stack Entry

$120

Per Person

  • 1 Free Entrance
  • Regular Seating
  • Custom Swags
  • Free Wifi




Student Pass

$99

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  • 20x Free Entrance
  • 20x Regular Seating
  • Custom Swags
  • Free Wifi




VIP Pass

$199

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