From idea to novel, proposal to memoir, first draft to first royalties, Allison K Williams brings deep understanding of dramatic structure, sensitivity to voice and theme, technical expertise, and contagious enthusiasm for your work.
Allison has edited and coached writers to deals with Penguin Random House, Knopf, Mantle, Spencer Hill, St. Martin’s and independent presses. She’s guided essayists to publication in the New Yorker, Time, the Guardian, the New York Times, McSweeney’s and TED Talks. As Social Media Editor for Brevity, she inspires thousands of writers with blogs on craft and the writing life.
Allison is the author of Get Published in Literary Magazines and Seven Drafts: Self-Edit Like a Pro From Blank Page to Book (March 2021, Woodhall Press). A former circus performer, Allison has written for NPR, CBC, the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, Creative Nonfiction, McSweeney’s, Kenyon Review Online and Travelers’ Tales.
Join from any quiet, focused location with internet access. Writing in Company, special-subject webinars, personal coaching and social time happen via Zoom.
Send your pages for overnight feedback via email. We'll send a Do Not Disturb sign for your door.
All teaching sessions are recorded for you to review or refresh in the 30 days after the retreat.
Your pre-retreat manuscript evaluation includes supportive, specific, written critique of your current draft or proposal, a coaching session, and a customized work plan for your retreat.
During our time together, you'll have daily guidance and one-on-one sessions.
A post-retreat work plan and follow-up coaching session help you sustain momentum in the weeks to come.
To give the personal coaching and specific editorial feedback your manuscript needs before, during and after the retreat, participation is limited to four writers.
Each morning, writers set intentions for this reserved time, then work individually, with or without their Zoom window active. Allison provides individual guidance as needed. Post-writing check-ins affirm your work, and may include short readings, but this is not a "workshop." It's like writing at your favorite cafe—with your personal editor on-call.
After a lunch break, we'll meet for a special-topics webinar, followed by personal coaching time.
Focused time and a committment to "show up" helps you plow through pages.
Direct, specific feedback helps you write better.
Rebirth Your Book combines dedicated time with personal editorial assistance. You'll have a work plan to start writing on day one. Need feedback on today's pages? Lost your plot thread? Ask Allison right now—she's across the virtual table.
Pre-arrival session with editorial feedback and your work plan for the retreat.
Scheduled one-on-one time to discuss your draft-in-progress and writing goals. (Allison's available for informal chats and questions all day long.)
Follow-up coaching session to sustain your writing momentum back home.
The Virtual Retreat happens in your place of safety. Allison can help you strategize to create a calm, supportive writing environment.
Joining the Retreat
it starts with one emailContact Us
You should be working on a book.
It can be a novel, a memoir or an essay collection. It can be an outline or proposal and some material, a partial manuscript, or a draft that isn't singing yet.
Everyone focuses on their own pages, so the experience level of your fellow writers isn't a big factor in your work.
Some writers come with drafts for revision; others arrive with an idea and notes. If your work is still very much in-progress, we'll use the retreat to generate as much of a first draft as possible. In that case, the manuscript evaluation will happen after the retreat and guide you into the next draft.
Allison will help you strategize around children, partners and pets. If resources allow, consider a local hotel or Airbnb.
Your Time & Tech
log in and get writing
Your own computer and internet connection. On our first day, you'll have a Zoom orientation. You'll be able to chat privately with Allison and other retreat attendees, as well as signaling when you need attention during Writing In Company.
If you need feedback on pages, simply email them to Allison—she'll get them right away.
If you have accessibility concerns, let us know. We'll work with whatever technology you need to make the virtual retreat work for you.
Allison has worked with writers who are d/Deaf, hearing-impaired, blind, visually-impaired, neuro-atypical and with physical disabilities. She wants to work with you—let's discuss how to make it an excellent experience.
You're responsible for your own food throughout the retreat. We'll have some scheduled coffee-and-chat times, and you're always fine to snack on camera during Zoom chats.
write, relax, write some more
Everyone works on their own manuscript with the energy of a shared virtual writing space. As Allison says, "If I'm writing with a buddy and I start to get bored or frustrated, I look up and think, I can't quit now—she's still going!"
At the beginning of each session, we set our intentions for the day. We take a short stretch break at the halfway point. Afterwards, each person shares how their work went and may—but doesn't have to—read a short passage for brief feedback.
Throughout Writing In Company time, Allison will be available to talk through problems, suggest new ways to tackle a tough section, or give you a quick exercise to shake your writing loose. You can send a chat request any time.
Nope. While reading group members' work in advance and noting points for discussion is a valuable practice, it's not what we're doing here. Your focus is on your book.
Allison will read each writer's full draft (or pile of material or proposal) before arrival, and send you an editorial letter with feedback on concept, voice, themes, plot, story, character and craft.
After the evaluation, you'll have an editorial session of about 30 minutes to discuss your work and what you want to accomplish during the retreat. If you're at an early stage and don't have a lot of pages, we can extend the call to discuss your idea, execution and process.
During the retreat, you'll have two scheduled one-on-one meetings to discuss how the work is going, your writing in general and your writing career. This time can also be used for query feedback or discussing your publication goals.
Throughout the retreat we'll have plenty of casual chatting time, and you're welcome to start/participate in writing-related discussions with Allison and/or your fellow writers just about anywhere.
After returning home, you'll have another 30-minute editorial call to check in and address questions or new challenges as you finish your draft.
You'll also receive feedback on your query, first pages and synopsis.
To give each writer the individual and specific attention their manuscript needs, the retreat is limited to four people plus Allison.
Booking & Payment
let's work with your budgetContact Us
Rebirth Your Book accepts Venmo, Zelle, Canadian e-transfers, US checks, PayPal and credit cards via PayPal. Payments can be made as follows:
Or talk to us about a plan that works for you.
Rebirth Your Book/Rebirth Your Writing participates in AWP's Kurt Brown Prize, which awards $500 each year to emerging writers in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction who wish to attend a writers’ conference, center, retreat, festival, or residency. Winners and six finalists also receive a one-year individual membership in AWP. For more information, visit the AWP website.
Before You Arrive:
During the Retreat:
If you are unable to attend and we can fill your place from the waitlist, we will refund your tuition on a pro rata basis:
If you have not submitted your manuscript:
you may apply your $500 deposit to another Rebirth Your Book retreat, and you will be refunded any additional payments.
If your initial manuscript read has taken place and you have paid at least $1450:
we will still schedule your two coaching sessions and Work Plan, and you will be refunded payments over $1450. It may be possible to apply your $500 deposit to another retreat on a case-by-case basis.
If we can’t fill your place:
we’ll provide you with documentation to support a claim to your travel insurance provider, but any payments made are nonrefundable. If you have paid at least $1450, you will still receive your manuscript read and coaching sessions.
Refunds will be sent within 30 days of receipt of notice of cancellation.
Rebirth Your Book reserves the right to cancel the retreat in the event of civil unrest, natural disaster or Act of God. In the event of cancellation of the retreat in its entirety, you will receive a full refund of any fees paid. You agree to release Rebirth Your Book and its agents and/or representatives from any liability, including consequential expenses you may have incurred in planning to attend. We will provide you with documentation to support a claim to your travel insurance provider for flights and other expenses not paid to Rebirth Your Book.