The Eighth Annual Cliff House Writer’s Retreat held May 2-4, 2014, was another huge success. With such diverse manuscripts, everyone learned something new. We discussed two MG novels, one realistic and one supernatural. Five YA’s— contemporary romance, suspense, historical, steampunk and LGBT.
On Friday afternoon, we brainstormed additions to one member’s final pages, to make a stronger, more effective ending. Her story is headed to her agent and then off to the requesting editors. :)
Friday night, all seven of us enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Peter’s Europa House. Toasts were issued around the table. Four of the seven of us had books published within the last year. J
That night, after brainstorming sequel titles and concepts for one of our MG writers, we had a very deep discussion led by Ruth Knafo Setton, writing instructor at Lehigh University and Roxanne Werner, former editor at Stories for Children. Needless to say everyone ran home to “SAVE THE CAT!” J
Saturday morning began with ‘sunrise yoga’ led by Milan Sandhu. Once we stretched our bodies we were ready to stretch our minds.
Readings, comments, critiques and plenty of note-taking commenced. After lunch break, we headed back for more. Writers had individual time to write and revise.
Supper was a community effort with vegetarian red lentil soup, various cheddar cheeses and dill crackers, chicken, grape and apple salad, heritage tomato salad, Spanish olives, chicken cutlets, and a large tossed salad dressed with Italian spices, vinegar and olive oil.
We finished up Saturday evening with the last writer critique and brainstormed topics for our next meeting.
Sunday morning, breakfast was a melancholy event, because everyone knew the time to leave was fast-approaching.
One last round table meeting to cover synopses, queries and pitch lines and before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye.
Lookout world, the Cliff House Writers mean business, and with any luck, more of us will be published this year. J
If you are interested in joining us for a paid retreat in the fall, drop me a line and I’ll forward your information to our Fall Retreat coordinator.