Tap In, Dig Deep, and Discover Voice at this weeklong writing workshop.

Synergia Ranch


May 8 – 14, 2020

Cedar Valley

West Bend, Wisconsin

August 16 – 22, 2020

Discover how to tap into the recesses of your imagination and memory. Whether you are writing prose, poetry, memoir, or a combination, let us help you reach your goals and whittle your work down to its essential core.

About Your Instructors
Over the course of the week, you’ll work one-on-one and in groups with your instructors, Meg Tuite and Robert Vaughan.
meg-tuite_bio-photo_april-2012Meg Tuite is the author of three short story collections, Bound By Blue (2013 Sententia Books), Domestic Apparition (2011 San Francisco Bay Press), and won the Twin Antlers Collaborative Poetry award from Artistically Declined Press for her poetry collection, Bare Bulbs Swinging, and four chapbooks, the latest titled, Lined Up Like Scars, published by International Flash Short Short Fiction Publications. She has been nominated nine times for the Pushcart Awards, won first and second place in Prick of the Spindle contest, four-time finalist at Glimmer Train and is a finalist of the Gertrude Stein award. Her work has been published in over fifteen anthologies including: Choose Wisely: 35 Women Up To No Good, and she is the editor of seven anthologies. She teaches at the Santa Fe Community College, is a senior editor for Connotation Press and is Fiction Editor at Bending Genres Journal. Her blog: http://megtuite.com
robert-vaughanRobert Vaughan teaches workshops in hybrid writing, poetry, fiction, and hike/ write. He has facilitated these at locations like Alverno College, UWM, Red Oak Writing, Synergia Ranch, The Clearing and Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos. He leads writing roundtables in Milwaukee, WI. He was a finalist for the Gertrude Stein Award for Fiction twice (2013, 2014). His short fiction, ‘A Box’ was selected for Best Small Fictions 2016 (Queen’s Ferry Press). Vaughan is the author of five books: Microtones (Cervena Barva Press); Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits (Deadly Chaps); Addicts & Basements (CCM): RIFT, a flash fiction collection co-authored with Kathy Fish (Unknown Press): and FUNHOUSE(Unknown Press). He is the Editor-in-Chief at Bending Genres Journal and he blogs at www.robert-vaughan.com.
What People Are Saying

Here’s some high praise from attendees of past workshops

“Meg and Robert set up a great program and work together beautifully. I am really impressed by their knowledge of writers and writing. I could set up a shelf in my library with their suggestions. It was so nice to have a group this size be as respectful and kind as they were. Meg and Robert both set a good example. I met so many nice, bright, helpful and interesting people. Also, I loved the location, the food, and my room.” —Paul Beckman

“If you’ve ever had a vision of writing in an inspiring setting, or a fantasy of a week with a great tribe of writers, and sumptuous food all the while, then a workshop with Meg Tuite and Robert Vaughan ought to be on your bucket list. Both Robert and Meg are wordsmiths who spark creativity. At Bending Genres, this poet wrote her first flash fiction. It was a blast.”

—Martha Jackson Kaplan 

“Meg and Robert’s Bending Genres workshop was a transformative experience for me as a writer and as a literary citizen. Not only did my writing shift and grow and blossom, but I also found my writing tribe and this may have been the greatest gift of all. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to learn, expand and connect with these talented writers.”
—Levi Noe

“This will change your life.”
—Sara Comito

“Working with Meg and Robert at Synergia Ranch was a re-charge of the creative battery. Opportunity to focus, re-focus, receive open, honest, generous, and diverse feedback are rare. This retreat was a buffet of time and support. The group, food, and accommodations were fantastic. Inspirational. The desert, full of peace and isolation, was the perfect location to bond with both work, health, and other writers. I didn’t want to leave and hope to return.”
—David O’Connor

“Meg and Robert provide a cornucopia of insight and inspiration floating on a sea of support and love. And the food was kickass, too.”
—Jayne Martin  

“Working with Meg Tuite and Robert Vaughan was incredibly productive and pleasurable. My writing benefited greatly from their wise instruction, enabling me to go deeper, take more risks, and reap huge benefits. They create a safe space for writers at all levels of their craft to try new things. In their ‘Bending Genres’ week-long intensive, I enjoyed their selection of stories by master writers paired with innovative assignments. I started producing fresh work that excited me, then received their wise, concrete feedback to finish my pieces. Across the board, a fulfilling experience! If you get the chance to work with these two flash masters, jump at it!”

 —Lynn Mundell
And the endorsements continue!

The Best Teachers

“Without question, Robert Vaughan is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had, and this includes college professors. He’s an acute listener who is able to find the music (or lack thereof) in the pieces his students write and is thereby able to offer insights and suggestions so that an author can then polish their work into crisp and powerful prose. He’s honest and one hundred percent authentic. He guides and leads without condescension or a heavy hand.  I’ve been witness to people weeping from Robert’s messages.  Anyone able to spend time under Vaughan’s tutelage is not only very fortunate, but they’ll come away from the experience forever changed, a far better writer, one who takes the craft more serious than they thought they ever could.”

—Len Kuntz, author of The Dark Sunshine (Connotation Press) and I’m Not Supposed To Be Here And Neither Are You (Unknown Press)

Guidance and Encouragement

“The opportunity to work with Meg Tuite is one that I’d been looking forward to and had been hoping to happen for a long time.  Meg has this amazing core belief in everyone she works with that reinforces one’s own ability and strengths. She is, at once, friend, collaborator and mentor.  During the time that I worked with her on a collaborative collection, she gently took the lead, and provided me with guidance and encouragement to do my best work. Those are lessons I will never forget, and, in fact, will pass on to others. She is a dynamo of positivity and a wealth of knowledge!”

—Michelle Reale, author of Birds of Sicily (Aldrich Press) and Kestrel (Dancing Girl Press)

A Whole New Level

“I have interacted with Robert Vaughan and Meg Tuite in a variety of writing forums. While Robert and Meg each bring their own individual brand of high energy to any group, together they are absolute dynamite! Our writing circles have led us all to personal and professional growth and yielded a high volume of published work. When you work with Meg and Robert, you will push beyond your comfort zone and take your writing practice to a whole new level.”

—Michael Gillan Maxwell, author of The Part Time Shaman Handbook (Unknown Press, 2015)

Deep Knowledge

“I grew up near Palisades Park, THE Palisades Park. I was also the youngest of four kids, so there were lots of times I heard, “because you’re too little.” Some of those times were when the big kids got to go the park and I had to stay home. How I longed for the carousel, the tilt-a- whirl, the terrifying wooden roller coaster. Taking a class with Meg Tuite is an all-day pass to the park. Meg’s enthusiasm, her dedication and her love of writing is contagious and way better than candied apples rolled in chopped peanuts. I was an experienced poet but a newbie to Flash Fiction when I took my first class with Meg. She swung the park gates wide and let us all in to the adventure that is Flash. I couldn’t get enough (you know kind of like cotton candy….?) Meg’s excellent teaching skills and deep knowledge of her genre come wrapped in a huge heart and the desire for you to learn. Sounds like Palisades Park to me! Meg is also incredibly generous and will do just about anything to support your writing practice. She really wants us all to win, not the little rubber ducks on the bottom row but the huge stuffed panda hanging from the top shelf. If you have the chance to work with Meg, go for it, you will not regret it. Just remember to eat that third chili dog after you get off the ferris wheel.”

—Katherine DiBella Seluja, author of Gather the Night (University of New Mexico Press)


Reach Your Full Potential

“Robert Vaughan and Meg Tuite are not just inspired writers, they’re inspired teachers. With gentle, loving guidance they force you to dig deep, to seek out the scary stuff, the ugly stuff, the beautiful stuff that makes up this life—and that provides the seeds for stunning poems, fiction and memoirs. Robert and Meg have more than once helped me reach my full potential in my own work and I know they can do the same for you.”

—Karen Stefano, author of The Secret Games of Words (1 Glimpse Press)

Sign Up for the Workshop!