Get away from mundane life to a place where your only job is to write.
Since 2002.

Center for the Study of Science Fiction Summer
Writer's Retreat for 2015

"I had no TV, no internet, and no other distractions. Just a hermit-like room with a view of the Kansas horizon. I wrote 30,000 words in a week, and built momentum on my book that didn't fade until October. When I needed human company (better yet, the company of other writers), I had lunch and dinner with the Workshop participants. It was glorious."

- Wolfgang Baur

Information Map
Costs
Enrollment Information and Request Form
Housing for the Writer's Retreat
Transportation from Airport to Lawrence
Maps
Lawrence in the Summer


For 2015, the SF Writer's Retreat will be offered for a two-week (or four-week) period corresponding to the SF/F/H Workshops and SF Institute. You need not apply by any specific date, but because we limit enrollment to 12 due to space concerns, so be sure to let us know that you're interested sooner rather than later.

The Writers Retreat receives favorable feedback, so the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction has made this a permanent feature of our Science Fiction Summer program.

New or experienced writers are offered an inexpensive place to stay for two or four weeks. There are no classes, though Retreat writers may choose to organize their own critiquing sessions or sit in on the Writers Workshop or Institute. In this way, attending writers can enjoy some of the creative energy that develops around a workshop, with the freedom and privacy to use their time as they wish. Attendees are free to write, revise, study, socialize, sightsee, and consult privately about their writing with other Retreat attendees and Writers Workshop students. Help launch a new tradition!

Lawrence, the location of the University of Kansas, is a pleasant college town of about 90,000 situated 40 miles from Kansas City and 20 miles from Topeka. Summers can be hot, but campus buildings and housing are air-conditioned.

Among its many amenities, the University of Kansas has a large science-fiction collection and good reference collections; museums of natural history and art; and sports, theater, and concerts. Lawrence has many excellent restaurants and shopping and recreational opportunities. Kansas City is less than an hour away. Nighttime opportunities include movies, dinner, concerts, and star-gazing sessions.

The nearest major airport is Kansas City International, about 55 miles from Lawrence. Transportation to Lawrence from Kansas City International can be arranged through one of several airport shuttle services. By car, Lawrence is at the intersection of U.S. 59 and I-70 (Kansas Turnpike). The west interchange is closer to campus. Lawrence can also be reached by Kansas Highway 10.


Weeks One and Two coincide with the Speculative Fiction Writer's Workshop and Science Fiction and Fantasy Novel Writers Workshop. Retreat writers are invited to join the workshop students for lunch each day, and may choose to join them for social or writing-related activities outside of workshop hours. Ten to twenty other writers will also be on-site, so this is a good option for people who like the energy that comes from a community of writers but do not wish to take a formal class.

Attending writers are encouraged to attend the Campbell Conference as a high-energy start or finish to their time here.

Weeks Three and Four coincide with the Intensive Institute in Science Fiction class and the Repeat Offenders Novel Workshop. If you would like to spend time with students and scholars of SF, these weeks are for you. Fewer others will be on-site, so this is a good option for people who prefer solitude away from home to get some writing done, but still have access to writers and SFnal folks.

Costs

There is a $50 administrative charge for arrangements and Center costs (you are responsible for your housing and meal expenses). This fee is the same if you stay for just a week or through the entire term of the Retreat. Feel free to attend one day or four weeks. Dorm and meal costs rise the longer you stay, of course, so plan appropriately. Meals vary in cost depending on where you eat. Please pay KU Housing before you arrive.

If you want to reserve a spot for this year's Writer's Retreat, please complete the new online-registration form once it is ready.

Enrollment Information and Request Form

Also use the new online-registration form to reserve a dorm room (once it is ready).

Contact us for any logistical help you might need in getting settled for your stay: Lydia Ash (lash@ku.edu)

Housing for the Writer's Retreat

Our official dorm housing for out-of-town attendees is Krehbiel Scholarship Hall (a mirror of last year's scholarship hall) at 1301 Ohio Street, a brand new residence located near the Kansas Student Union, Oread Hotel, and downtown. Rooms share a bathroom (about one with 3 stalls and showers/bath per 6 rooms), and have a sink and counter space for a microwave or other small kitchen equipment. Other building amenities include a lovely wraparound porch with seating (including a chair-swing or two), basketball court, pool table, and many private study areas. Be sure to let Lydia Ash know if you have special needs.

Dormitory rooms are available at the following rates:

  • Twelve-night stay (corresponding to on of the Writers Workshops' or Intensive SF Institute schedule) in a shared double room: $305; if you want the double rate, you need to work out a roommate in advance, because the Center is charged per room, not per occupant, and we cannot choose roommates for you. 
  • Twelve-night stay in a single room (unshared): $496.
  • To stay for the Campbell Conference, add $48 (shared) or $78 (unshared) for Friday and Saturday night. This is a great opportunity to meet our Campbell and Sturgeon Award winning authors, plus other authors and editors, so we strongly recommend staying through the Conference weekend or starting your visit with the Conference.
  • Note: Housing cannot accommodate check-ins earlier than June 1. You must request to check in early and pay for an extra day if you wish to stay longer. Housing also cannot accommodate stays beyond June 27.

If you wish to stay in a dorm, you must make dorm reservations by May 20. Please pay for your room in advance once you hear from Lydia Ash about this year's final rate. Check-out is at noon.

Use the new online-registration form to reserve a dorm room.

Contact Lydia Ash lash@ku.edu for any logistical help you might need in getting settled for your stay. More logistical information is available on the CSSF LiveJournal.

Check out VisitLawrence.com for local hotel information.

Meals are available in a variety of wonderful restaurants, and Lawrence offers at least one fine micro-brewery. Check out Lawrence.com for a list of just a few of the local eating establishments.

Transportation from Airport to Lawrence

Many transport services offer rides between the Kansas City International (MCI - the "M" is for "Mid-Continent") airport and Lawrence, including:

  • Better Alternative Transportation Services (BATS): 24/7 door-to-door service; individual rates.
  • Roadrunner (also known as "KCI Airport Shuttle"): individual rates; departs from the Holidome (Lawrence Holiday Inn) at specific times. Toll-free phone contact number: (800)747-2524 or call your travel agent.
  • SDM Transportation: 24/7 door-to-door service; offers airport shuttles or luxury cars with individual rates.
  • Jayhawk Taxi: 24/7 door-to-door service; fixed rate to the airport for 1-2 passengers.
  • Super Shuttles: 24/7 door-to-door service; group rates; discount if you use the group discount code: S6Q2W.
  • Five Guys Shuttle: 24/7 door-to-door service; rates per van, not per person.
  • Here 2 There Shuttle: 24/7 DD service, airport shuttle, and reservations for special events. Can hold up to 10 passengers at once. Call or text 785-380-8879 or email 785shuttle@gmail.com
  • KCI Express Shuttle offers pickup and delivery right to our dorm or your hotel for only $5 more than the normal rate. Phone Reservations: (816)645-1815. After 8:00 PM CST (816)372-1556.
  • Ground Transportation Services, Inc, is a local Lawrence business that provides 24/7 taxi service within Lawrence, and the surrounding areas. They also operate daily door-to-door shuttle service from Lawrence to the Kansas City Airport. (888)467-3729 or (785)838-4500. See a schedule here.

Notes:

  • Reserve well in advance of your trip to confirm pricing and availability.
  • KCI stands for "Kansas City International Airport," though the official airport code changed to MCI - "Mid-Continent International Airport" - a few years ago.
  • This list is for your information only. KU and the Gunn Center are not affiliated with these services.

Maps

Here's a cropped map of the University of Kansas (click the image to see it in full-screen size):
 click for larger map

Here's a map showing where KU is located in Eastern Kansas:
 

University of Kansas map.

Kansas Union map (in .pdf format).

Lawrence bus routes and maps.

Google Maps centered on the KU Kansas Union.

Unfortunately, this summer KU is enduring lots of road construction. See this map for details (click the image to see image in full-screen):

Lawrence in the Summer

For anyone who hasn't visited, Lawrence is wonderful, a lively small city in the Kaw River valley, filled with art, events and activities. The location of the University of Kansas, Lawrence is situated about 40 miles from Kansas City and 20 miles from Topeka. Summers can be hot, but classrooms and housing are air-conditioned.

Among its many amenities, the University of Kansas has a large science-fiction collection and good reference collections; museums of natural history and art; and sports, theater, and concerts. Lawrence has many excellent restaurants and shopping and recreational opportunities. Kansas City is less than an hour away. Nighttime opportunities include movies, dinner, concerts, and star-gazing sessions.

The nearest major airport is Kansas City International, about 55 miles from Lawrence. Transportation to Lawrence from Kansas City International can be arranged through one of several airport shuttle services. By car, Lawrence is at the intersection of U.S. 59 and I-70 (Kansas Turnpike). The west interchange is closer to the campus. Lawrence can also be reached by Kansas Highway 10.

Find out all about Lawrence - its history, stores, museums, observatories, and SFnal activities - here.

Contact us for any logistical help you might need in getting settled for your stay:
        Chris McKitterick (cmckit@ku.edu) or James Gunn (jgunn@ku.edu).

updated 2/15/2015

Home | A Basic SF Library | Staff | AboutSF.com | Educational Program | Films and Online Videos | SF News | SF Youth Program
CSSF Awards | Campbell Conference | James Gunn Essays | SF Hall of Fame | CSSF Blog | Resources | Donate