Ernest Hemingway had a longtime love affair with Wyoming, visiting ranches and hotels across the state in the 1920s and ‘30s to fish and write – including finishing his novel A Farewell to Arms while staying at the Sheridan Inn in Sheridan, Wyo. This summer, the porch of that historic hotel will serve as a gathering spot for a small group of writers attending a new Wyoming weekend writing retreat, “Hemingway’s Wyoming,” Aug. 12 – 14, 2016.
The weekend workshop will be hosted by Darla Worden, founder and director of the annual Left Bank Writers Retreat in Paris, now in its seventh year. Worden, who grew up in Sheridan, recently wrote an article about the famous author’s visits to the state, “Hemingway’s Wyoming: A Cockeyed Wonderful Country,” which appears in the 2016 spring issue of Big Sky Journalmagazine. Following in Hemingway’s Wyoming footsteps to research the article proved the inspiration for creating the weekend retreat.
“I’ve spent years introducing writers to Hemingway’s favorite Paris spots each June with Left Bank Writers Retreat,” says Worden. “It suddenly occurred to me, why not do something similar on a smaller scale a little closer to home?”
“Many of even the most avid Ernest Hemingway fans aren’t familiar with Hemingway’s deep connection to Wyoming,” says Worden. “We will explore places where Hemingway worked on A Farewell to Arms, as well as the country that inspired his short story ‘Wines of Wyoming.’ We’ll also be writing at the historic Spear-O-Wigwam dude ranch where Hemingway wrote and fished.”
The price of the weekend is $230 per person, which includes a welcome cocktail Friday evening at the Sheridan Inn, the writing workshop (morning and afternoon writing sessions on Saturday, morning writing on Sunday), transportation to Spear-O-Wigwam and return to Sheridan, picnic lunch, snacks and a cocktail hour on Saturday, lunch on Sunday, and an optional polo match in Big Horn, Wyoming, Sunday afternoon. (Writers are responsible for their own overnight lodging.) The retreat will meet on the front porch of the Sheridan Inn in Sheridan, Wyoming, each day. The group is limited to 8 participants. A sample itinerary and option to reserve space with a $100 deposit (non-refundable) is available on the Left Bank Writers Retreat website.
Founded and hosted by Darla Worden, the Left Bank Writers Retreat is named for the now-famous writers who lived on Paris’s Left Bank during the 1920s, writing and congregating in the city’s cafes and bars to share ideas. The six-day small-group writing workshop and literary tourism experience, held in Paris, France, each June, focuses on the writing techniques and literary landmarks of Hemingway and his cohort of expatriate friends. For more information, visit www.leftbankwritersworkshop.com/register.
Darla Worden is a writer and public relations professional who lives in Jackson, Wyo., Denver, Colo., and Paris. Worden has written widely for magazines and authored several books. She writes the popular blog Frenchophile and is currently working on a book about Hemingway’s Paris.