Zachary Tyler Vickers


Zachary Tyler Vickers is the author of Congratulations on Your Martyrdom! [Indiana University Press]. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop where he was the Provost's Fellow. He is the recipient of the Richard Yates Prize and the Clark Fisher Ansley Prize for excellence in fiction. He has been a finalist for the Calvino Prize, the Gertrude Stein Award, and the ProForma Prize. His work has appeared in numerous journals. You can learn more at

Did the retreat meet your expectations?

Yes, it was the perfect blend of work and relaxation. Being able to explore Sonoma County's beautiful vineyards (and drink a lot of wine) was the perfect way to eschew and estrange myself from my writing so that I could return to it later that day fresh.

What was the most unexpected part of your stay?

Liking the desert wines!

What was the most enjoyable aspect of your retreat?

Meeting the writers at my reading at Moshin and the Moshin staff--they were all so accommodating, friendly, and knowledgeable.

Did the vineyard setting inspire you and/or your writing? In what ways?

It was quiet and comfortable and serene--the perfect place to avoid distraction and focus on completing my novel.

What did you work on during the retreat?

I finished (I hope) my novel.

What other activities did you do during the retreat—any napping, hiking, or exploring the local area?

Outside of the vineyards (did I mention the vineyards, the wine? There's lots of wine in Sonoma County), I spent an afternoon at the Armstrong Redwood Forest. I also found a small taco stand.

Did you participate in any activities or events arranged by the host winery? If so please elaborate.

Yes, there was a great reading put on at Moshin as part of the residency. It was great to meet with local writers and hear their work.

Any tips or advice you think might be helpful for future residency applicants?

Pack light and buy wine bottle protectors for travel. You'll want to bring lots of wine home with you.

Can you sum up your experience in ten words or less?

I wish I could do it every year.

Any other comments, impressions, and surprises about the retreat you wish to convey?

Thank you, Marcy, for putting together an incredible opportunity for writers, and for Moshin for being incredible hosts!