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What are Folks Saying About the Squire Summer Writing Residency?

Danny BernsteinWell, we don’t know what everyone is saying, but here’s what author and 2011 Squire Summer Writing Residency attendee Danny Bernstein had to say about her experience:

Last summer, I attended the NC Writers Network’s Squire Summer Writing Residency. I had just finished walking the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, a thousand miles through North Carolina. I wanted to write a travel adventure story about the experience. I signed up for the nonfiction track, trying to figure out if I had a book here.

I came to the residency with two questions: “Do I have a book?” and “How do I go forward from all the notes I had taken?”

Each person in the workshop came with eight pages. We received comments, criticism, and suggestions. But it wasn’t all about the pages but where we were going with the work and how to keep writing. Our workshop leader was honest, encouraging, and very helpful and so were the workshop members. Though we all were writing about something different, we made suggestions and cheered each other on.

Faculty and student readings were scheduled in between the workshops. That opened up the residency to more than just our small group. I left with many ideas. I used a lot of them and rejected many as well.

Three weeks ago, I got a book contract from the History Press. If all goes well, my book Walking the Mountains-to-Sea Trail: A 1000 Miles through North Carolina will be published next year. I know that the Summer Residency helped me shape my book proposal.

If you have an idea and you need a way to kick start your project, the North Carolina Writers’ Network’s Squire Summer Writing Residency is time and money well spent. And did I mention that it was fun as well?

The Squire Summer Writing Residency, which will be held July 19-22 at Queens University of Charlotte, offers an intensive course in a chosen genre, with ten hour-and-a-half sessions over the four days of the program. Registrants work in-depth on their own writing, while also studying the principles of the genre with their instructor. This conference is open only to the first fifty registrants, who can choose one of the following workshops: Creative Nonfiction with Pat MacEnulty, Poetry with Morri Creech, or Fiction with Robert Inman.

In addition to the workshops, the 2012 Squire Summer Writing Residency will feature a panel discussion on publishing and bookselling, a “Writingest State” trivia contest, and readings by faculty and registrants. Attendees take meals together, and are encouraged—but not required—to stay in guest rooms that will be set aside for this conference.

For more information, or to register, visit

(Danielle “Danny” Bernstein is a hiker, hike leader, and outdoor writer. Her two guidebooks Hiking the Carolina Mountains (2007) and Hiking North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Heritage (2009) were published by Milestone Press. She writes for regional magazines including Mountain Xpress and Smoky Mountain Living and blogs about the outdoors at