Let’s Write Together WANA Retreat

WANA will be hosting the first of what we hope will be several retreats on May 19-May 21, 2023. Scroll down for more information and to register.


For our first retreat, we want to focus on the most important act of being a writer–writing. We will have no featured speaker nor workshop leaders nor any other structured format to this weekend. Instead, we are coming together to write in good company. Everyone is expected to bring enough food for their stay, and if desired, join us in cooking a few meals together. The most important part of this weekend is to get work done in an atmosphere that encourages creativity and likeminded interaction. The retreat is limited to eight participants (excluding the hosts) and slots will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Proposed Schedule

Friday, May 19
5 pm–Arrival and settle in
7 pm–Group Dinner
Evening–Establish Writing Goals for the Weekend

Saturday, May 20
Noon–Group Lunch/Social Time
6 pm–Group Dinner
Evening–Share Your Work

Sunday, May 21
Morning–Plans for Keeping the Momentum Going
10 am–Check Out

Where We Will Stay

We chose a home in Hopwood, Pennsylvania that is affordable, beautiful, and comfortable for ten guests. It boasts one of the most incredible view’s in Fayette County and is situated at over 2,000 feet above Uniontown on Summit Mountain. As you can see from the photos provided by the owner, there are many spaces for quiet writing sessions, including a large deck overlooking the city of Uniontown, a billiard’s room, a TV room, and of course, your own room.


We have tried our best to keep costs as low as possible. Unfortunately, the demand for single rooms means that costs remain higher than we hoped. That said, we believe our first retreat location lends itself to our goals quite well and should provide an environment conducive to producing text and thinking through writing ideas.

Single Rooms — $360
Double Rooms (sharing with one other writer) — $230

Meet Your Hosts

The retreats will be hosted by two familiar WANA faces: Damian Dressick and Christina Fisanick from WANA LIVE! We will be on site throughout the retreat to ensure all goes well.

Damian Dressick is the author of the novel 40 Patchtown (Bottom Dog Press) and the award-winning flash collection Fables of the Deconstruction (CLASH Books). His writing has appeared in more than fifty literary journals and anthologies, including W.W. Norton’s New Micro, Electric Literature, Post Road, New Orleans Review, Cleaver, CutBank, Smokelong Quarterly, and New World Writing. A Blue Mountain Residency Fellow, Dressick is the winner of the Harriette Arnow Award and the Jesse Stuart Prize. He co-hosts WANA: LIVE!, a largely virtual reading series that brings some of the best Appalachian writers to the world. Damian also serves as editor-in-chief for the journal Appalachian Lit.

Christina Fisanick is the author or editor of more than thirty books and nearly 100 articles, essays, and other creative works, including the memoir, The Optimistic Food Addict (MSI Press). In collaboration with Robert Stakeley of the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, Christina is the co-author Digital Storytelling as Public History: A Guidebook for Educators (Routledge). She is Professor of English at PennWest California and the president of the Writers Association of Northern Appalachia (WANA), the co-host of WANA LIVE!, and the co-chair of the Northern Appalachian Network.