Viable Paradise is open for applications again. And it appears to be a re-do of this past year's instructors including John Scalzi, Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Jim Macdonald and Debra Doyle, Steven Gould and Laura Mixon, and Elizabeth Bear.
As a writer, you could do much worse than being instructed by this crowd. And they all had their areas of expertise which sometimes overlapped, but all had good things to share. Those areas of expertise covered the full gamut of being a working writer in genre fiction (research, plot, structure, exposition, business savvy, and industry knowledge). Much of it you may know, have seen in various places, but for me it certainly helped to have it all pulled together and made relevant to each other. Hell, the cost of admission to have Uncle Jim's plot lecture and see Teresa Nielsen Hayden's party trick is worth it, IMHO. And you get all the extra stuff for free. Plus, you know, glowing jellyfish.
I had my trepidations about going. The cost, time, and if it would be worth it. Let me just say that my only regret is that I ended up going exhausted and probably didn't get everything I should have out of the experience. If you feel you don't do well in crowds, well at least half the class of VP XIII felt the same way. You'll work your brains out and have a great time doing it. Just one hint if you go, help out the staff. They're also writers and can use the breaks.