Amplify: Women’s Voices, Louder

The words are yours. Come to Amplify for the knowledge and confidence to share them loudly.

AMPLIFY Retreats

Hosted at Heaven & Earth Retreats in Banks, Oregon, Amplify retreats are intimate and personalized weekends designed to help women and non-binary participants pitch, submit, and promote their work.

Promote Your Work With Confidence

March 27–29, 2020

What’s your “platform” and how can you grow it? When should you ask for blurbs and how do you do it? How do you create a marketing plan? Whether you are anticipating the launch of your first book or your fifth, this retreat, led by Melissa Duclos and Chelsea Biondolillo, will give you the skills and knowledge you need to send your book out into the world. 

 Participants will leave the retreat with: 

  • Language to present yourself & your work
  • Concrete ideas to leverage & expand your networks
  • Examples of press releases, blurb requests & other promotional materials
  • Ideas for new writing to create in support of your book launch
  • Contact for information for reviewers & editors who accept pitches related to book promotion

With a maximum of 11 participants and two instructors, Amplify retreats are intimate and personalized to participants’ needs. The weekend will include direct instruction on writing an artist statement and synopsis, small group discussion and guidance on platform building and book marketing, quiet writing/brainstorming time, and one-on-one conferences. Meals are served family style and retreat attendees will have time to get to know each other and grow your networks.   

Any writers with a specific book-length project they are planning to publish will benefit from this retreat, whether you have a book coming out in 2020 or are still writing or submitting your project.  

Deadline: February 12

Cost: $500-$750

There is no application fee. To submit an application you will need to provide several brief paragraphs about yourself, your work, and why you feel this retreat would benefit you at this time. Please read more about the venue before applying; you will be asked to indicate your room preferences on the application.

Submit Your Book With Confidence

October 2– 4, 2020

At this retreat led by Melissa Duclos and Kimberly King Parsons, participants will learn everything you need to know to sell your work to literary agents and small presses—in writing or an elevator.

 Participants will leave the retreat with: 

  • Artist Statement
  • Elevator Pitch
  • Query Letter
  • Submission Goals

With a maximum of 11 participants and two instructors, Amplify retreats are intimate and personalized to participants’ needs. The weekend will include direct instruction on crafting an elevator pitch, synopsis, query letter, and artist statement; small group discussion and guidance on researching agents and small presses; quiet writing and revising time; and one-on-one conferences. Meals are served family style and retreat attendees will have time to get to know each other and grow your networks.   

This retreat is open to women and non-binary writers with a completed (or nearly completed) work of fiction (novel or short story collection in any genre), memoir, or personal essay collection.

The Megaphone Fellowship

Amplify is committed to making the business side of publishing transparent and accessible to voices that are typically underrepresented, and to promoting and supporting the writing of women and non-binary writers. Offered to one writer of color at every Amplify Retreat, the Megaphone Fellowship covers the full cost of the weekend. (Travel to Portland not included.)

To be considered for the Megaphone Fellowship, check the box included in the application.

Testimonials

I left Amplify’s Submit Your Book With Confidence Retreat with a query letter I feel good about.  I’ve been to many workshops and writing conferences over the years, but this is the first one I’ve attended that focused entirely on the submission process, especially the dreaded query letter.  Melissa and Kim were supportive and knowledgeable, the food was delicious, and the setting peaceful and restorative. I highly recommend Amplify as a way to connect with other writers and leave with a query ready to send out into the world.

Cynthia Walker

I am deeply grateful for the kindness, care, and compassion with which Melissa and Kim conducted the retreat. I feel more confident in my work, and would recommend attending to anyone, no matter their background or stage of career

Submit Your Book With Confidence 2019 Participant

Instructors

Melissa Duclos

Melissa is the author of the novel Besotted (7.13 Books) and the founder of Magnify: Small Presses, Bigger, a monthly newsletter celebrating small press books and the writing community that champions them. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Salon, The Offing, The Rumpus, Electric Literature, and Bustle among other venues. 

She has an MFA from Columbia University and 10 years experience as freelance editor and writing coach, guiding clients through the agent and independent press submission process. She now works in communications for a nonprofit, managing social media and newsletter distribution. She lives in Portland, Oregon and is at work on her second novel.

Kimberly King Parsons

Kim is the author of the short story collection Black Light (Vintage), which was nominated for the 2019 National Book Award, and the novel The Boiling River, forthcoming from Knopf. A recipient of fellowships from Columbia University and the Sustainable Arts Foundation, her fiction has been published in The Paris Review, Best Small FictionsBlack Warrior Review, No Tokens, Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. She lives with her partner and sons in Portland, OR, where she is completing a novel about Texas, motherhood, and LSD.

She has 10+ years of editorial experience and is the former Editor-in-Chief of Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art.

Chelsea Biondolillo

Chelsea is the author of The Skinned Bird and two prose chapbooks, Ologies and #Lovesong. Her essays have appeared online and in print and have been collected in Best American Science and Nature Writing 2016Waveform: Twenty-first Century Essays by Women, How We Speak to One Another: an Essay Daily Reader, and others. She was a 2019 Oregon Literary Arts fellow in nonfiction and the 2014-2015 Olive O’Connor fellow in nonfiction at Colgate University.

She has a BFA in photography from Pacific NW College of Arts and an MFA in creative writing and environmental studies from University of Wyoming.

Classes

Amplify will begin offering a variety of workshops in Portland, OR starting in Spring 2020. Our offerings will include 3-4 hour workshops on topics related to platform building and career development and shorter low-cost craft workshops. Join our mailing list to receive updates.

Visual Approaches to Novel Development with Melissa Duclos

Course details coming soon!

Creating a Newsletter Your Audience Wants to Read with Melissa Duclos

Course details coming soon!

Networking Events

Join our mailing list for information about free networking events for writers in Portland.