The Farms: Writing Retreat

If you are a writer looking for inspiration, register for our Writing Retreat Monday through Wednesday, March 25-27 in the Mansion.

This three-day, two-night experience will offer specialized workshops, one-on-one writing services, and mindfulness workshops to help inspire creativity. Allerton provides a perfect, peaceful place to focus on your passion for writing!

This retreat fosters a community of writers through discussions of craft, process, and the ways that writing nests into our lives. Past participants have used the space to reconnect with longstanding book projects or to launch into new manuscripts. All experience levels are welcome. A flexible schedule includes workshops on a variety of topics, community discussions, one-on-one writing consultations, and solo time to write (and walk!) at the beautiful Allerton Park and Retreat Center.

See the entire schedule here.

$250/person. Register here by March 22.

All sales are final.

Retreat participants can also stay overnight in the Mansion or other guesthouses for a discounted rate of $100/night. View rooms here and call 217-333-3287 to make a reservation.

If you will need disability-related accommodations in order to participate, please email Hannah Foran at

About The Instructors

Joanne Cleaver, freelance journalist and author, has been a freelance and occasionally staff business journalist since 1981, with work published in major national outlets. She has authored eight books, including The Career Lattice (McGraw Professional, 2012), and has taught graduate news writing at her alma mater, the Medill School at Northwestern University.

Azlan Smith holds an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction), and is working on a Ph.D. in Writing Studies at the University of Illinois. Their research interests include: 1) collaboration, storytelling and fiction as research, 2) art research, 3) public art facilitation, 4) the role of storytelling in knowledge creation, 5) multimodal writing, and 6) scholarly communities across departmental boundaries.

Nina King Sannes is an MFA fiction candidate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a graduate of Cornell University. Her work aims to carry on and to reimagine the Southern Gothic tradition, investing in stories that examine isolation, marginalization, violence, and a rooted sense of place. Her work has previously appeared in EPOCH magazine. She has been awarded the Josephine M. Bresee Memorial Award, the Charles and Susan Shattuck Prize for short fiction, and is a three-time nominee for the AWP Intro Journals Award for both fiction and nonfiction.

Matthew Fash is an Illinois native and poet, where much of their work is set. They hold a BA in English and Creative Writing from Indiana State University and are a current MFA candidate at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. They’ve had work appear in Best Poetry of the Midwest 2019 and Doubleback Review, among others.

Other instructors will include Nina Sannes and Matthew Fash of the University of Illinois Creative Writing Department and the Writer’s Workshop.

About The Farms

The Farms: An Allerton Folk School, offers classes, workshops, and gatherings focusing on art, health & wellness, history, nature & outdoor education, or scienceAll experiences value hands-on, experiential teaching and learning, and are facilitated by and for the members of the community.

See the complete winter class schedule here.


Mar 25 - 27 2024


3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Mar 25 - 27 2024
  • Time: 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

More Info