There’s still time to register for the Winter Getaway, so I figured I let you know a little more about it. Here’s an excerpt from a Frommer’s article that gives you the flavor of the event:
When one of Peter Murphy’s poems got “slaughtered” at a famous writer’s conference a few year’s back, he vowed to create an event where beginners could learn while keeping their egos intact. His “Winter Poetry and Prose Getaway,” now in its eighth year, offers a dozen workshops, including poetry writing for beginners, memoir, songwriting, and story telling, all taught by writers hand picked by Murphy for their compassionate approach. This isn’t the place to nitpick over manuscripts. Rather, the emphasis is on fueling your imagination and starting something new. Classes meet for an hour or so each morning, after which students disperse to complete an assignment. Lunch is followed by more classes in which the new works are discussed and (gently!) critiqued. Late afternoons are devoted to quiet writing time or a stroll along the winter beach.
The location is the informally funky Grand Hotel in Cape May, New Jersey, a lively coastal town 45 miles south of Atlantic City that’s stuffed with Victorian homes and antiques shops.
If you’re eligible, you can get professional development credit for attending–this is mostly important for teachers, but hey, it never hurts to ask if it can help you, too.
What’s so great about the Getaway? Well, it’s a low-key place to work on your writing, for one, and you can never have enough of that. Getting to spend a weekend in otherwise-deserted Cape May with your laptop would, by itself, be worth the price of admission. When you add in the workshops, it’s a great deal.
I’m leading a workshop on creative non-fiction. It’s my third year at the Getaway, and I can’t say enough about what a great opportunity it is for writers of all abilities. If, since you’re reading my blog, you’re curious about what goes on in my workshop, I’ll tell you.
In our first session, we introduce ourselves and work on a few short exercises that are the literary equivalent of some warm-up cardio followed by some stretching. Then we start working on a single “big piece.” Some attendees are already well into their big piece–in fact, if they want, they email it to me before the Getaway and I have feedback waiting for them. Others get started at the Getaway. By the end of the weekend, they have anywhere from 5 to 10 pages of writing done, with a great idea of how it will continue.
People have worked on everything from memoir to insightful essays. Essentially, creative non-fiction is anything that’s not invented and is written with more attention to style and significance than a news article or blog entry (d’oh!).
If you’d like more information, email me or, for the real deal, check this page.
Hopefully I’ll be seeing some of you in January.