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A Writer Retreat for Aspiring Authors, Fiction Writers,
and Memoirists With Work In Progress

October 21 - 25, 2015
    The Mission of The Monterey Writer Retreat in California
    The Retreat Location  |  Application and Registration  |  Logistics and Weather  |  Contact

    Only once before have such experienced writer-mentor professionals gathered on the wondrously scenic and soothing Monterey Peninsula 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. 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, fly falcons
    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 Writer 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?

    Three of the best developmental commercial fiction editors in the business (two of them agents)--Paula Munier, Caitlin Alexander, and Michael Neff (see bios on the right)--will be available from 9 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: Caitlin, 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 Writer 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 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.

    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 20 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: info (at) with the subject line:
    "Monterey Writers Retreat Questions"

    Phone: 1-800-250-8290

    Thank you.




- 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. 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..

Caitlin Alexander is freelance editor in New York, also an editorial consultant for Algonkian Conferences and Author Salon. As a senior editor at Random House Publishing Group she acquired and edited over the many years a huge variety of projects including New York Times bestsellers Michelle Richmond (THE YEAR OF FOG), David Gibbins (THE LOST TOMB), Andy McDermott (THE HUNT FOR ATLANTIS), and Gwen Cooper (HOMER'S ODYSSEY); Angela Davis-Gardner (PLUM WINE), and International Thriller Writers Award winner Tom Piccirilli (SHADOW SEASON).

Michael Neff, Algonkian director, is one of two Developmental Executives for AEI/SM Films and Books in Los Angeles, and a story creator working with Macmillan in New York to produce high-concept books and film. His recent and upcoming agent deals include RISE OF THE AMERICAN CORPORATE SECURITY STATE (Berrett-Koehler) by Beatrice Edwards, MURDER AT BARCLAY MEADOW (Thomas Dunne) by Wendy Eckel, THE FIVE PENS OF JOHANNES by Richard Hacker, and MY LIFE BEHIND BRAS - A MAMMOIR by Lori Kaplan. Novels he has ushered to commercial publication as a developmental editor include ON MAGGIE'S WATCH by Ann Garvin, MURDER AT BARCLAY MEADOW by Wendy Eckel, THE EDGE OF NORMAL by Carla Norton, and THE BLACK PANTHERS by Gina Niccolo, among others. Michael is also an accomplished writer and author, as well as the editor of a literary press and several journals. [more]


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Suite 443
Washington, D.C. 20006

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