The Writing By Writers Manuscript Boot Camp is for the writer who has a full, book-length manuscript (novel, memoir, short story or essay collection) and would like to engage with a small group for a serious and productive response. The extended weekend will include an intimate manuscript workshop, craft panels, readings, and individual meetings – the perfect pre-publication boot camp for any manuscript.  Classes are limited to 5 participants.

When: November 9 - 13, 2022. Boot Camp is currently scheduled at Kennolyn's Stone Creek Village in Soquel, California. In the event it is unsafe to meet in person due to COVID we will bring the workshop fully online at a reduced cost to reflect that no room or board will be needed.

Tuition: Full tuition is $4,250 which includes a manuscript review of up to 300 pages ($100 for every additional 25 pages), 4 days of workshop, admittance to all panels and readings, and all meals and lodging in a shared room for four nights. Writing By Writers would like to thank the faculty for generously reducing their standard reading fees (which range from $5,000 to $10,000 for a full manuscript) so that we may offer this workshop to you at a significantly reduced rate.

Lodging & Meals: Kennolyn has been the site of world-renowned summer camp programs since1946. Most acres still remain undeveloped to this day because the natural life and beauty are integral to Kennolyn’s commitment to harmony and awe for nature. The shared cottages are quaint, but designed for comfort and relaxation. Each cottage has two double beds and a private bath. Single rooms are available for a supplemental fee of $500. Please let us know if you require an ADA accessible room. Meals include dinner on Wednesday; three meals Thursday, Friday and Saturday; and breakfast on Sunday. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free meals are available upon request.

Format: Classes are limited to 5 participants each and one workshop session is set aside for each manuscript.  Each participant will have their manuscript read by their faculty member and their four peers. In addition, they will have a one-on-one session with their faculty member.

Faculty: Pam Houston, Cassandra Lane, Paul Lisicky, T Kira Māhealani Madden, and Elizabeth McCracken.



Fiction, Memoir, Short Story & Essay Collections

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 Terrain.org. She raises Icelandic Sheep and Irish Wolfhounds and is a fierce advocate for the Earth. 

Cassandra photo.jpg

Memoir, Creative Nonfiction & Essay Collections

Cassandra Lane

Cassandra Lane is the 2020 winner of the Louise Meriwether First Book Prize and author of We Are Bridges (Feminist Press), which NPR named a “Books We Love" in 2021.  Lane received her MFA from Antioch University LA. She formerly worked as a newspaper reporter, teacher and in communications and community relations. Her stories have appeared in the New York Times’s “Conception” series,  the Atlanta Journal Constitution, LitHub, The Millions and elsewhere. She is editor in chief of L.A. Parent magazine.

Paul Lisicky.jpeg

Fiction, Memoir, Short Story & Essay Collections

Paul Lisicky

Paul Lisicky is the author of six books including Later: My Life at the Edge of the World (one of NPR's Best Books of 2020), as well as The Narrow Door (a New York Times Editors' Choice and a Finalist for the Randy Shilts Award), Unbuilt Projects, The Burning House, Famous Builder, and Lawnboy. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, BuzzFeed, Conjunctions, The Cut, Fence, The New York Times, Ploughshares, Tin House, and in many other magazines and anthologies. He has received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the James Michener/Copernicus Society, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where he has served on the Writing Committee since 2000. He has taught in the creative writing programs at Cornell University, New York University, Sarah Lawrence College, The University of Texas at Austin and elsewhere. He is currently is the director of the MFA Program at Rutgers University-Camden, where he is an associate professor and editor of StoryQuarterly. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. He is at work on a memoir The Inner Anton of Me.


Fiction, Memoir, Short Story & Essay Collections

T Kira Māhealani Madden

T Kira Māhealani Madden is a Chinese, Kānaka Maoli writer, photographer, and amateur magician. A recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Hedgebrook, Tin House, MacDowell, and Yaddo—where she was awarded the Linda Collins Endowed Residency Award—she serves as the founding Editor-in-chief of No Tokens, a magazine of literature and art. She is the author of the 2019 New York Times Editors’ Choice memoir, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls, which is now being developed as a feature film. A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award John Leonard Prize, and the winner of the 2021 Judith A. Markowitz LAMBDA Literary Award, she has facilitated writing workshops for homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals, and is an Assistant Professor at College of Charleston, SC. 

McCracken headshot.jpg

Fiction, Memoir, Short Story & Essay Collections

Elizabeth McCracken

Elizabeth McCracken is the author of seven books: The Souvenir Museum, Here’s Your Hat What’s Your Hurry, The Giant’s House, Niagara Falls All Over Again, An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination, Thunderstruck & Other Stories, and Bowlaway. She’s received grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Liguria Study Center, the American Academy in Berlin, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Thunderstruck & Other Stories won the 2015 Story Prize. Her work has been published in The Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize, The O. Henry Prize, The New York Times Magazine, and many other places.


Travel Information

Kennolyn is located at 8400 Glen Haven Road in Soquel, California, just up the hill from Capitola. We will be staying in "Stone Creek Village." There is overnight parking on-site. Please note, Kennolyn is on a rural road with residential neighbors and they ask that guests adhere to the 25mph speed limit.

Arrival: Workshop check-in is on Wednesday, November 9, 2022, from 4 to 4:30pm in the Caldwell Lodge at Stone Creek Village. At 4:30pm we will have a mandatory orientation for all participants. The week will end on Sunday, November 13, 2022 with breakfast, followed by faculty 1-on-1s until 11am.

Travel Information & Directions:  The closest airport to Kennolyn is San Jose International Airport (SJC) which is approximately 1 hour away. San Fransisco International Airport (SFO) is approximately 1.5 hours away. Airport shuttles are available through Santa Cruz Airport Rides and Ruben's Airport Shuttle. Please note, rideshare apps are not a reliable solution for post-workshop pick-up.

Driving Directions to Kennolyn, Santa Cruz Mountains from San Francisco or the Bay Area

  • Take the 101, 280 or 880 to Highway 17 South through the Santa Cruz Mountains

  • After Scotts Valley, take Highway 1 South towards Watsonville / Monterey

  • Continue 4 miles and exit at Bay St / Porter Ave

  • Turn left under the freeway towards the hills

  • Take an immediate right at the stoplight onto Main St

  • Main Street curves around and becomes Glen Haven Rd

  • Continue approximately 4 miles

  • Pass the first Kennolyn sign to the Hilltop Hacienda (on your left)

  • Turn right at the second Kennolyn sign into Stone Creek Village 


Ride Sharing:  If you wish to coordinate rides with other workshop participants please use the comments section below.

For additional information please contact us at info@writingxwriters.org.  We look forward to seeing you in the Santa Cruz Mountains!

Image by Jene Yeo

Workshop Schedule


4:00 – 4:30 pm          Check-in, Stone Creek Village

4:30 – 5:00 pm          Welcome & Orientation

5:00 – 5:30 pm          Meet Your Workshop

6:00 – 7:00 pm          Dinner

7:00 – 8:00 pm          Fireside Faculty Reading


7:00 – 8:30 am           Breakfast

9:00 – 11:00 am         Workshops

11:15 – 12:15 pm       Faculty Panel

12:30 – 1:30 pm         Lunch

1:30 – 4:00 pm           On Your Own/1-on-1s

4:00 – 6:00 pm           Workshops

6:00 – 7:00 pm           Dinner

7:00 – 8:00 pm           Campfire & S'mores


7:00 – 8:30 am           Breakfast

9:00 – 11:00 am         Workshop

12:30 – 1:30 pm         Lunch

1:30 – 6:00 pm           On Your Own/1-on-1s

6:00 – 7:00 pm           Dinner


7:00 – 8:30 am           Breakfast

9:00 – 11:00 am         Workshops

11:15 – 12:15 pm       Faculty Panel

12:30 – 1:30 pm         Lunch

1:30 – 4:00 pm           On Your Own/1-on-1s

4:00 – 6:00 pm           Workshops

6:00 – 7:00 pm           Dinner

7:15 – 9:00 pm           Student Readings


7:00 – 8:30 am           Breakfast

9:00 – 11:00 am         Check out and Faculty 1-on-1s


Application Details

Acceptance to the workshop is based upon review of a writing sample. Please submit the first chapter/story/essay of the full manuscript that you plan to workshop (roughly 15-20 pages). Writing samples must be double spaced, using a size 12 Times New Roman or similar font. If accepted to the  workshop, your final draft must be submitted by September 15th.

An application fee of $25 is required. If you are accepted to the workshop, your application fee of $25 will be applied to your tuition. Applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Once you apply you will receive an immediate email confirmation of your application. Sometimes these go into your junk or bulk mail folder. If this happens, please add info@writingxwriters.org to your safe senders list to make sure you get our acceptance notification!

If you are accepted, you will be notified of your workshop placement via email and asked to confirm your intention to attend within two weeks by enrolling and submitting a minimum deposit of $1,000. The remaining balance is due September 1st.

Cancellation Policy: If you cancel by September 1st your tuition will be refunded minus a $150 cancellation fee. Refunds for cancellations made after September 1 are contingent upon filling your place and will be made only if your place is filled. If we have to bring the workshop online due to ongoing concerns about COVID-19, you will have the option to cancel at that time without penalty. 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.