Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 2, 2015

Writer’s Retreat Adds Openings for Picture Books

carly and sarah

Carly Watters and Sarah LaPallo Avalon 2014

I am now able to offer a few picture book spots at the Avalon Writer’s Retreat being held this fall in Avalon, NJ. It is always a small group of writers who want to advance their manuscripts and careers. Thought I would share some pictures from last year to give you more of a flavor for the retreat. Here is the link for more info about house – (Plus the novel part of the retreat).


Avalon Writer’s Retreat 2014

This is how it will work for Picture Book Writers:  You will receive a full picture book critique from both agents, a group critique, and a first page critique of a WIP. Here is the link for more info about house –

There is one spot left for a full novel manuscript critique. If you are interested please contact me.

Here are the PB dates for the first session: 

Arrive after 6pm on Saturday September 26th – leave the 28th by 5pm.

Arrive after 12 pm on Monday September 28th – leave morning of the 30th.

Here are the PB dates for the second session:

Arrive after 6pm on Wednesday September 30th and leave Friday after lunch October 2nd.

Arrive Friday at lunch on Friday October 2nd and leave Sunday morning by 10 pm. October 4th.

The cost for these picture book spots is:

Picture Book Price $650. This includes:  critiques, room for two nights, 2 dinners, two lunches, food to make your own breakfast.

Send an email if you would like to secure a one of these spots. Put “Avalon Writer’s Retreat” in the subject area and let me know what you have written – Book level – Genre – Word Count – brief description.

Let the games begin

Avalon 2014 Enjoying the agents with games

During the week two retreats are scheduled. The following agents are confirmed for the first session.

Agent Alex Slater from Trident Media Group

Alex is now building his list domestically, while keeping his focus on children’s literature. He likes Historical Fiction novels, Middle Grade Novels, and Young Adult, including Edgy. Alexander Slater is a graduate of the University of Connecticut. He joined Trident Media Group in 2010 and after two years as an assistant, he spent two years selling translation rights for the agency’s middle grade and young adult titles.

Linda Epstein from The Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency

Linda looks for unique, well-written children’s literature, from picture books through young adult, including both fiction and nonfiction.

MIDDLE GRADE: I like character-driven fiction with lots of action and mysteries, fantasy, scifi, realistic contemporary, historical, and when the lines between genres blur. I want you to make your middle grade characters relatable and knowable, or your awesome plot will feel hollow.

YOUNG ADULT: I like realistic contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, historical, GLBTQ, literary, funny, serious, nonfiction, fiction, re-tellings, epistolary, novels in verse, and I’d take a collection of linked short stories (but otherwise I don’t represent short stories). No dystopian or post-apocalyptic and almost anything with vampires, demons, mermaids, genies, etc… unless (because there’s always an exception!) you’re bringing something totally new to it.

PICTURE BOOKS: I like a strong voice, funny, quirky and unusual. If you’re too didactic and teachy-preachy, it’s not for me. I don’t mind rhyme if it works for the story, but if you’re jamming your story into a rhyme scheme it’s not going to work, for the manuscript or for me. I’m looking for authors and author/illustrators. Have more than one picture book manuscript.


Avalon 2014 Kathleen Bakos talking about her book.

The following agents are confirmed for the second session.

Alexandra Penfold from Upstart Crow

Alexandra Penfold is an agent at Upstart Crow Literary and has been working in publishing for more than a decade. Formerly an Editor at Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, she represents young picture books, middle-grade fiction, and young adult.

Agent Scott Treimel from the Scott Treimel Agency

Scott Treimel has worked for a literary agency, a literary scout, two book publishers, a newspaper syndicate, a book club, and a movie studio, either buying, selling, packaging, editing or creating intellectual property—all for children. He represents picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and young adult novels. He has a 98% sales success rate.

In the surf

Avalon 2014 Splashing it up.

All meals are planned with the agents and are included in the price of the retreat. We are used to gluten free writers. Evenings are spent socializing and having fun. Usually there is time to walk the beach or swim in the pool that belongs to the house. Everyone helps with the cooking and clean up. The house has Wi-Fi access, so you can use your computers, cell phones, and ipads to work and keep in touch with family and friends.

Susan Amasse

Avalon 2014 Before the Pool Party

heather Alexander2

Avalon 2014 Agent Heather Alexander


Avalon 2014 Agent Ammi-Joan Paquette

Great mix of books and fun in a beautiful upscale ocean resort.

Pictures of house and novel info:

Talk tomorrow,



  1. This looks like you had fun! Wish I was an adult that I could go.


  2. I enjoyed a writers retreat in May and managed to write & revise one of my current WIP. The option to write undisturbed or work in a group without normal day-to-day distractions is a must for all writers.


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