All-Genre Writing Retreats

Come work on your novel, any genre, and get personal attention and deep instruction.

Our All-Genre retreats are designed to immerse you in novel craft and give you time to write. But you don’t have to go it alone! Your instructors will be on hand every afternoon to help you, and your writing crew will be your critique team.

In an inspiring intimate setting among supportive writers, you can leave your cares and responsibilites at home and devote quality time to your writing.

2020 All-Genre Retreats

August 10 – 13, 2020

Mendocino CA  ~ There are few coastlines as stunning and breathtaking as the one that sidles up to the windswept towns of Mendocino and Ft. Bragg. Walk the headland trails boasting panoramic views of the wild Pacific and breathe in the crisp ocean air. Browse the shops and play at the beach when you aren’t working hard on your novel!

Our writing retreat will be held in a beautiful ocean-view private home (TBD). Book the room separately on the event page if you’d like to grab one of those rooms (we’ll make you a wonderful breakfast too!). Or you can instead book a room at a nearby accommodation. Depending on requests, this will either be a 3-day or 4-day retreat.


November 8 – 12, 2020

Carmel, CA ~ Our Carmel writing retreat will be held in a spectacular home, close to beaches and the towns of Monterey and Carmel by the Sea. There are plenty of lodging choices nearby. All attendees get lunch (and lots of coffee, of course!).

Be sure to stay extra days in the area to see the sites, including the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Cannery, and the famous 17-Mile Drive. You might even see some sea otters snoozing in the kelp!



Sunday 4- 6: Meet and Greet (location TBD). Meet your instructors and fellow writers as you enjoy snacks and drinks. Mornings we’ll be learning, critiquing, and discussing your writing. Afternoons, you’ll be working on your novel, critiquing in small groups, and sharing revisions and insights learned. Or you can find a quiet spot to write and tune everything out!

Monday – Wednesday:

Coffee time 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
Instruction: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Lunch: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. (included in price)

On your own: 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Optional critique/brainstorming session: 4:00- 5:00 p.m.

Accommodations and Meals:

Lodging and meals are not included in the boot camp price. Attendees must make their own local room reservations (or book rooms in the rented house by contacting us). Snacks and drinks will be provided. Note: Lunch is included for those attending the boot camps (breakfast is also provided for those staying at the private homes we rent). We welcome spouses/partners to stay at the houses too (a small extra fee is charged to cover meals).


Registration fee includes: three full days of writing instruction and all handout materials. And always: coffee!

The cost of the three-day workshop is as follows:

  • Early Bird rate: $320 (see event pages for details)
  • Regular Rate: $360
  • Fees must be paid in full at the time of registration.

Cancellation Policy:

  • Full refund for the boot camp less a $50 processing fee if you cancel at least sixty days before the event begins.
  • Attendees who cancel within sixty days before the event will not be given any refund unless their spot is subsequently filled (full refund less $50).
  • If the workshop is full at the time you try to register, you can put your name on the wait list and we will contact you ASAP if a space becomes available.

For more information, please send us an email at

Your Instructors:

Susanne (C. S.) Lakin is a writing coach, copyeditor, award-winning blogger, and author of more than thirty books, fiction and nonfiction. Her blog, Live Write Thrive, features more than 2 million words of instruction in novel-writing craft, insights into book marketing, and tips on the writing life. Her Writer’s Toolbox series of books goes in depth into the craft of writing novels and being a productive and proficient writer. She teaches writing workshops around the US, as well as speaks and facilitates at writers’ conferences.


Catharine Bramkamp is a successful writing coach bringing her clients from idea to published book and beyond.  She has written 17 novels and 3 books on writing.  Her poetry appears in over a dozen anthologies including And The Beats Go On (she was editor as well) and the chapbook Ammonia Sunrise(Finishing Line Press). Her current book, Don’t Write Like We Talk, is based on her co-producer experience creating 200+  episodes  of the Newbie Writers Podcast.   Everyone has a story, sometimes you need help with the words.