Amplify: Women’s Voices, Louder

“Submit Your Book with Confidence” is an in-person Amplify retreat that puts advanced writers on the path to publication. 

Woman-identifying and non-binary participants will learn from published authors and industry leaders everything they need to know to sell their work—in writing or an elevator. Participants will leave the retreat with: 

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

Amplify takes place just 40 minutes from downtown Portland, tucked away on five pristine acres in Banks, Oregon.

This retreat is all-inclusive: freshly prepared organic meals and wine will be served throughout the weekend and participants will sleep in luxurious shared bedrooms. Outdoor amenities include a hot tub, two fire pits, multiple outdoor seating areas and reading nooks, meditative gardens, walking paths, horseshoes, sand volleyball and a soccer net on an expansive grass field.

Bird watching, small wildlife and the occasional deer add to the idyllic charm of the property. Two outdoor yoga spaces are available for participants’ use, with blankets, blocks and meditation cushions provided.

Schedule for the weekend

Friday, August 30

4:30–6:30Check-in and happy hour reception
7:30-9:00Working Session 1: Writing Your Artist Statement

Saturday, August 31

9:30–10:30Working Session 2: Writing a Synopsis
11:00–12:00Working Session 3: Query Letter Basics
1:00–4:00Writing Time & Individual Conferences
5:00–7:00Query Letter Deep Dive with Liz Prato
8:00–9:00 Pitch Practice

Sunday, September 1

Guided submission research
1:00Check out

The words are yours. Come to Amplify for the confidence and industry know-how to share them loudly. 


$650 (includes shared sleeping space, five meals, and wine).

Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the retreat location in Banks, Oregon, a 40-minute drive from Portland.

This retreat is open to all woman-identifying 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.

There is no application fee. Applicants are asked to provide their contact information and the first ten pages of their manuscript. (We don’t ask for a personal statement or synopsis of your work because we’re going to teach you how to write those!)

Important Dates

Applications Due: July 22, 11:59 pm (PST)

Applicants Notified: August 1

Full Tuition Due: August 8

The Megaphone Fellowship

Offered to one woman-identifying or non-binary writer of color, the Megaphone Fellowship covers the full tuition for the retreat. (Travel not included.)

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

Lead Facilitators

Melissa Duclos is the author of the novel Besotted (7.13 Books, March 2019) and the founder of Magnify: Small Presses, Bigger, a monthly newsletter the celebrates small press books. Her essays have appeared in The Washington Post, Salon, The Offing, and Bustle among other venues.

She holds an MFA from Columbia University and worked for 10 years as a freelance editor and writing coach, guiding clients through the agent and independent press submission process.

Kimberly King Parsons is the author of Black Light, a short story collection forthcoming from Vintage in August 2019, and The Boiling River, a novel forthcoming from Knopf. Her writing has appeared in Kenyon Review, Bookforum, No Tokens, Ninth Letter, The Millions, and elsewhere.

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

Guest Facilitator

Liz Prato is the author of Volcanoes, Palm Trees, and Privilege: Essays on Hawai‘i (Overcup Press, April 2019), Baby’s on Fire: Stories (Press 53, 2015), and editor of The Night, and the Rain, and the River: 22 Stories (Forest Avenue Press, 2014). Her work has appeared in numerous journals, including Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Rumpus, Salon, Subtropics, and ZYZZYVA.

She is Editor at Large for Forest Avenue Press, and teaches at literary festivals across the country.