Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 13, 2010

Fall Writer’s Retreat

For the last five years or more, we have held a writer’s retreat at the Tom’s River Country Club in Tom’s River, NJ.  Everyone who attended liked the intimacy of having everyone in the Guest House.  It really brought people together, but there were two drawbacks.  First, everyone had to share a room.  So unless two men signed up, a man could not attend and stay overnight.  Second, there were only 4 bedrooms for the attendees, so the amount of people who could get a room was limited.

After throwing our faculty party in the Presidential Suite at the Hyatt Regency in Princeton, NJ last weekend, I started thinking how wonderful it would be to use the facility for the Writer’s Retreat.  We limit the Retreat to 16 writers and 2 editors, so I think the Presidential Suite is large enough for the 18 people.  Actually it is larger then the space we had at the country club.  Writer’s could chose whether they wanted to share a room or have their own room and we could even sit outside to do the first page session if the weather was nice, just like we did at the Club.

So this year we are changing the venue and having our first Writer’s Retreat in Princeton at the Hyatt.  I have not invited the two editors, but I will be looking for editors who do a broad range of books, who are looking to add to their list and are knowledgable and can help us improve our stories.

Here is how it will work:

Date:  October 1-3, 2010

Check in: 3pm Friday afternoon

Retreat Costs:  All costs include two breakfast, two lunches, Saturday night dinner, 45 minute one-on-one critique, 45 minute group critique, first page session, Q&A with editors, writing contest, and other sessions TBA, such as motivational ideas, query talk, rejection letters.  Possible early workshop on Friday, according to how many people want or can come in at 3:00pm.  That will be decided with the group in mind.

If you chose to go to dinner on Friday night with the editors, then please figure on an additional $25 for Friday dinner – everyone will pay for their own dinner.  It looks like we will go to P.F. Chang’s on Friday  night.

$345 Retreat with No overnight room

$398 Retreat with Saturday night shared room

$455 Retreat with Saturday night single room

$455  Retreat with Friday night and Saturday night shared room

$560  Retreat with Friday night and Saturday night single room

Wine and cheese in Presidential Suite at 5:00 pm on Friday night.  Suite will be stocked with water, soda, coffee, tea, crackers, chips, cookies, juice, wine during the weekend.  Party on Saturday night.

Please keep in mind that the space for this retreat is limited to 14 people plus Laurie and me.  If you would like a spot, please let me know, so I can lock in your space.

Hope you’ll think about attending.

Kathy


Responses

  1. Hey, Kathy 🙂
    I can’t attend, but I agree—it’s a great space and more than sufficient for your retreat 🙂 Have fun!
    Donna

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    • Donna,

      Toms River was nice, but I am hoping this will provide an even better experience.

      Kathy

      Like

  2. Ooh! Great idea Kathy!
    I hope I can go this year . . .
    I bet this is going to fill up fast.

    Hope all is well with you.

    Very best,
    Mimi

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  3. I’d love to come but dang, I’m busy that weekend. Will you be adding another weekend sometime?

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    • Nancy,

      I guess you are going to Collingswood. How was the Wildwood conference?

      Kathy

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      • I was supposed to go to Collingswood, but it’s the same weekend as Penn State’s Parents’ Weekend. Missed it last year, and I doubt I’ll be forgiven if I miss it again…

        The WW Beach Writers Conf was fun. Lots of new writers interested in breaking in and also writers who were there because they wanted to find out about self-publishing. We told the director she needs to get rid of the guy pushing self-pubbed pkgs because he was not nice.

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      • Nancy,

        I hope they tried to steer people towards developing their craft and trying to go the traditional route before jumping into self-publishing. Parent’s Weekend sounds like fun.

        Kathy

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  4. Oh, that sounds awesome, but unfortunately it’s over the Collingswood Book Festival weekend, and I’m committed to that.

    Sounds like a terrific idea!

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    • Christine,

      I never thought about checking when that was being held. Have fun and sell alot of books.

      Kathy

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      • thanks! I usually do pretty well at Collingswood, and this year I should have a new release to add to my series, so I’m pretty excited!!

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  5. Hi Kathy,

    I want to come but I have a few questions. Will there be any kind of instruction/workshops on the craft of writing involved? One of the reasons I ask is because I have learned an incredible amount through two workshops you sponsored from Scott Tremeil and would love, love, love to partake in any other educational opportunities like those (The Novel Intensive last November, and the Characters, Conflict and Pacing session at the NJ-SCBWI conference last weekend …. he has a LOT to teach, even if he did bash my first book!)

    Also in regard to the 45 minutes critique (which is such a great learning opportunity on it’s own), how many pages will they critique?

    I am definitely interested and will mark my calender, but if you could let me know those two things I would greatly appreciate it.

    Once again, thank you for your herculean efforts which have raised the bar for the entire nation of SCBWI regions! I am so lucky to be part of this group.

    Like

    • Hi Kathy,
      I have many of the same questions as Nanci and would like to hear more details, such as what makes the retreat a difference experience from the mentoring/critique workshops?
      thanks, Mary

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    • Nanci,

      You can submit the first thirty pages of your manuscript and synopsis to the group and your assigned editor for your 45 minute critique. You can spend the whole 45 minutes on that one manuscript or you can take some time to talk about other manuscripts or how you should proceed with career type questions.

      The editors usually bring in examples of things they have received that they think are good, such as query letters, cover letters, synopsis, etc. Attendees usually bring in rejection letters to discuss with everyone and try to figure out what the editor who sent it was trying to say.

      We have a first page session and we have a Q & A session. We have a writing contest and the editors pick a winner. We might do a group writing exercise.

      I don’t think we would have time to do a class on craft, but when I go over the schedule. I could see if we had an hour where we could squeeze something else in. We probably could if everyone could arrive at 3:00pm, but I couldn’t promise that, right now.

      The great thing about the retreat is you get more time with the editors. You get to really know them and they really get the time to know you. It’s like combining the Mentoring Workshops with the Networking Dinners and then adding a few extra things to help you figure out how to make thing happen for you.

      Does that help?

      Kathy

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  6. Kathy, count me in for Friday night and Sat night. I’ll share a room if someone needs to cut down on expenses, otherwise, I’ll take a single room. Had a great time last year and would reccommend the retreat to all. Best, Bettelynn

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    • BetteLynn,

      I’m so happy you want to come. Did you give any thought to going to a theatre Matinee and a Networking dinner with Laurie and me? Hallee is going to do that with us.

      Kathy

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      • Hi – Yes, yes,yes. That would be lots of fun. I have to check the schedule with my husband and family. I’m thinking August. How does that sound? But let me double check and I’ll confirm in the next day or two.

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      • BetteLynn,

        Hallee is coming to July 27th and 28th, if that helps you decide.

        Kathy

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  7. Kathy,

    How much would the change be to simply come Friday night and party in the President’s Suite with you?!!!!! 🙂

    David

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  8. David you’re a wild man.

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  9. Hi Kathy, Yes it does tremendously. Count me in. I would be able to come Friday anytime and am also happy to help you in any way you need help prior to and during the event. I missed this last year and the year before (last year I was still in Austin with Parker after his illness) I am VERY excited to be able to be a part of it, and am waiting with baited breath to see what other goodies you dish up this fall. You are very creative and where you get all the energy, I just don’t know. I’m VERY excited about my dinner on the 30th.
    P.S. If Scott does anymore workshops coming up, please let me know so I can get a spot in that, too. I always learn so much from him, even if I do leave feeling bruised and battered. 🙂

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  10. P.S. I am dizzy with the thought of a 45 minute one on one critique with an editor! That is such an awesome, awesome deal, worth half the cost of the whole thing. I’m so excited!!!! Thank you again!

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  11. Kathy, that was a big help! I’m going to think it over–still overwhelmed from all the good info from the conference.

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    • Mary,

      Any chance you would like to be featured on Illustrators Saturday?

      Kathy

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      • Kathy, I would love to be featured! but my daughter is graduating high school next week and things are hectic. May I do it in July?

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      • Mary,

        Certainly! Send it to me when you can.

        Kathy

        Like

  12. Kathy

    I want to attend the oct. retreat. I just joined after meeting Anita at PennWriters in May. It sounds like a great opportunity. Hope you still have space. Karen

    Like


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