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Work With the Best Novel-Writing Mentors on the West Coast
    Mission of the Writer Retreat in California - April 13 - 17, 2023
    The Retreat Location  |  Application and Registration  |  Logistics and Weather  |  Contact

    Mystery/Suspense, Thriller, SFF, General and Literary, Women's Fiction, Memoir

    Join us on the wondrously scenic and soothing Monterey Peninsula in Pacific Grove for the express purpose of working intimately with experienced author and agent professionals. Know that writers of every kind 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, to share an understanding that art has preceded their arrival in the form of a brutally beautiful sea and windswept shore. 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.

    Before and After the Retreat

    Like other Algonkian events, the Monterey Writer Retreat begins before you arrive and continues after you depart. Retreat writers receive specific assignments and readings found in the novel development forums of Algonkian Author Connect. At the conclusion of the retreat, we provide a follow-up novel development program online which includes additional faculty consult. Participation is strictly voluntary, but we strongly encourage it.

    Choice of Approach and One on One

    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?

    NOTE: Participants in the Monterey Writer Retreat will work one-on-one with the best literary "closers" and mentors in the business: Paula Munier, Michael Neff, and Jennifer Sander (see bios on the right) combine 60 years of working with aspiring authors and ushering them to publication. They will be available for mutiple private consultations from 9 AM to noon and 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM each day of the retreat. Choice of sessions and focus will be up to each individual writer. Additionally, as circumstances permit, faculty will also join retreaters in their quest for superb dining and festivity opportunities in the Monterey and Carmel area.

    Our Ideal Retreat Location on the Monterey Peninsula

    Unlike some of the other "rougher" retreats, we've chosen to locate ours on the quite beautiful Monterey peninsula only a block from the ocean. In our opinion, there is no better location for a comfortable and productive writer retreat. Locations for meetings and consultations will vary according to the time of day. We have established several wonderful meeting places in town and elsewhere. In the morning we will leisurely meet with writers at some of our favorite coffee cafes in Pacific Grove (the best in California), and in the afternoons, at the AirBnB residences of the faculty--usually outdoors because the weather is ideal.

    As a writer retreat attendee, you make your own reservation for the type of inn or motel and the price range you desire given the choices available (see map above). We feel this is the best course given the large number of room and price options coupled with the fact that everyone has different expectations and needs. There is premium lodging at the Pacific Grove Monarch Resort (see their website for more information on Monterey area benefits). We also like the rooms at the Sea Breeze (just down the street from the Monarch), especially the cottages.

    Additionally, whether you stay at the Sea Breeze, the Pacific Grove Monarch Resort or elsewhere nearby (see map above), the mid-town area of Pacific Grove is only a quarter mile away, and an easy walk for meals. We will also provide transport for those who require it, as well as to the local markets for anyone who wishes to pick up snacks or special foods. And btw, the incredible food in Pacific Grove will make any foodie celebrate. Seriously.

    Contact us with any questions regarding lodging.

    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 April 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.

    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

    We recommend flying into Monterey airport, or perhaps LAX or SFO. The Pacific Grove location at the tip of the Monterey Peninsula is easily accessible by car or other transportation. Trains also run up and down the coast.

    All writers retreat attendees will meet early Wednesday evening, April 12, for general orientation and a group dinner. The exact location and time will be announced prior to the meet.

    As in spring, the California weather in Monterey come April is generally sunny with daytime temps in the 60s. 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 most days to be 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.




- Our Esteemed Mentors -

A former Random House Senior Editor, Jennifer Sander worked in the acquisitions end of publishing industry for twenty years before moving onto writing books herself. She now works with writers to polish and perfect their work and has mentored several writers on to successful publication contracts. She is also a New York Times bestselling author who has written more than sixty books. As a literary historian she mines a rich vein of oddball material in the Hemingway world in order to craft the sorts of scholarly papers that would never get an English professor tenure. She is a popular speaker at the bi-annual International Hemingway Society Conferences, presenting in Oak Park, Il, and in Paris, 2018. DOWNHILL WITH HEMINGWAY is scheduled for the conference in the summer of 2022.

Michael Neff is actively searching for high concept projects that can be transformed into films or books, or both. He is one of two Developmental Executives for AEI Films and Books in Los Angeles. Agent deals and commercial novels he has worked on as developmental editor over the past ten years 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 many others. Novels ushered to commercial publication via his methods and workshops include THE WISDOM OF HAIR by Kim Boykin, ORPHAN 8 by Kim Van Alkemade, DARK TURNS by Cate Holahan, and THE FICTION CLASS by Susan Breen, among others. Michael also contributes as editor and publisher to Del Sol Review and Del Sol Press. His own work has appeared in such literary journals as the North American Review, Quarterly West, Pittsburgh Quarterly, The Literary Review, American Way Magazine, and Conjunctions. His novel, ALL THE DARK WE WILL NOT SEE, is published by Serving House Books. He is also the creator and co-developer of MAGICIANS IMPOSSIBLE, an SFF novel from Macmillan Books; and an ongoing speculative fiction series by Michael, WORLD MAKER and AMERICAN OZ MAKER, was published by Del Sol Press under the pseudonym Warrick Gleeson, winning both awards and becoming an Amazon best seller as well as a Kirkus Top 150 Pick for the 2019 Fall Season collection.[more]

Paula Munier puts it all together as an author, agent, and former acquisitions editor for Adams Media. As a literary agent, she is vigorously seeking new clients who write mysteries, crime/detective, thrillers, high-concept SFF, and women's fiction. Paula has 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 own novels and writer non-fiction books can be found here on Amazon including her new MERCY CARR mystery fiction series from Minotaur Books.

- 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.


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Suite 443
Washington, D.C. 20006

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