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Weekend Ragdale Retreat (June): Barnhouse Room

$700.00 · June 16

Barnhouse Room for June 16-18, 2023, with Michael Zapata

Start Date

June 16






Out of stock


Purchasing this room will put you in the Barnhouse. You will be in one of these rooms: Yellow Room, Hay Loft, Beach Room, Playroom, or Sewing Room. This is an overnight purchase, with a shared bathroom. These rooms are on the second floor, reachable by stairs.

This is for the June 16-18 weekend retreat with Michael Zapata.

*Note: Vaccination proof is required for participation.

Ragdale and StoryStudio Chicago are pleased to announce an exceptional writing retreat this summer at the Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Illinois, a spectacular setting that offers the best of nature and architecture.

For June 2023’s retreat, we’ll take our inspiration from both the art critic David Sylvester, who said, “Artists must be allowed to get into a mess,” and the writer Jon Fosse who said, “I never ever imagine anything clearly or literally when I write. It’s an act of listening. I listen to something.”

The retreat led by Michael Zapata will help attendees consider how they might listenslow down, and make a mess! Guided discussions and writing activities will encourage writers to build a sustainable writing practice that embraces both their own artistic impulses and the worlds in which they live.

In addition to scheduled programming, we’ll take advantage of the winding paths, secluded benches, and fifty acres of pristine prairie. The history of Ragdale, the unique setting, and the spirit of so many writers who have written in these spaces before are sure to inspire us all. This retreat will offer everyone the opportunity to stop and look and wonder, and sometimes learn.

What’s Included?
The purpose of this weekend is to leave the world behind so you can focus your attention and energy on your stories.

The retreat includes all programs, workshops, and use of the Ragdale grounds. Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and Sunday brunch are all included. OVERNIGHT registration includes a room to sleep in for the weekend. 

Retreat Schedule
The weekend’s schedule is never set in stone because we never know how the spirit of Ragdale will inspire us. Here is a general sense of writing time, workshops, meals, and unscheduled moments.

Friday, June 16
3pm-5:30pm: Arrival, check in, open writing
5:30pm: Welcome, wine 
6:00-7:00pm: Dinner 
7:00-9:00pm: Workshop session

Saturday, June 17
8:00-9:00am: Continental Breakfast
9:30-11:30am: Morning session
12:00-1:00pm: Lunch
2:00-4:00pm: Afternoon session
4:00-6:00pm: Individual writing time (read, chat, nap, or simply relax with a walk through the prairie)
6:00pm: Dinner
7:30-8:30pm: Student readings 

Sunday, June 18
9:30am-10:30: Brunch
10:30-12:30pm: Morning session
12:30-3pm: Writing, reading, strolling in the prairie
3:00pm: Departure

*(schedule subject to change)

To register for an overnight, regular room in the Hart House:
Option 1
Option 2
Option 3

To register for an overnight, en suite room in the Ragdale house, please click here. (What’s different? It’s overnight, with a private bathroom.)

To register for an overnight, regular room in the Barnhouse, please click here. (What’s different? It’s overnight, but you share a bathroom.)

To register for an overnight, regular room in the Shearer Studio, please click here. (What’s different? It’s overnight, you have your own bathroom, and it’s in a newly renovated, top-of-the-line studio.)

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

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About Michael Zapata

Michael Zapata is a founding editor of MAKE Literary Magazine and the author of the acclaimed novel The Lost Book of Adana Moreau, winner of the 2020 Chicago Review of Books Award for Fiction, finalist for the 2020 Heartland Booksellers Award in Fiction, and a Best Book of the Year for NPR, the A.V. Club, and BookPage, among others. He is the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Award for Fiction and the City of Chicago DCASE Individual Artist Program Award. He is on the core faculty of StoryStudio Chicago and the MFA faculty of Northwestern University. As a public-school educator, he taught literature and writing in high schools servicing drop out students. He currently lives in Chicago with his family.