Select Page

Virtual Songwriting Retreat

with Diamonds in the Rust

Wanna hang out with your fellow songwriters for a few days? Virtually of course. We’ll have writing exercises, stimulating conversations about songwriting, a song assignment (optional), and time for song sharing too! Hosted by the members of Diamonds in the Rust; Jan Krist, Jim Bizer, Alan Finkbeiner, Annie & Rod Capps. All levels of songwriter are welcome.


April 29, 2021 – May 2, 2021

Cost: $100.00


Shaping the Mystery

with Jim Bizer

Songwriting is art and craft, inspiration and perspiration. At its best, songwriting has no plan or agenda but is a process of discovery. We need to use our “boxes” – the tools and techniques we’ve learned – while remaining able to think outside them. Full of dichotomies, but so is life and so are we.

Lyrical Shorthand

with Jan Krist

Have you ever heard a phrase that landed on your ears, eyes, and gut at the same time? Often it’s a phrase that passes quickly and makes you want to “rewind” a song, so you can hear it again, just to be sure you caught it right. This workshop will explore such phrases from a variety of writers, examining wordplay at work. We will also do a writing exercise designed to help us create lyrics that use the shared symbology of culture, to create lyrical shorthand, without cliches.

Not Done Yet

with Annie Capps

So you’ve got 3 verses, a chorus, maybe a bridge and some music. It says what you want to say, but something still isn’t quite delivering. We’ve all had those moments when a song comes pouring out of you. Like a gift. It’s rare that those songs couldn’t be a lot better with some fine-tuning. The time you spend editing is where the craft begins. It can also be where the life is sucked out of a song. We’ll discuss the role of editing to help take your song up a notch or two through better (or fewer) words, melody and space exploration, trial and error, and knowing when to stop.

The Rhythm Rut

with Alan Finkbeiner & Rod Capps

It’s not unusual to get stuck in a rhythmic rut when writing songs. Alan has prepared a few downloadable drum loops and Rod will demonstrate the same chord progression using these loops to create different strumming patterns. They will discuss ways of using them to help you out of your rut.

Weekend Schedule

Thursday, April 29 – 7:30 pm EDT
Kicking off with a casual meet & greet, song assignment, and open mic

Friday, April 30 – 11:00 am – 1:00 pm EDT
Individual Staff Talks, Writing Exercises, and Q&A

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EDT
“Dressing a Song” with Jim, Annie, and Jan
A panel discussion exploring ways to shake things up and give your song the “Eliza Doolittle” treatment.

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm EDT
Open Mic

Saturday, May 1 – 11:00 am – 1:00 pm EDT
Individual Staff Talks, Writing Exercises, and Q&A

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Sound/Recording Q&A with Alan

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm – One : One sessions
Sign up to spend 15 with Jim, Annie, or Jan. 

4:00 pm – 7:30pm – On your own, writing time, nap time, chow time

8:00pm – 9:30 pm – Staff Concert
Live stream on Facebook & Youtube is open to the public. Workshop attendees are invited to watch the show via Zoom

Sunday 12:00 pm – 2:00pm 
Attendees & Staff perform their song assignments

How Much for all this?


Space is limited. Don’t wait