Never before have three such experienced agent-author professionals gathered at such a wondrously scenic and soothing place for the express purpose of working intimately with aspiring authors, fiction and memoir writers. In fact though, literary people of all kinds have journeyed for over a century to this location on the California west coast known as the Monterey Peninsula. They come in search of inspiration, individuality, purpose and vision, but more importantly, they all eventually come to share an understanding that art has preceded their arrival in the form of a brutally beautiful sea and windswept white shore, in the poetry of the twisted cypress, and in the kaleidoscope of abundant wildlife. It is this setting that inspired the poet Robinson Jeffers to pen:
Fresh as the air, salt as the foam, play birds in the bright wind,
Forgetting the oak and the pinewood, come gulls
From the Carmel sands and the sands at the river-mouth, from
Lobos and out of the limitless
Power of the mass of the sea ...
Steinbeck found the material for his dozen volumes of California fiction in the Salinas and neighboring valleys, along the shores of Monterey Bay, in the Corral de Tierra, and on Big Sur. Even the Monterey sunsets illuminate the secrets of Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island" which served as a stage for the lives and times on which Jack London and George Sterling composed their allegories. Don Blanding, Henry Miller, Mary Austin, Ambrose Bierce, Upton Sinclair, Sinclair Lewis, Nora May French and countless others have nurtured their creative intellect here for years on end, all of them fondly recalling their Monterey days in the years to come.
In keeping with their spirit, and the spirit of the place, you can be as goal-focused at this unique retreat, or as hesitant in approach as you wish. You can show us your manuscript, improve your skills, clear your head, have your work read by our onsite writer mentors, whatever works for you, whatever helps you grow and find your vision as a writer. You discuss with us ahead of time via the Monterey Writers Retreat Application about the goals you wish to focus on, and we'll work with you to make it happen. Do you desire a review of your short stories or flash fiction? Do you need to discuss the reality of the market, or your novel project, plot and characters, or perhaps get feedback on the opening hook or a sample chapter? Or would you simply like a relaxed and productive dialogue about your goals as a writer?
Author-agent professionals Paula Munier, Andrea Hurst, and Michael Neff (see bios on the right), will be available from 8 AM to noon each day of the retreat for one-on-one sessions with writers. Attendance and focus will be up to each individual writer. They will also schedule, as needed, up to four more hours during afternoons and evenings for further one-on-one sessions.
NOTE: Andrea, Paula, and Michael will be resident at the Lighthouse Lodge during the entire course of the retreat in Monterey, and there will be no extra fees associated with their editorial work, line editing, or mentorship as regards your short stories or novel manuscripts.
Our Ideal Retreat Location on the Monterey Peninsula
Unlike some of the other "rougher" retreats, we've chosen to locate ours on the Monterey peninsula, beside the shore. In our opinion, there is no better location for a comfortable and productive writers retreat. We recommend a stay in the newly renovated "junior cottages" at the Lighthouse Lodge, or in the very fine yet less expensive rooms at the Pacific Grove Monarch Resort (see below). The Lighthouse provides a great breakfast by a real chef (not a cheap continental thing) and wine and cheese in the late afternoon. Those who desire to dine at local establishments are welcome to join us at dinner. Trips to the local markets will be provided for all those who wish to pick up snacks or special foods.
Contact us with any questions re the accommodations. Please note, we are not blocking rooms at either the Lighthouse or Pacific Grove, and therefore no group reservation has been made at those establishments. As a writers retreat attendee, you make your own reservation for the type of room and the price range you desire. We feel this is the best course given the large number of room options and the fact that everyone has different expectations and needs. As noted above, there is first class lodging just a block away from the Lighthouse at the Pacific Grove Monarch Resort. See their website for more information on Monterey area benefits.
Additionally, whether you stay at the Lighthouse or at the Pacific Grove Monarch Resort, the mid-town area of Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula is only a quarter mile away, and an easy walk for meals. We will also provide transport for those who require it.
Application, Registration, and More Details
If you have reviewed our mission and location, and found it suitable for your retreat purposes, please fill out our Monterey Writers Retreat application and tell us about yourself, your writing life, and what you wish to accomplish at the retreat. Once you fill it in and submit, give us up to a week to respond to you.
Registration for the Monterey Writer's Retreat in October is $1095.00, and the registration link found below. We process all of our payments via Paypal because it is secure and very trustworthy. If you wish to register by check instead, the address can be found below. This fee covers event tuition, all mentor one-on-one meetings, any possible writing workshops, and all other writer activities associated with the retreat.
Lodging should be arranged separately by you. However, please note, you are not required by the retreat organizers or onsite mentors to stay at the Lighthouse, especially since there are other accommodations available on the peninsula.
IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO USE A CREDIT CARD, PLEASE SEND CHECK VIA CERTIFIED MAIL (PAYABLE TO ALGONKIAN - Monterey Writers Retreat) FOLLOWING APPLICATION ACCEPTANCE TO: ALGONKIAN WRITER CONFERENCES 2020 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE, NW SUITE 443 WASHINGTON, D.C. 20006.
REFUND POLICY: Full refund up to 15 days before retreat event. In the case of very late cancellations, credit will be given towards future retreats or events.
Details re Logistics and Weather
Transportation can be provided for you from the Monterey Airport if you request it, and at no charge. Let us know. We recommend flying into that airport, or else flying into LA or SFO. You can rent a car to drive to the location, or else secure other transportation. Trains also run up and down the coast. We can arrange a pickup from a bus or train station in the Monterey area--just let us know in advance (contact info below).
All writers retreat attendees should arrange to meet us in the lobby of the Lighthouse Cottages by 6 PM, Tuesday evening, October 14 for general orientation. We encourage writers to arrive early, even a day or two prior if they wish.
The California weather in Monterey come October is generally sunny with daytime temps in the 60s and 70s. If you are interested in more information, here is a link to a comprehensive weather website that provides historical data on conditions in Monterey during October. We personally love a few foggy days here and there, feet beside the fireplace and a great cup of coffee in hand, but based on experience, we expect 4 out of 5 days to be sunny and gorgeous.
Contact Us If You Need
If you do not find your questions answered on this page regarding the Monterey Writers Retreat, please feel free to call us or write us.
Contacts as follows:
Email: Algonkian Writer Conferences with the subject line: "Monterey Writers Retreat Questions"
- THE LITERARY HISTORY OF MONTEREY -
- More About The Monterey Peninsula -
WIKIPEDIA: The founding of the city of Monterey in 1777 marked the beginning of settlement in upper Las Californias in New Spain. The city became the capital of Spanish and later Mexican Alta California. Up until the mid 19th century the city served as California's cultural and political center. Monterey is home to some of California's oldest buildings, adobes ... More details here.
FROMMERS: Pacific Grove is so peaceful that the butterflies choose it as their yearly mating ground. Pebble Beach attracts the golfing elite. Tiny Carmel-by-the-Sea is romantic and sweet, despite the throngs of tourists who come for the beaches, shops, and restaurants. Big Sur's dramatic and majestic coast, backed by pristine redwood forests and rolling hills, is one of the most breathtaking, tranquil environments on Earth ... More details here.
GO CALIFORNIA: The Monterey Peninsula packs more sightseeing into its small area than any place has a right to. Three charming communities, compelling seaside vistas, great golf resorts and a world-famous aquarium are only the beginning of what the Monterey Peninsula has to offer ... More details here.
- Onsite Agent and Editor Mentors -
As a literary agent, Paula Munier is seeking new clients who write mysteries, crime/detective, thrillers, SF/fantasy, YA/MG fantasy/SF, romance with an edge, and quirky women's fiction, as well as memoir and humor. She began her career as a journalist, and along the way added editor, acquisitions specialist, digital content manager, publishing executive, and fiction author to her repertoire. She most recently served as the Director of Innovation and Acquisitions for Adams Media, a division of F+W Media, where she headed up the acquisitions team. Paula served four terms as President of the New England chapter of Mystery Writers of America and as both co-chair and Agents and Editors chair on the New England Crime Bake committee. Her most recent deals for Talcott Notch include a six figure deal for THE REGISTRY by Shannon Stoker to Harper Collins; SNIPER by Vaughn Hardacker, Skyhorse Publishing; DYING FOR ATTENTION by James Shannon, Five Star; THE BODY LANGUAGE OF LIARS by Dr. Lillian Glass, Career Press; and TREAT ME LIKE A DOG by Larry Kay, Sourcebooks. Paula's novel, FIXING FREDDIE can be found here, and an inteview with Paula can be found at Writer's Digest.
Andrea Hurst's client list includes emerging new voices and New York Times best-selling authors. As an agent, she represents high profile adult nonfiction in the areas of health and memoir, among others, and she is actively looking for well-crafted fiction, with an emphasis in women's commercial fiction. In addition to working in the publishing field for over 25 years, Andrea is also a published author in fiction, THE GUESTBOOK and ALWAYS WITH YOU, and nonfiction for several books including A LAZY DOG'S GUIDE TO ENLIGHTENMENT and co-author for A BOOK OF MIRACLES. She is a skilled developmental editor, an instructor for the MFA program at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, and also a webinar presenter for Writers’ Digest.
More about Andrea can be found on here.
As an agent, film scout, journal editor and literary author, no single person could be better suited to advise both aborning fiction writers and aspiring commercial genre authors at the same time than Michael Neff. He is the author of the literary political novel Year of The Rhinoceros, as well as a published poet and fiction writer. Michael edits and publishes several popular literary journals including Del Sol Review, The Potomac Journal, Double Room, Perihelion Poetry Review, and In Posse Review. He is the publisher of an independent literary press, Del Sol Press, and on the commercial side of things, Michael owns and operates a successful writer conference business, and is also an agent for AEI Films and Books in LA. More about Michael on the AEI Film Production site, and on the Algonkian Writer Conference site.