Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 27, 2010

New Jersey SCBWI Writer’s Retreat

I have been getting questions as to how the Writing Retreat is set-up, so I thought I would put the general schedule out.  I will be contacting everyone attending as to who is on their peer critique group.  New this year; I have split up everyone into 3 groups, instead of two.  This will make it easier to be part of the Novel Group, since they both will only have 5 people in the group and other four other 30 page manuscripts to critique in advance.

If you read this and are sorry you didn’t sign up, please contact me.  I may have a space for you.

Date:  October 1-3, 2010




Jessica Dandino Garrison, Editor at Dial Books for Young Readers           







Kristin Daly Ren, Editor at Balzer and Bray





Friday Check-in 3:00pm

Presidential Suite

3:30 pm to 5:00 pm – Anita Nolan – Hands-on workshop dealing with beginnings.

5:00pm to 6:00pm – David Caruba “What Editors Are Looking to Publish”

6:30 pm – Leave for dinner.

Saturday – Presidential Suite

8:30 am – Breakfast – bagels, cream cheese, muffins, fruit, yogurt, orange juice, coffee, tea.

Peer Group Critiques take place during one-on-one times on both days.

9:00 – 9:45 am – One-on-one critiques 

9:55 – 10:40 am – One-on-one critiques

10:50 – 10:35 am – One-on-one critiques

10:45 – 11:30 am – One-on-one critiques

11:30 – 1:00 am – Lunch

1:00 – 2:30 pm – First Pages outside if weather permits – everyone

2:45 – 3:35 pm – One-on-one critiques 

3:45 – 4:35 pm – One-on-one critiques – Novel Group – Places to Submit

4:40 – 5:25 pm – Personal time to pitch or talk with other editor

6:30 pm – Drinks in Presidential Suite

7:00 pm – Dinner in Hotel

9:00 pm – Party

Sunday – Presidential Suite

8:30 am – Breakfast – bagels, cream cheese, muffins, fruit, yogurt, orange juice, coffee, tea.

9:00 – 9:45 am – One-on-one critiques  – Novel Group – Improving each individual synopsis

9:55 – 10:40 am – One-on-one critiques – Novel Group – Synopsis work continues

10:50 – 11:40 am – Query letters, cover letters, rejection letters, agents – everyone

11:50 – 12:40 pm – Inspiration exercise – everyone

1:00 – 2:30 pm – Lunch and Q & A – everyone

Another thing we have is a writing contest, which will be sent out soon.  The editors judge the top five entries and prizes are awarded.  The weekend blends both fun, networking and learning.  This is the first year we have held the retreat at the Hyatt Regency in Princeton.  In the past it has been held at the Toms River Country Club.  Remember to contact me if you want to grab the one spot left.  Here is a link with the prices:

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Sounds like a blast! And the setting looks lovely. Hope you all have a fantastic time!


  2. K.M.

    This is a very small retreat which makes it really does make it wonderful. Everyone walks out so inspired and way further down the road to getting published.

    I want to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work.



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