Writers Retreats to Check Out

I’ve gotta say, though it may seem obvious, I love Writers Retreats. I love the excitement of them, the thrill of exploring a new landscape, the energy created by art-rich environments, and the experience of being surrounded by people who share many of my career goals (and concerns!). But what I truly love about Writers Retreats are the time and inherent support that tends to be built into them. Writers Retreats are places where authors can go and feel safe, knowing that their art is respected and considered worthwhile by all those around them.

So, with Writers Retreats fresh on the brain, I’d like to share a few upcoming opportunities and programs for all my artists out there to consider:

hedgebrook logoHedgebrook is a magnificent place! If you’re a woman writer who hasn’t heard of Hedgebrook and all it has to offer, then you are in for a terrific surprise. The application deadline for their 2015 residency program has already passed us by, but they have other programs and possibilities still open that are definitely worth checking out!

Hedgebrook is a global community of women writers and people who seek extraordinary books, poetry, plays, films and music by women. A literary nonprofit, our mission is to support visionary women writers whose stories and ideas shape our culture. We offer writing residencies, master classes and salons at our 25-year-old retreat on Whidbey Island, and public programs around the country that connect writers with readers and audiences.


Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices 

Announces Summer 2015 Workshop Faculty     

Applications Open Through January 5, 2015

Lambda Literary is proud to announce details of the 2015 Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices, the nation’s premier LGBTQ writers workshop and residency. The Retreat will be held June 22-29, 2015 on the campus of the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles.


The 2015 RMFW Writers Retreat

March 11-15, 2015
YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park, Colorado

RMFW is thrilled to announce our third annual writers retreat! Our 2015 location, one of the brand-new eight-bedroom retreat cabins at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado, is nestled in the heart of some of the world’s most majestic mountains. You’re sure to find inspiration in the natural beauty that will surround you. Come write with us! Registration will open November 2014.


*Develop your writing

*Explore wild and wonderful Iceland, the land of the sagas

*Find inspiration and time to write in an unforgettable setting

*Meet and mingle with famous authors and like-minded writers

Join us April 8-12, 2015 in Reykjavik for the Iceland Writers Retreat.

You’re invited to participate in a series of workshops and panels led by an esteemed team of international writers. 

Between intimate workshops and lectures, we’ll offer the chance to tour the spectacular Golden Circle, sit in the cozy cafes of Reykjavik, soak in geothermal hot springs, listen to new Icelandic music, meet contemporary Icelandic writers, and learn about the country’s rich literary tradition.

July 28, 2014: Registration Opens. Spaces are limited.

February 20, 2015: Registration closes for overseas delegates.*

April 1, 2015: Registration closes for local delegates.*

April 8 – 12, 2015: Iceland Writers Retreat

The Haunted Mansion

Writer’s Retreat

Sept 24-27, 2015

In the fall of 2015, 20-30 writers and creatives, will come together with professional paranormal investigators to spend a long weekend in Northern California, in a very haunted mansion, hosted by Rain Graves. They will be real-time blogging and creating based on their experiences as soon as they arrive. Some evidence from September 2010 and 2012 is available in our archives, and books.



      Happy Writing & Happy Reading!

***Disclaimer: I myself have only participated in a Writers Retreat through Hedgebrook thus far. These other retreats are ones I highlight for your consideration, rather than out of personal experience.

Peter Mehlman’s debut novel called “The Great American Jewish Novel”

I recently had the great pleasure of serving as one of the primary editors for former Seinfeld writer Peter Mehlman’s debut novel, It Won’t Always Be This Great. So when I started seeing the amazing press Mehlman’s book has been receiving, I knew I had to share some of it here — just check out these celebrity blurbs!

It turns out that not only can Peter Mehlman write funny television, he can write a funny book. Who knew?

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, star of HBO’s Veep, and of Seinfeld

Anyone who writes for television gets frustrated that they can’t write like Peter Mehlman. Now he’s going to make novelists mad too. Mehlman’s writing style is completely unique, and creates an intimate bond between the narrator and the reader. You finish the book feeling as though you’ve made a new friend.

Aaron Sorkin, Academy and Emmy-award winning screenwriter, producer, and playwright (A Few Good Men, The American President, The West Wing, Sports Night, The Social Network, Moneyball, and The Newsroom)

In It Won’t Always Be This Great, Peter Mehlman pokes the ribs of religion, race, law, and culture with lacerating wit and humor. This is a seriously funny comic crime confessional.

Morris Dees, Founder and Chief Trial Counsel, Southern Poverty Law Center

The Peter Mehlman I met in person years ago cannot be the same Peter Mehlman who wrote this brilliantly funny, effortlessly insightful, and unexpectedly moving book. Somebody please tell me which Peter Mehlman I’m supposed to be raving about because I really want to get this blurb right.

Steven Soderbergh, film producer, screenwriter, cinematographer, editor, and director (Out of Sight, Erin Brockovich, Traffic, Contagion, and Ocean’s Eleven)

And now we’ve also got this awesome review from Paul Teetor at LA Weekly, “Seinfeld Today: Why Peter Mehlman’s First Novel Is Perfect for Our Time”.

Here’s just a taste:

Peter Mehlman’s first novel, It Won’t Always Be This Great, is not the post-Gatsby, Great American Novel that we’ve all been waiting for — the story that captures the hopes, the fears, the rhythms and resentments of a younger generation. But it is something almost as noteworthy: the Great American Jewish Novel.


Needless to say, I’m incredibly excited for Mehlman and incredibly proud that I could have some small hand in helping see this terrific novel published. Check it out!


Book Synopsis (courtesy of publisher, Bancroft Press):

In the crushing complacency of suburbia, mid-life crises pop in on men’s lives unannounced. For one Long Island podiatrist, it takes an impromptu act of vandalism just to make him aware of his own being. Walking home in the sub-zero wind chill of a Friday night, he stumbles on a bottle of horseradish, twisting his ankle, and in a moment of adrenaline-fuel anger, chucks it over his shoulder . . . and through the window of a popular store selling tween fashions. This one tiny, out-of-character impulse turns his life vivid and terrifying, triggering waves of fear, crooked cops, and suspicions of anti-Semitism, both accurate and paranoid.

The story is told by this same podiatrist, an often hysterical, endearingly wide-eyed, and entirely nameless narrator, to what he regards as the perfect audience: a comatose college friend. Yet, our narrator’s most unique quality lies simply in his glowing love for his wife Alyse, the girl of his dreams whom he met in college and still can’t quite believe he married. She is the mother of his two children, Esme and Charlie, who are just starting to come into their own minds and experiencing their first encounters with prejudice.


Top Lit Mags that REALLY do publish emerging writers

Thank you, Michael Alexander Chaney, for publishing this terrific list! To all the new and emerging writers out there, give this collection a serious look and submit with care — these are all wonderful journals and magazines that are well worth your support and very best work.

Thanks again for posting this!



Baltimore Review It is always nice to see a prestigious journal publish fresh, new voices. Such is the case on a routine basis for the Baltimore Review. Most recently, you can check out Priyatam Mudivarti’s “Blue Flame.”  It’s a beautifully weird and hauntingly rich story about aging, photography, and death:

At ninety-two, when I close my eyes and suck my breath, I see fire and ash, playing in smoke.

At the count of one hundred: a mountain, the remains of the cut down trees, a man with a beard and without any clothes, rotting under his limbs.

At one hundred and one, my body grows fiery, as if a log from the pyre rolled into my spine and burned my chest.

One hundred and seven. My heart comes to a full stop. I learned to stop my breath. My chest expands out of my ribs, stretches my neck.

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