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The Working Writer's Retreat is an intense critiquing weekend with critique sessions, revision time, exercises, faculty panels, parties – including karaoke – and culminating in a first pages pitch session with 4 acquiring editors and agents.
Heather Alexander – Assistant Editor, Dial Books for Young Readers
Heather has been with Dial Books for four years. Some of her titles include NERVE by Jeanne Ryan, My Family for the War by Anne C. Voorhoeve, the Charlie and Lola series, and Manners Mash-up: A Goofy Guide to Good Behavior. She’s looking for books for all ages that have two or more of the following: strong characters with an interesting voice, fast-paced or high-stakes action, funny situations, and a unique hook or perspective. She does not love paranormal romance, but does enjoy a good paranormal horror story (yes to ghosts and beasts, but no to kissing them). Follow Heather’s (very rare) tweets @HeatherAlexand.
Jill Corcoran – Agent, Herman Agency
Abigail Samoun – Agent, Red Fox Literary Agency
Judy Ross Enderle – Freelance Editor and Author of many books and magazine articles
Stephanie Jacob Gordon – Freelance Editor and Author of many books and magazine articles
Sunday First Pages Added Faculty
Jen Rofe – Agent, Andrea Brown Literary Agency
Jennifer Rofé handles children's fiction projects at Andrea Brown Literary Agency ranging from picture books to young adult. Middle grade is Jennifer's soft spot and she's open to all genres in this category, especially the tender or hilarious. She is always looking for fresh and distinct voices; stories that simultaneously tug at her heartstrings and make her laugh out loud; and "adorkable" heroes. As for YA, Jennifer is drawn to contemporary works; dramatic or funny romance; and urban fantasy/light sci-fi. She's especially interested in mind-blowingly smart projects that are layered, complex, and unexpected, and she appreciates big, developed worlds. In terms of picture books, early readers, and chapter books, she is interested in character-driven projects and smart, exceptional writing.
With Special Guest
Lynette Townsend – Jazzercise Instructor is on hand to help stretch out the kinks
Plan to arrive onsite at noon. There is no lunch served on Friday. However, there are snacks available all weekend.
40 writers get sorted into ten groups of four. Each group spends one hour with each weekend faculty member – five hours total critique time: 2 on Friday and 3 on Saturday. There are two panels – one on revision and one on pitching your work - writing exercises included. Lynette helps us stretch out the kinks and get the blood moving. There is schmoozing at night with wine, cheese, karaoke and chocolate (as well as other drinks and snacks). The meals provided are Friday Dinner to Sunday Breakfast. You can sit next to an editor or agent one time and a new writing friend at another meal or however you choose to mix it up.
For those unfamiliar with the retreat, it’s not at a hotel. It’s a retreat center. The rooms do not have internet access, telephones or TV. There is a trail in the stand of woods and a duck pond which has seating around it. The retreat center is walking distance to the intersection of Hayvenhurst and Ventura Blvd which has a shopping center, a grocery store and a Starbucks.
We take over the entire campus. Ordinarily I’d say it’s a very peaceful place to stay, but with our group of highly creative types taking it over, it doesn’t stay quiet. The cost of the retreat includes the room (double occupancy) and all of the meals as well as the critique groups, writing exercises, and the parties.
This year we are offering a limited number of commuter tickets. For a $50 savings, you can sleep in your own bed. There will be a conference room where you can sit and write or there are outside seating options available.
The retreat can be intense. It's an excellent networking opportunity. There is time to polish your manuscript and be ready to pitch at the Sunday First Pages Panel. Some of our local authors found publishing success through this retreat. (Watch for upcoming interviews in a future edition of Kite Tales).
Reading for an editor or agent is a chance to get your work heard and get immediate feedback.
A bit of research can help you choose what to read to each editor and agent if you’re hoping they will want to read the rest. And remember we have an extra faculty member coming to hear your log line and first 250 words on Sunday.
There will be printers available on Saturday. A laptop is highly recommended.
Print out enough pages to pass around to all group members (5 total - including yourself). Except for short manuscripts like Picture Books, there's no need to bring an entire printed out manuscript. None of the faculty will want to lug that home.
As much as possible, accommodations will be made for late arrivals on Friday. Advanced notice is required. E-mail your request to Sarah Laurenson
To pay by check - Click on Show Other Payment Options under the Order Now button, then choose your ticket(s).
The Fine Print
Current SCBWI Membership will be verified. If your membership is not current and you have signed up as a member, you will be asked to pay the membership renewal fee.
Wait List: If a ticket sells out, a wait list ticket should be available or will be shortly. Please check back.
Please note: no refund after August 2, 2012. $25 charge for refund before August 2, 2012. To ask for a refund, e-mail your refund request and a copy of your registration ticket to Sarah Laurenson