Posted by: Kathy Temean | July 23, 2010

Writer’s Update

Two people dropped out of the Weekend Writer’s Retreat October 1st  –  3rd at the Princeton Hyatt Regency Hotel, so there are two spots that need to be filled.  Hope two of you are interested in joining us.

The schedule for the Fall is up on our website .  I would like everyone to know the schedule:

First Page Session on September 16th at the Princeton Theological Seminary 

            Marissa Walsh, Agent, Fine Print Literary Agency

            Leila S. Sales, Assistant Editor, Viking Children’s Books

First Page Session on November 4th at the Princeton Theological Seminary

            Joe Monti, Agent at Barry Goldblatt Literary Agency 

            Shauna Fay, Assistant Editor at Putnam

Space is limited, so contact Laurie ( )if you want to get on the list and then get your check in to make sure you keep the spot.

Every year we have a Weekend Writer’s Retreat.  Two people who signed up dropped out, so there are two spots available.


            Jessica Dandino Garrison, Editor, Dial Books for Young Readers

            Kristin Daly, Editor at Balzer and Bray

Date:  October 1-3, 2010

Check in: 3pm Friday afternoon

            Anita Nolan will join us on Friday at 3:30 pm to do a writing lesson and writing          exercise on story “Beginnings.”

            David Caruba is joining us at 5:00 pm to do an updated State of the Market Report   for us over cocktails.

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 paying an additional $25+ according to what you order 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. 

 NOVEMBER 13TH & 14TH WRITER’S WEEKEND (See description below) 

Place:  Princeton Hyatt Regency Hotel (Both Days)

Times:  2:00 pm – Dinner from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm on November 13th 

November 13th Faculty: 

                   Anita Nolan, Executive Editor, Sprouts Magazine 

                   Leeza Hernandez, Author/Illustrator & Creative Art Director,  Sprouts Magazine  

Times:  November 14th – Registration and Continential Breakast starts

                   8:15 am – Workshop ends at 5:00 pm. 

November 14th Faculty

                      Karen Chaplin, Editor at Puffin                      

                      Krista Marino, Executive Editor at Random House 

                      Allison Wortche, Editor at Knopf 

                      Emily Van Beek, Agent at Folio Literary Management

Cost for November 13th Writing Craft Day:  $60 for anyone attending November 14th Workshop, includes dinner on Saturday night. 

Cost for November 13th Writing Craft Day:  $30 for anyone attending November 14th Workshop without dinner.   

Cost for November 13th Writing Craft Day :  $90 with dinner or $60 without dinner for anyone NOT attending the following day (November 14th) Mentoring Workshop or Illustrator’s Day.  

Cost:  Non-members add $25 to the above cost. 


 Cost:  $215 for members  $250 for Non-members – includes breakfast and lunch, one-on-one critique, group critique Q & A and First Page Session for Mentoring Workshop. 

Cost:  Illustrators’ Day -includes breakfast, lunch, Illustrating Assignment with Art Director, Portfolio Critique and how to workshop. SPECIAL HOTEL PRICING:  $95 for anyone attending who would like to stay overnight.  

SPACE IS LIMITED – Please e-mail to reserve space and then fill out this form. 

INFO for November 13th – WRITER’S CRAFT DAY 

For our novel and chapter book writers, Anita Nolan will conduct the following craft workshops: 


Do editors or agents say your characters are one-dimensional, flat, or unsympathetic? In the Deepening Characterization Workshop, we’ll discuss how to make a character sympathetic, intriguing and believable—to make them come alive.  We’ll talk about using no more characters than you need. We’ll discuss villains, antagonists, and secondary characters too. We’ll also talk about upping the stakes, layering your character, and adding emotion. 

Rarely does an aspiring author have too much tension in a manuscript. Instead a story almost always needs more. The story might move too slowly or the character might solve their problems too easily. We’ll talk about creating inner conflict and making the high points bigger, dealing with backstory and how it can slow the pacing, and techniques on how to determine where your story has tension, where it doesn’t, and things you can do if your story starts to slow to add tension and conflict. 

Anita is the Executive Editor of Sprouts Magazine.  She conducts writing workshops and is a frequent speaker. 

These are going to be active workshops, so bring the first fifty pages of your manuscript (if you don’t have fifty pages written, bring what you have, but at least twenty).  Also bring highlighters of at least 5 different colors, paper and a pen. 

For our picture book people Leeza Hernandez will conduct a picture book workshop. 

INFO for PICTURE BOOK WORKSHOP on November 13th 

Picture Book Breakdowns: From writer’s block to word count, and from page turners to word choice. Sharpen your skills with hands-on methods to master your manuscript—without even breaking a sweat! Workshop includes a “Creative Pick-Me-Up” interlude. 

Leeza is a published writer and illustrator.  The NJSCBWI Illustrator Coordinator and the Creative Art Director of Sprouts Magazine. 


Attendees are assigned an editor or agent, who will receive your manuscript (first 30 pages of novel or full picture book) before the workshop to read and critique.  On the day of the workshop, attendees will meet with their mentor for a 20 minute one-on-one critique.  All attendees are assigned to a critique group and your submission will be discussed by the group.  During the day, everyone will hear one of their first pages read aloud and two editors will comment on what they thought as they heard your first page.  

We end the day with a Q & A session with the faculty, so bring your questions with you.

NOVEMBER 14th – ILLUSTRATOR’S DAY Description to come.


2011 June Conference Faculty so far:

Holly McGhee – Owner and Agent of Pippin Properties

Emily Van Beek – Agent, Folio Literary Management

Edward Neclarsumer – Agent, McIntosh & Otis

Marrietta Zacker – Agent, Nancy Gallt Agency

Krista Marino – Executive Editor, Random House

Erica Sussman – Editor, HarperCollins

Harold Underdown – Author and owner of the Purple Crayon Website and Blog.

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