Wildacres Writing Workshop
Writers relax on the patio.



PHONE INFO AND EMERGENCY NUMBER FOR YOUR FAMILY: The Wildacres number to leave with your family while you are gone is (828) 756-4573. This is an emergency number ONLY! The staff is small and locating people for phone calls can be inconvenient. There is a fax machine and the number is (828) 756-4586. There is a charge to send faxes.

The mailing address for Wildacres is: Wildacres Retreat, PO Box 280, Little Switzerland, NC 28749.

CELL PHONES: Some cell phones work on the mountain and some are a little tricky. We are on a mountain top between two towers, so you may have to walk around to find a sweet spot.

Wi-Fi: There is free Wi-Fi for your laptop and you can usually get it in the lobby or on the porches. This is a limited service for you to get online, get your e-mail and get off. No downloading and they frown on doing business on your computer. If you need long computer sessions, there are several places in Spruce Pine that have free access.

WHAT TO WEAR: Comfortable clothes! Some people change for dinner, but keep it casual. The weather is usually warm and pleasant but you might want to bring a sweatshirt and/or a jacket as it is sometimes cool in the evening. Also bring a raincoat or umbrella.

BEVERAGES: Wine and beer are available in Little Switzerland, and there is now a liquor store in nearby Spruce Pine. Wildacres provides ice -- NOT for coolers, but for daily needs. Bring a favorite glass and your own mix. There is a soft drink machine on site. Due to limited refrigeration, it is difficult to keep beer cold, so beer drinkers may want to bring something else, but you can buy ice for your cooler in Little Switzerland. Coffee is served at all meals and instant coffee is available from 6:30AM until 5:00PM.

EXTRA MONEY: The canteen on premises has soft drinks, snacks, ice cream, etc. Should you need something else, we are about 10 minutes from Little Switzerland and 15 minutes from a big Wal-Mart. The book seller takes cash, checks and charge cards.

CHECK IN TIME - RETREAT and WORKSHOP: For the retreat, please check in Sunday June 28th between 3:00 and 5:30 PM. Do not arrive early! You will be in the way of the cleaning crew. Stop for a leisurely lunch because dinner is not until 6:30 on the first night. Don't miss dinner! If you are attending the workshop only, your check-in time is Saturday July 4 between 3:00 and 5:30 PM.

WILDACRES POLICY REGARDING ANIMALS: The only animals allowed at Wildacres are service dogs (as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act). Please let us know in advance if you will be bringing a service dog so we can assign you a room with convenient access to the outside.


  • Jacket or sweater (it can be cool in the evenings); raincoat/umbrella, walking shoes.
  • Clock. Optional: laptop; radio or CD player, camera, musical Instrument (no tubas).
  • Also optional: extra towels and/or pillow; coffee pot; liquor, wine and drink mix.
  • 10 copies of manuscripts for your workshop UNLESS you have exchanged by e-mail. You should bring extra copies for auditors.
  • This letter with driving instructions. Do NOT rely on GPS or Google Maps!




The balance of your fee MUST BE MAILED BY JUNE 1st. We do not send reminders! There are no exceptions!

Manuscripts are also due on June 1 but your instructor will be in contact with you sometime in May to tell you if they are to be snail mailed or emailed. Don’t worry about this until May. The manuscripts are to be DOUBLE-SPACED and the lengths are:

  • Poetry: 6 poems.
  • Flash Fiction: 3 to 4 stories, depending on length, not to exceed a total of 15 pages with a 4,500 word limit.
  • Short Story, Nonfiction, or any Novel chapter: not more than 15 pages with a 4500 word limit.

Word count must appear on the first page. Your name must appear on each page of your manuscript. Manuscripts should be stapled or paper-clipped together.

Bring 10 copies of your manuscript, unless you have exchanged online, and a few more for auditors. THE COPIES YOU BRING MUST BE THE SAME AS THE ONE SUBMITTED TO YOUR INSTRUCTOR. The faculty has already spent time critiquing the original manuscript. Revisions will NOT be addressed. You will hear from your instructor before the end of May if you are to exchange online.

The GONG SHOW is a Do-it-Ourselves comedy show where we team up for skits. Costumes are available. This is the highlight of the week and it will be videotaped should you like a copy.

THEME PARTY! We'll have a costume party on the patio one night during the week. This is a chance to have fun and show off your creativity. This year's theme is Magic Mountain! Think magical powers, spells, magic words, magic wands. You could be a character from a book or movie, or simply embody a character type or concept. We can't wait to see what you dream up.

BOOK SALE! BYOB (bring your own books) -- to sell, that is. We'll have a student book sale mid-week where you can grab a spot at a table and offer your books (whether self-pub or traditional) for others to buy. You'll have to manage the money yourself, so be prepared to make change and bring a calculator if you need it. Be warned that cloud-payment services may not work well, since cell and internet signals aren't great in our marketplace area -- although if your service has an 'offline mode' like Square does, you'll be set.

DAYS OFF! Every class will have a day off on a staggered schedule. This will allow you to audit classes that are in your same time frame or go sightseeing. Your schedule will be in your packet when you arrive.

You will be given complete workshop schedules upon arrival.

A reminder - No drop in guests during the week.

Send the balance of your fee postmarked by June 1st. If you have any questions, email amywilloughbyburle@gmail.com.


If you want to use GPS, the address is 1565 Wildacres Road, Marion NC. Just be warned that you may not be able to get a signal once you start up the mountain. Be sure to print the map and directions as backup.

If you are coming on I-40, look at your NC map and find Marion (between Morganton and Asheville). You will exit at Marion. [If you're going west, take the first exit; if you're going east, take the third (exit 85) US 221.]

You will come to a big intersection; do NOT take the business route. If you were going west, continue straight ahead. If you were going east, turn left here.

Take NC 226 North to the intersection with NC 226A. (Be alert -- road construction has changed this intersection!) TURN LEFT onto 226 A and follow it up the mountain to the Wildacres sign (7 miles). From Marion, it's about 20 miles to the Wildacres sign. It may seem longer, but don't worry, you won't miss it. The sign is on the left.

If you are coming on the Blue Ridge Parkway, get off near Mile Post 336. There is a sign there that says 'Gooch Gap'. There is only one way to turn. As soon as you leave the Parkway, you will see a sign that says Wildacres with an arrow pointing to the right. Just follow the road. The Wildacres entrance is on the left about a mile in.

Map to Wildacres Retreat Center