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The Lake Superior Writing Adventure is a week-long workshop with Pam Houston and Luis Alberto Urrea where writers will work with both faculty members to generate new work while hiking, kayaking and exploring the pristine beauty of the Lake Superior and Apostle Islands region. The workshop is limited to 20 participants to ensure an intimate setting, plus plenty of time to write and explore all the outdoor wonders Lake Superior has to offer.

When: September 10 - 15, 2023 in Bayfield, Wisconsin. The workshops will be held at Wild Rice RetreatNestled between growing pines and the red rock shores of Lake Superior, Wild Rice is a vibrant destination retreat center in the Midwest founded on the pillars of nourishment, expression, and movement. 

Tuition: $3,000 includes five full days of workshop, all group excursions (hiking, kayaking, boat tour) lodging in a private room and meals.

Lodging & Meals: Lodging and meals are provided on-site at Wild Rice Retreat. Writers will be housed in single occupancy rooms with a private bathroom. Double occupancy rooms are available for individuals wanting to share with a spouse, partner or friend. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free meal options are available.


Format: The Lake Superior Writing Adventure is open to all levels of writer. Each day we will have time for outdoor activities, writing and craft talks. We won’t be reading and critiquing manuscripts, but rather generating new material and closely examining elements of craft with the intention of allowing participants to see their work with deeper insight.

Faculty: Pam Houston & Luis Alberto Urrea




Pam Houston

Pam Houston is the author of the memoir, Deep Creek: Finding Hope In The High Country, which won the 2019 Colorado Book Award, the High Plains Book Award and the Reading The West Advocacy Award and more recently, Air Mail: Letters of Politics Pandemics and Place coauthored with Amy Irvine.  She is also the author of Cowboys Are My Weakness, Contents May Have Shifted, and four other books of fiction and nonfiction, all published by W.W. Norton. She lives at 9,000 feet above sea level on a 120-acre homestead near the headwaters of the Rio Grande and teaches creative writing at UC Davis and at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is cofounder and creative director of the literary nonprofit Writing by Writers and fiction editor at the Environmental Arts Journal She raises Icelandic Sheep and Irish Wolfhounds and is a fierce advocate for the Earth. 


Luis Alberto Urrea

Luis Alberto Urrea is the best-selling author of 17 books, including The House of Broken Angels, The Devil’s Highway and The Hummingbird’s Daughter. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Urrea has won the Lannan Literary Award, the Pacific Rim Kiriyama Prize, an American Book Award, the Christopher Award and an Edgar Award, among other honors. His novel Into the Beautiful North is a current selection of the NEA’s Big Read program. His books have been chosen by more than 45 different cities and colleges for community reads programs and he is much in demand as a speaker, lecturer and teacher.  In 2015, he released a book of short stories, The Water Museum and a poetry collection, The Tijuana Book of the Dead. Born in Tijuana to a Mexican father and American mother, Urrea is most recognized as a border writer, though he says, “I am more interested in bridges, not borders.” He lives in Chicago where he is a distinguished professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Travel Information

Bayfield is located in the far north of Wisconsin on the beautiful, sandy south shore of Lake Superior and surrounded by the 22 Apostle Islands. Bayfield is one of USA Today’s Best Coastal Small Towns, Wisconsin’s Smallest City, the Berry Capital of the State, and the Gateway to the Apostle Islands. Bayfield holds many distinctions, but underneath all the titles and accolades it is also simply and strikingly beautiful. A small city on the shores of the Big Lake. 

Arrival & Departure: Check-in begins at 4pm on Sunday, September 10th. Our welcome and orientation is at 4:30pm. The workshop will end at 1pm on Friday, September 15th.

Travel InformationDuluth International Airport is just under 2 hours away from Bayfield and the Apostle Islands. Duluth offers direct flights from Minneapolis and Chicago daily. There are also daily shuttle busses available from Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport.

From the Duluth airport, it is a scenic 1hour 45 minute (85 mile) drive. There are car rentals available directly at the airport.

Weather: Bayfield and the Apostle Islands has a continental climate with warm to cool summers and very cold winters. Thanks to Lake Superior, the most reliable characteristic of Bayfield’s weather is its unpredictability. Autumn in Bayfield and the Apostle Islands sees cool mornings and evenings. Be prepared and check the current conditions and forecast before you arrive.


Getting Around: Workshop participants will be responsible for getting themselves to and from the start location of each of our adventures (up to 30 minutes from Wild Rice Retreat). We highly recommend sharing rental cars and have provided the section below to coordinate travel.

Coordinating Travel: If you wish to coordinate with other workshop participants please use the comments section below.

For additional information please contact us at We look forward to seeing you in Bayfield!

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Workshop Schedule


4:00 – 4:30 pm         Check-in

4:30 – 5:00 pm         Welcome & Orientation

5:00 – 6:00 pm         Dinner

6:30 – 9:30 pm         Faculty Reading at Honest Dog Books


8:00 – 9:00 am         Light Breakfast

9:30 – 4:00 pm         Kayak & Hike at Meyers Beach Sea Caves

6:00 – 7:00 pm         Dinner

7:00 – 9:00 pm         Small Group Workshops w/Pam Houston & Luis Alberto Urrea


8:00 – 9:00 am         Light Breakfast

9:00 – 10:00 am       Yoga in the Great Room (optional)

10:00 – 11:00 am     Brunch

11:00 – 2:00 pm       Small Group Workshops w/Pam Houston & Luis Alberto Urrea

2:30 – 5:30 pm         Hike Frog Bay Tribal National Park

6:00 – 7:00 pm         Dinner


8:00 – 9:00 am         Light Breakfast

9:00 – 10:00 am       Yoga in the Great Room (optional)

10:00 – 11:00 am     Brunch

11:00 – 12:45 pm       Full Group Workshops w/Luis Alberto Urrea

1:00 – 5:00 pm         "Grand Tour" Boat Cruise of the Apostle Islands

6:00 – 7:00 pm         Dinner

7:00 – 8:45 pm         Full Group Workshops w/Pam Houston


8:00 – 9:00 am         Light Breakfast

9:00 – 10:00 am       Yoga in the Great Room (optional)

10:00 – 11:00 am     Brunch

11:00 – 2:00 pm       Small Group Workshops w/Pam Houston & Luis Alberto Urrea

2:00 – 5:30 pm         Create Your Own Adventure (hike, kayak, write etc.)

6:00 – 7:00 pm         Dinner


8:00 – 9:00 am         Light Breakfast

9:00 – 10:00 am       Yoga in the Great Room (optional)

10:00 – 11:00 am     Brunch/Check-out of rooms

11:00 – 1:00 pm       Small Group Workshops w/Pam Houston & Luis Alberto Urrea followed

                                by wrap-up & departure


Application Details

The Lake Superior Writing Adventure is open to all levels of writer. Participants should be comfortable and capable of outdoor activities including kayaking and hiking. The total cost of the Lake Superior Writing Adventure is $3000 which includes all lodging, meals, group excursions and workshop fees. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from Bayfield and to the start locations of our adventures. We highly encourage renting and sharing cars. The Lake Superior Writing Adventure is limited to 20 participants and will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Cancellation Policy:  If you cancel by July 1, 2023, your tuition will be refunded minus a $150 cancellation fee. Refunds for cancellations made after July 1 are contingent upon filling your place and will be made only if your place is filled. In the unlikely event that we must cancel a workshop and you do not wish to transfer to another workshop, you will receive a full refund.

Register Now

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