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Master Workshop Retreat at Ragdale: EN SUITE Room (Dec. 2023)

$1,550.00 · December 4

Ragdale House EN SUITE for Master Workshop weeklong retreat with Nami Mun and Eula Biss. 

Start Date

December 4






Out of stock



Purchasing this room will put you in the Ragdale main house. You will be in one of these rooms: Top of the Stairs, Sarah’s Room, Blue Room, or Albert’s Room. This is an overnight purchase, with a private bathroom. Rooms are on the second story, accessible by stairs.

This is for the December 4-9 week-long retreat with Nami Mun and Eula Biss.

As part of Ragdale’s new series of Master Workshops, StoryStudio is proud to offer this week-long experience, led by two instructors: Nami Mun and Eula Biss. 

Part retreat, part mini-residency, this Master Workshop for writers will focus on providing space and community for your work-in-progress. Outside of structured writing time and mini-lessons, the week has been crafted to provide ample writing time to yourself.

The Retreat’s Theme: Obsession
Much of writing is made up of obsessions. We might use our obsession as catalyst and fuel, something that gets us writing and, if lucky, keeps us writing. And sometimes we write about our obsession directly, hoping (perhaps futilely) to be purged free of it, once and for all. Susan Sontag, while talking about writing and the writer’s life, said it simply: “You have to be obsessed. It’s not something you’d want to be—it’s rather something you couldn’t help but be.”

During our time together, we’ll explore “obsession” from two main angles: personally and textually. On the personal level, and as a way to generate work, we’ll discuss and identify subjects we keep returning to—from harmless infatuations to downright obsessions. Is Kendrick Lamar or the soundtrack from Mama Mia playing nonstop on your headphones, for example? Is there a painting you keep seeing in your mind’s eye? What exactly is your relationship with a well-made cheeseburger? On a textual level, we’ll together short stories and/or essays that deal with obsession in one form or another, or reveal the linguistic obsessions the author held while writing them.

Unlike traditional workshops, this week-long retreat will be more consultation, generative, and discussion based. Participants will be led throughout the week with guided prompts and exercises, followed by afternoon lessons. This lesson slot will comprise of craft talks, close-reading of a story or scene, some student readings and brief on-the-spot workshop.

There would also be slots during which participants will meet one-on-one with Nami or Eula to discuss an element of their writing that they want. There isn’t meant to be pre-reading of work, so this will not be workshop-based, but rather a conversation of your ideas, where you’re at in the process, discussing the publishing industry, etc.

*Please note: rooms are limited, and we cannot guarantee you a spot at any of our retreat spots. 

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About Nami Mun & Eula Biss

Nami Mun grew up in Seoul, South Korea and Bronx, New York. For her first book, Miles from Nowhere, she received a Whiting Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Chicago Public Library’s 21st Century Award, The Hopwood Award, and was a finalist for the Orange Prize for New Writers and the Asian American Literary Award. Miles from Nowhere was selected as Editors’ Choice and Top Ten First Novels by Booklist; Best Fiction of 2009 So Far by Amazon; and as an Indie Next Pick. Chicago Magazine named her Best New Novelist of 2009.

Previously, Nami has worked as an Avon Lady, a street vendor, a photojournalist, a waitress, an activities coordinator for a nursing home, and a criminal defense investigator. After earning a GED, she went on to get a BA in English from UC Berkeley, an MFA from University of Michigan, and has garnered fellowships from organizations such as Yaddo, MacDowell, Bread Loaf, and Tin House. In 2011 she became a US Delegate for a China/America Writers Exchange in Beijing. Her stories have been published in The New York Times, Granta, Tin House, The Iowa Review, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation, and elsewhere. She currently teaches creative writing for Stanford and Northwestern universities.

Eula Biss is the author of four books: Having and Being Had (2020), On Immunity (2014), Notes from No Man’s Land (2009), and The Balloonists (2002). Her work has been translated into a dozen languages and has been recognized by a National Book Critics Circle Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a 21st Century Award from the Chicago Public Library. As a 2023 National Fellow at New America, she is at work on a collection of essays about how private property has shaped our world.

For the past twenty years, Biss has taught writing in large lecture halls and small community bookstores, at public elementary schools and private universities. She developed a commitment to progressive education at Hampshire College, where she studied creative writing and visual art before earning an MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. She currently teaches nonfiction for the Bennington Writing Seminars. She is a founding editor of Essay Press and a member of the Penny Collective. She lives a mile from Lake Michigan, where she swims in sun and shadow.