Bill Oakley was a writer at The Simpsons from seasons 4-6 and an executive producer/showrunner with his writing partner Josh Weinstein from seasons 7-8. I talked to him at length about his experiences in that famous writer's room. This is a transcription of part of that conversation, edited for length and clarity.
Twice a year, from at least season three 'til season eight, there'd be these story retreats where everybody would come and present their ideas for episodes. We'd get a big conference room in a hotel about a hundred yards from the office, and we'd go around and everybody would tell their ideas, one by one. It [...]