Writing Retreat 2020: Albuquerque

September 23-26, 2020
Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town
Albuquerque, New Mexico 

Welcome to the next WFWA writing retreat in sunny Albuquerque, New Mexico!

Join fellow women’s fiction writers for three edifying and entertaining days of workshops, writing, and networking in Albuquerque, New Mexico, September 23–26, 2020.





Workshop Presenter
Registration Fee


We’re excited to welcome Donald Maass, founder of the Donald Maass Literary Agency and author of several popular writing craft books, including Writing the Breakout NovelWriting 21stCentury Fiction, and The Emotional Craft of Fiction, as our workshop presenter in 2020.

We’ll start off the retreat with a dedicated day of discussion groups, working groups, and concentrated writing time, perfect for getting to know one another, getting questions answered, and getting some real work done! 

For the next two days, Don will be taking us deep into developing effective character arcs, building a vivid story world, shaping scenes for the biggest emotional punch, and saying much more with our dialogue than we may have thought possible. If you’ve never sat under Don’s teaching in person, don’t miss your chance! Come ready to work on your WIP or to get inspired and equipped to start your next manuscript.


As in years past, the Albuquerque retreat will be the location of the Awards Dinner where we announce the winners of this year's Star and Rising Star Awards. In addition, we will host the raffle to raise money for both a scholarship to a future retreat (good for use at either Albuquerque or Baltimore) and a refund of the registration cost of this year's retreat (Albuquerque only since those attendees will be contributing the money). Prizes typically include services from WFWA members, literary agents, editors, and others, such as free or discounted query letter critiques, manuscript editing, book coaching, website design, marketing assistance, and more!

Preliminary Schedule*

Wednesday, September 23

  • Check-in from 12-4
  • Open WFWA Board Meeting 4-6
  • Retreat Orientation 6-7
  • Dinner on your own 7pm

Thursday, September 24

  • Breakfast (included)
  • Discussion Groups/Writing Time
  • Lunch on your own
  • Working Groups/Writing Time
  • Dinner (included)

Friday, September 25

  • Breakfast (included)
  • Workshop Session – Character Arcs (3 hours)
  • Lunch on your own
  • Writing Time
  • Workshop Mini-Session – Story World (1 hour)
  • Awards Dinner & Raffle Winners Announced (included)

Saturday, September 26

  • Breakfast (included)
  • Workshop Session – Scene Shaping for Emotional Effect (3 hours)
  • Lunch on your own
  • Writing Time
  • Workshop Mini-Session – Dialogue Undercurrents (1 hour)
  • Dinner (included)

Sunday, September 27

  • Check-out and ¡Hasta luego!

 *Schedule subject to change

Registration Fee

Registration fee: $415 (includes breakfast, dinner, and afternoon snacks Thursday–Saturday).

Your retreat registration fee pays for the event itself. It does not include hotel, airfare, or other expenses not expressly stated above.


The retreat is being held at the laid-back Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town, within walking distance of Albuquerque’s historical Old Town shops, galleries, and restaurants.

Hotel rooms are $149.00 plus $20.00 amenity fee and taxes per night (single/double occupancy).

Reservations will be made directly through the hotel. After you have registered for the retreat, you will be sent a link to our block of rooms that get the group rate. 

Cancellation Policy

Please read carefully, as cancellation terms have changed. We will no longer be able to issue full refunds.

Until February 29: 75% refund less $50 cancellation fee

March 1 – April 30: 50% refund less $50 cancellation fee

No refunds will be issued for cancellations starting May 1st 

Please note: Donald Maass is appearing at this retreat in his capacity as a teacher, not as a literary agent. This is a time of learning our craft, not selling it. Please do not pitch book ideas.