Treat for Fiction Writers: Nurture Your Work in Progress; Nurture Yourself

HelgaFor those of you who entered, thanks for playing in the Flash Fiction contest! The contest is now officially closed. I tell you, Wolfgang, Helga, that baby and the Giant have had some amazing adventures this past week! Winners will be announced here on Friday.

Now, is there anyone who hasn’t seen me promoting the crap out of the Writing and Yoga Retreat that my friend Stefanie Lipsey and I have put together for this summer? (Do you live under a rock?) Well let me tell you a little bit about it.

img1When and where is it? It’s July 25-28, 2013 in Glen Cove, New York, which is a little over an hour by train from Manhattan and less than an hour from JFK and LGA airports. It’s in an area known as the “Gold Coast” of Long Island in a very Gatsby-esque mansion that was built by the Pratt family in 1910. Parts of the film North by Northwest were filmed there. It’s really cool and has an amazing pub.

Who’s it for? This is for fiction writers (MG, YA & adult) who have a work in progress. Ideally you should have written at least the first 10-20 pages of something, but if you haven’t that’s ok. To apply you’ll just need to send 8-10 pages of a piece of fiction you’ve already written. You can be unpublished or published. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you have a commitment to writing and you’re ready for a weekend full of  inspiration, support, fun, good conversation and allotting time to writing.

yoga1Do I really need to be into yoga? Of course you don’t need to be into yoga. But you might want to try it if you never have. Or, if you’re into yoga, you can enjoy the twice daily classes. The yoga is totally optional but it will inform the weekend. That is to say, writing prompts and meditations are pretty darn similar and who doesn’t want to have a nice stretch to wake up or after a day of writing?

What will happen during the weekend besides writing and yoga? We’ll be meeting for two workshops each day, focusing on different parts of your work in progress: Character, Voice, and Setting. Each morning at breakfast we’ll talk about what we’re focusing on for the day. Then we go into the workshop to do some exercises, followed by a few hours of writing. We come together again for lunch and conversation. It’s a great opportunity to bitch and moan or exclaim and crow about your progress. Then some more writing time. Or if you need a break from writing, there’s a gym, sauna, steam room, indoor and outdoor pool, tennis courts, ping pong tables, and a gorgeous pub. (Did I mention there’s a pub?)

Friday night dinner will be a highlight. We’re having a casual dinner with some top New York editors. Cheryl Klein, Executive Editor at Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic and Joy Peskin, Editorial Director at Farrar Straus & Giroux Books for Young Readers are our children’s literature editors. I’m still waiting for r.s.v.p.’s from the editors representing adult literature, but there will be at least two. This is going to be a great part of the weekend. It’s a totally informal event where you can ask questions, talk about writing, get the inside scoop, and find out from  experts what’s selling and why. It’s not a pitching opportunity. It’s like having dinner with a friend of a friend who knows tons about writing and publishing. On Saturday night we’re thinking about doing some kind of theme dinner, but we haven’t totally worked that out yet.

header_pub1910_2And then of course there’s the pub… Evenings at ‘Pub 1910’ are great. You can toss back a couple, if you’re into it. Or just shoot some pool, play foosball, throw some darts, or play the table shuffle board thingy that they have there. If there’s consensus in the group we may offer participants the opportunity to read from the material they’re working on, in one of the more private nooks of Pub 1910. And maybe (just maybe) we’ll even be able to arrange for some live music by some of our local (very talented) musician friends.

How much does it cost?  It’s $1,299, a veritable bargain. It includes a private room, 3 meals a day plus snacks, 6 small group writing workshops, 6 yoga classes, use of the luxurious facilities, dinner with some fancy shmancy editors, an opportunity to read from your work in a supportive environment… oh, and did I mention you also get a 10 page manuscript critique, good for 6 months after the retreat?

Why do I have to apply instead of just register? This is a retreat for people who are serious about their writing. It doesn’t matter if you’re a total neophyte or an experienced writer, what matters is that you’re doing it. We’re screening for commitment not expertise. Space is limited, we’re capping registration at 15 people, so you should apply now.

I’m coming from out of town, is there anything else to do around there, before or after? Some of the things that we think are cool are Kayaking and Stand Up Paddleboards at Seacliff BeachSailing from the Waterfront Center in Oyster Bay, going to one of the gorgeous arboretums in the area, Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay and Bailey Arboretum in Locust Valley, visiting Sagamore Hill, the home of Theodore Roosevelt, or checking out the Nassau County Museum of Art, which is also housed in a mansion (Bryce House, built in 1910). And then of course there’s all of Manhattan, hipster Brooklyn, Montauk and the Hamptons, and the vineyards of the north fork of Long Island. So yeah. There’s stuff to do here.

So, are you the right person to apply? Yes. Of course you are. And you know it. Do it now: Click Here.


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7 responses to “Treat for Fiction Writers: Nurture Your Work in Progress; Nurture Yourself

  1. This sound so amazing. I’m already signed up for the Midwest Writer’s Conference this year, but I am putting it on my calendar for next year. I’ve found in my life that doing yoga just makes everything better–writing included.

  2. Catherine Cole Janonis

    I want to come but I have to figure out the logistics of flying in since it looks like flights from Denver to JFK are rare.

    • If you’re interested, definitely apply now so we can get an accurate head count. This is going to be small and intimate so you don’t want it to fill up before you figure out your flights. Besides, you’ll have about a week between applying/getting accepted and when you would have to pay. I know there are non-stop flights from Denver on Delta and Jet Blue. Also, if you had to fly into LaGuardia we can help you figure out transportation to the retreat (JFK is just easier).

  3. If I didn’t live outside the U.S. and have to work straight through the summer, I would go for this. Love yoga, love the idea of professional development in a fun place with tasty food. (sniff)

    • So you deal w/all the particulars over there and Stefanie and I will come to Scotland and host one that you can come to! 🙂 Just get the venue and the attendees…