Southern Gothic Ghosts – Savannah, GA

October 22 – 25, 2020

Register HERE

Overview: Participants can drift down the Savannah River, docking at the coastal city of Savannah, Georgia. Writers will reside within the historic district, allowing full immersion to the sights, sounds, and flavors of Savannah. Writing Adventurers will experience the picturesque district and its history. The manicured parks, horse-drawn carriages, and antebellum architecture, along with a cast of famous characters, will be weaved into the writing sessions.  In addition, writers will get a private tour of Flannery O’Connor’s childhood home with a writing session held there.  On the last day, we will hold a book club discussion, featuring The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers.  This weekend workshop is designed for all levels of writers and book lovers. You will expand aspects of your craft with experiences and writing exercises. Participants will play games, experiment with style, and learn the purpose and place of Southern Gothic literature. Go beyond the cobblestoned squares and parks full of Spanish Moss trees, you will enrich your writing and infuse your words with a haunting Southern atmosphere.


  • Hotel Room @ the Marshall House – 3 nights (Thurs, Fri, Sat)
    • Refined 1851 hotel with elegant quarters
    • Located in the heart of Historic Savannah
    • Breakfast each morning
    • Wine & Cheese Social each evening
    • Home of Joel Chandler Harris, author of Br’er Rabbit
  • Thursday night dinner
  • Friday Lunch & Dinner at The Lady & Sons, Paula Deen’s restaurant
  • Saturday Lunch
  • Tour of the Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home
  • 4 sessions with Kristen Kindoll, one of which is held at Flannery O’Connor’s Childhood Home
  • Tour of Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
  • Narrated Trolley Tour of Historic Savannah

Registration Fee:

  • Single Room:
    • Single Petite Queen Room with private bath
    • Registration prior to May 31, 2020P: $1,449 per person
    • Early bird discount includes The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
    • Registration after June 1, 2020: $1,649 per person
  • Double Room
    • 2 Queen beds, with private bath
    • Registration prior to May 31, 2020: $995 per person
    • Early bird discount includes The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
    • Registration after June 1, 2020: $1,195 per person

Schedule of Events (Times Tentative)


3:00pm | Registration

5:00pm | Group Dinner

  • Welcome and Overview

8:00pm | Ice Breaker: Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil Movie Party



8:00am – 9:30am | Breakfast

9:30am – 10:30am | Session 1: What is Southern Gothic Literature?

  • We will push past the Spanish Moss and discover how Southern Gothic evolved out of Gothic literature. Both forms of storytelling have haunting qualities. Short stories steeped in macabre characters, allusions to society’s constraints, and situated in a setting of faded glory will be sorted and analyzed in a team-building exercise. Networking with our fellow adventurers fosters community and creates a safe place to share our written words.

10:30am – 11:30am | Reflection/Writing/Free Time

11:30am – 12:30pm | Lunch

1:00pm – 2:00pm | Session 2: Southern Gothic Poetry – Conrad Aiken

  • Conrad Aiken was marked by his tragic past.  While he won a Pulitzer Prize, he isn’t a well-known poet.  By examining Conrad’s poems, writers will construct their own perspective with poetry.  Conrad wrote many letters to other writers. We will explore how letter writing can stimulate and grow relationships.

2:00pm – 3:00pm | Reflection/Writing/Free Time

3:00pm – 5:30pm | Historic Savannah Trolley Overview

5:45pm – 7:00pm | Dinner – The Lady & Sons


8:00am – 9:30am | Breakfast

9:30am – 9:45am | Walk to Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home

9:45am – 10:45am | Tour: Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home

10:45am – 11:45am | Courtyard Session 3: Good Vs. Evil – Flannery O’Connor

  • Flannery O’Connor’s writing encompasses the sacred and profane. We will compare two of her short stories and see how her haunting caricatures were incorporated, along with writing our own fascinating figures. The eerie setting of faded, Southern, antebellum glory is not a backdrop but another character. History, social commentary, and ghosts intertwine to create an eerie and reflective atmosphere. Writers will explore the ghosts of their past and see what haunts us.

11:45am – 12:00pm | Writing in the Courtyard

12:00pm – 12:45pm | Lunch/Sharing Stories

1:00pm – 2:00pm | Tour of St. John the Baptist Cathedral

  • The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is a Roman Catholic cathedral on Lafayette Square, known as the “Sistine Chapel of the South”.  This out-of-the-classroom writing session will foster writing that can be done anywhere.

2:00pm – 2:15pm | Walk back to hotel

2:15pm | Reflection/Writing/Free Time

Dinner – on own



8:00am – 9:00am | Breakfast

9:30am – 10:30am | Session 4: Book Club: The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter – By Carson McCullers

  • Our final session will let writers get to the heart of the matter.  We will discuss The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter and how this pivotal work can influence your writing. The discussion questions are designed to be reflective, always inspired by direct quotes out of the book. This pre-reading assignment will begin and end our trip to Savannah, Georgia.

10:30am – 11:00am | Check out of hotel