Category Archives: Retreats

13 Reasons for Writers to Cruise the Caribbean

Carnival Breeze, Tortola


Many cruise travelers want more stimulating activities on days at sea than simply reclining by the pool, sitting on the bar, drinking or playing cards. A growing number of cruise lines are adding programs – interactive workshops, lectures from experts, culinary demonstrations and seminar presentations on a variety of topics.

Carnival Cruise Lines added a Seminar for Writers at the brand new “Breeze”, which departs on November 3, 2013 from Miami into the Caribbean. Stops will be in:

– Nassau, Bahamas
– Grand Turk
– Ocho Rios, Jamaica



Why is it a fantastic possibility for writers to spend their vacation (or part of it) on a Caribbean cruise and learn at the same time about publishing and book marketing?

1. Before you start your NaNoWri Month, learn which publishing possibilities are out there and how you could create your author platform – before your book is ready to publish.

2. November is a great vacation month in the Caribbean, and at this time of the year cruises are more for adults as the school year is in full swing.

3. Spoil the author in your life and have this event booked before Valentines Day – as it is a fantastic gift for your loved one, better than any chocolates or over-priced dinners. What you pay for a Valentine evening out is almost the down payment for this cruise!

4. This unique “Workshop-At-Sea” will help authors to:

  • Strategically establish a writing career
  • Create their own brand and platform

5. The seminar gives writers suggestions:

  • How to market and publicize their books on a budget or for FREE
  • Find book publishing funding sources, grants and writers residencies

6. The seminar will help you to:

  • Identify their target readers and 
  • how to reach these potential book buyers, without incurring costs

7. As a Special Guest at this “Seminar Cruise” you qualify for Discount Rates on spectacular shore excursions, such as to the cascading waterfalls of Dunn’s River, near Ocho Rios, Jamaica, or diving excursions on Grand Turk’s protected coral reef.

8. This Book Marketing & Publishing Seminar will be held during the days at sea – two half-day lectures – and offers as an added value, one-on-one consultations for authors.

9. Staterooms in this time-limited offer are unobstructed and in preferred categories and include the amazing exclusive events / amenities, outlined in #11

10. For this 6 Night Cruise, spouses who are not participating in the seminar, get a reduction of $200 for their fares. Prices are “Per Person” and include all port charges, government fees, taxes and mandatory pre-paid gratuities. The Carnival website and most other online cruise sites do NOT include these “extra” charges…but this special offer rates DO!

11. Signing up with the cruise representative requires only a down payment of $250 per person, the remaining is due latest to the end of July 2013. Packages start at $1.032 per person for a double, and $832 for those who are not attending the seminar.

12. Authors who established a writing business can partially deduct costs for the cruise, such as the two days at sea, the seminar fee (which is included in the faire) and transportation / accommodation to Miami. For details ask your tax advisor.

13. Cruise voyages are very inclusive and offer great value:

  • Brand new attractive staterooms 
  • Transfer to Miami pier
  • A bottle of Sparkling Wine in every stateroom
  • Chocolate Covered Strawberries in every stateroom
  • FREE Photograph Credit for every stateroom
  • An Onboard Bon Voyage “Meet & Greet” Party
  • Two Book Marketing Success Workshops plus individual consultations
  • A Private Farewell Party with champagne toast
  • Your cruise certainly includes all your meals in the regular dining venues, a smorgasbord of on-board entertainment including Vegas style shows/musical performances/comedy & variety shows, and some beverages (coffee/tea/juices).

If the idea of taking a publishing and book marketing class and experiencing the pleasures of cruising at the same time appeals to you, you can conveniently and safely book your reservation online at  or call Dancing Moon Travel (404) 913-4FUN

Cruise ships to the Caribbean fill up months in advance. Our experience shows that many of the best and preferred cabins will be reserved within just a few weeks!!  Plus, there are several other niche groups scheduled to be on board. If you are considering cruising with us, register now.




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And don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks, Doris


Hyper Smash



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Free Writers Retreats – Apply Now


Artists and writers who live in New York State (including NYC) are invited to apply for month-long summer residencies.  Applications must be postmarked by Saturday, January 14, 2012.  Categories are poetry and creative nonfiction. A $500 stipend is provided to help defray travel costs. The stunning 200-acre colony is located just a few miles outside of downtown Ithaca in the heart of the beautiful Finger Lakes Region.
Deadline January 15, 2012 for residencies during June through September. Deadline April 15, 2012 for residencies during  October through January 31, 2013. The MacDowell Colony provides time, space, and an inspiring environment to artists of  exceptional talent. A MacDowell Fellowship, or residency, consists of exclusive use of a studio, accommodations, and three prepared meals a day for up to eight weeks. There are no residency fees. MacDowell Fellows are selected by our admissions panels, which are comprised of a revolving group of distinguished professionals in each artistic discipline who serve anonymously for three years.
Eligibility: The Colony accepts applications from artists working in the following disciplines: architecture, film/video arts, interdisciplinary arts, literature, music composition, theatre, and visual arts. The sole criterion for acceptance is artistic excellence, which the Colony defines in a pluralistic and inclusive way.

from: Fundsforwriters.


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Scholarships for Writers Conferences

Photo Christl Walker


An early number of partial and full scholarships are available for application covering the $325 registration fee only. Transportation to and from Homer and conference activities, housing and incidentals are the recipient’s responsibility.

To apply, individuals must submit a letter describing why they want to attend the conference and the reasons for scholarship assistance need. Applications are due March 12. Applicants will be notified of their status by April 6.


Locations:  Washington DC, Boston MA, Los Angelos CA, San Francisco CA, New York City, Chicago IL.

We are committed to making The OpEd Project programs affordable for any woman who is committed to changing the world with her voice. To that end, we provide full and partial scholarships for up to 40% of participants in any seminar. Our scholarship protocol is as follows: We ask anyone requesting a scholarship to “pay in words” by sending us a request in writing telling us why the assistance is needed, what op-ed you are committed to writing, and how it will contribute to changing the world.

Found at Fundsforwriters


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How to choose a writers retreat

 One of the main benefits of attending a writer’s conference  or symposium is the opportunity to meet editors, agents,  publishers, and other writers.  

Widening your circle of connections in the literary world can help you  learn to understand the publishing industry and how to get your work  published as well as the chance to network.  It gives writers a chance  to sharpen their skills. These workshops provide writers with an  opportunity to receive critical feedback from fellow writers and from an  instructor.

Writer’s workshops or conferences range in size and scope, from  campuses overflowing with writers, agents, publishers, and publicists  to places with only a few writers in residence.  Writing groups differ  from writing workshops in that they tend to be smaller, more intimate,  and more casual. Many universities and community colleges offer  writing workshops between semesters (mostly in summer) that do  not require enrolment in a degree program.

What would you like to accomplish:

  • Do you want critiques in a workshop or a one-to-one setting?
  • Do you want to learn about the business of writing?
  • Do you want to meet editors, agents and publishers?

Go to ShawGuides to find Writing Retreats.



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Writers Retreats USA in 2012

One of the main benefits of attending a writers retreat or conference is the opportunity to meet editors, agents, publishers and other writers.  Widening your circle of connections in the literary world can help you mark your own presence in that world, learn about the publishing industry, and how to get your book published.  Just a few of the many retreat offers:

Jackson Hole, WY, June 28 – 30, 2012

Program Description
Three manuscript critiques with authors & editors. Tracks for fiction, creative nonfiction, magazine, young adult, and poetry; workshops, talks & craft sessions.
Program Length 3 days
Group Size or S:T Ratio 4:1
Program Focus:  Children’s, Fiction, Journalism, Marketing, Mystery, Nature, Non-fiction, Poetry, Publishing, Travel, Young Adult
Costs:   Early bird $365


Mendocino Coast Writers Conference, July 26 – 28, 2012

Program Description
5 morning workshops with same presenter each day; large forum readings and discussions with editors, agents, & newly published authors; afternoon lecture sessions on craft.
Program Length 3 days
Group Size or S:T Ratio workshops 15:1
Program Focus:  Autobiography/Memoir, Children’s, Fiction, Journalism, Mystery, Non-fiction, Poetry, Publishing, Screenwriting, Young Adult
Faculty 13+ presenters. Includes authors, editors & literary agents.
Costs:   Earlybird $525. $60/consultation. Lodging $55-$250 & camping; hostel-like farmhouse $18-$25/night.

Squaw Valley, California  July, August 2012

Program Description
Morning workshops, afternoon panel discussions, individual conferences, craft lectures, staff readings
Program Length 7 days
Group Size or S:T Ratio 20-124
Program Focus:  Autobiography/Memoir, Fiction, Mystery, Nature, Non-fiction, Poetry and Screenwriting
Faculty 28 instructors for the Fiction Workshop, 5 for the Poetry Workshop, 8 for the Screenwriting Workshop.
Costs:   $840 includes 6 dinners. Shared (single) lodging in local houses & condos arranged for $350 ($550)/week; inexpensive bunk bed available.

Purchase, NY   June 25 – 29, 2012

Program Description
Five 3-hour morning workshops in a particular genre (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry,Writing for Young Readers, Graphic Novel). Afternoons include special workshops, readings, session with editors & agents, and individual manuscript consultation.
Program Length 4-1/2 days
Group Size or S:T Ratio 80-100
Program Focus:  Autobiography/Memoir, Children’s, Fiction, Marketing, Non-fiction, Poetry, Publishing, Screenwriting, Young Adult
Costs:   $725 for the week. 2 graduate credits are also available for graduate tuition (extra fee).

Edmonds, WA, September 30 – October 2, 2011

Program Description
Focus is on the craft of writing. 4 sessions/day & a choice of 4 workshops/session; Saturday keynote, pre-conference workshops on Friday.
Program Length 2-1/2 days
Group Size or S:T Ratio Max 200
Program Focus:  Autobiography/Memoir, Business/Technical, Children’s, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Journalism, Marketing, Mystery, Non-fiction, Poetry, Publishing, Travel, Young Adult
Faculty:  30 additional presenters speaking on a variety of topics.
Costs:   $139/2 days ($116 early bird), $72/1 day. Pre-conference workshops $68, writing contest entry $10, manuscript critique $25, Keynote (open to the public) $16 adult/$10 student.


Santa Barbara, CA, June 9 – 14, 2012

Program Description
Daily AM & PM concurrent workshops & plenary sessions, evening speakers, panels, Advance
Submission with agents & editors, late-night pirate workshops.
Program Length 6 days
Group Size or S:T Ratio 200
Program Focus:  Autobiography/Memoir, Fiction, Humor, Journalism, Marketing, Mystery, Nature, Non-fiction, Playwriting, Poetry, Publishing, Romance, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Screen-writing, Travel,
Faculty: 30 daily faculty plus evening speakers
Costs   $625 includes barbecue, cocktail reception, awards banquet.


Corte Madera, CA, August 9 – 12, 2012

(Just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco)
Conference Coordinator: Kathryn Petrocelli
Phone: (800) 999-7909 ext 239

Geared to Food & Travel writers and photographers this Conference has an extraordinary, international reputation among publishers, editors, and writers. This four-day Conference offers an array of writing and photography workshops in the morning, a full afternoon of panels and discussions, and evening faculty presentations.
The faculty includes publishers, magazine editors, photographers, travel essayists, food writers, guidebook writers and more.


Key West, FL, every January

Program Description
4-day seminar includes readings, conversations, lectures, panel discussions. 4-day writers’ workshops feature AM writing sessions (limit 8-12/instructor) and PM individual consultations, talks, open readings.
Program Length Seminar: 4 days / Workshops: 4 days each
Group Size or S:T Ratio Seminar: 350-400 / Workshops: 12:1
Program Focus
Autobiography/Memoir, Children’s, Fiction, Humor, Journalism, Mystery, Nature, Non-fiction, Playwriting, Poetry, Publishing, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Screenwriting, Travel, Young Adult
Costs   Seminar $495; Workshops $450.

For a full list of writers retreats in the USA go to:



Hyper Smash


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Writers Retreats and Workshops

Writers retreats and workshops are a wonderful opportunity to load the batteries, make new friends, learn a lot about writing and book marketing and overcome writers block. Not to speak about the recreational aspect…

Here is a short excerpt of what’s offered for authors in 2011 in Canada:

BANFF Alberta, Canada

Writing With Style (Fall) Program dates: September 11, 2011 – September 17, 2011
Application deadline: June 15, 2011



Program Length 8 weeks, several times a year
Group Ratio 1-5
Program Focus Autobiography/Memoir, Fiction Novelist Pearl Luke, MA, 21 years writing/teaching/ editing experience; winner 2001

Commonwealth Prize for Best First Novel in Canada/Caribbean; nominee for the 2008 IMPAC Dublin International Literary Award.



Program Focus Fiction, Non-fiction Independent Writing Retreat 2011
July 24, 2011 7:00 P.M. –  29, 2011 1:00 P.M
Gwen Davies is a writer, creative writing teacher, and the founder of Nova Scotia’s summer writing retreat Community of Writers. Her short stories have appeared in literary magazines including The Antigonish Review and Pottersfield Portfolio, and in The Blue Jean Collection from Thistledown Press. She won the Javier de Mier Literary Contest in Madrid, Spain (in translation) in 2002. Gwen has also worked across Nova Scotia as a journalist for the Globe and Mail, CBC Radio, Atlantic Insight Magazine and others. She graduated with a BA Hons from Wilfrid Laurier and a BJ from King’s, and is an active member of the writing community of Nova Scotia.


Nova Scotia

Hunts Point Nova Scotia

Program Focus Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Children’s: July 4-8, 2011
Time: One-day workshops run from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Evening workshops run from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Getting Started Non-Fiction Writing for Fun and Profit
Workshop in Creative Short Fiction
The Thrill and Romance of Popular Fiction
Write in Nature Murder and Mayhem
Mystery Writing Pitching the Publisher
Life Lines: Writing the Stories of Your Life
Going Whole Blog: Writing for the blogosphere


The Humber School for Writers
July 9 – July 15, 2011
Program Description AM classes, PM lectures, readings, one-on-one meeting with instructor
Program Length 7 days Group Size or S:T Ratio 80
Program Focus Fiction, Poetry
Faculty 2011: Richard Bausch, David Bezmozgis, Wayson Choy, Bruce Jay Friedman, Julia Glass, Isabel Huggan, Alistair MacLeod, John Metcalf, Kim Moritsugu, Nino Ricci, Olive Senior, Guy Vanderhaeghe,
Erika de Vasconcelos, Frieda Wishinsky


More on Writer’s Retreats in the USA will follow.


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Posted by on April 12, 2011 in Retreats


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