Take the time you need to relax, focus on your craft and live your dreams!

Are you struggling to balance the demands of writing with the realities of work, family and life? Maybe what you need is a vacation—a trip away from the rest of the world that will enable you to focus on your writing and your goals of publication.

The Writer’s Digest Retreat by the Sea is unlike other writing retreats in that your work will be read, discussed, revised and reexamined with the goal of prepping it for review (and consideration) by industry professionals. Whether your goal is to secure the attention of an agent or editor, or simply entice a reader looking for a great book, the Retreat will help to make sure that your initial pages and plot are as compelling and lovingly crafted as possible. You’ll also learn how to pitch your work and have an opportunity to practice with the group!

The Writer’s Digest Retreat by the Sea
 takes place in the lovely New England town of Scituate, Massachusetts, a small seaside village that is the home to numerous beaches, restaurants and shops—without the congestion and noise of larger tourist destinations. The Retreat provides you with a relaxing environment in which to write for long periods of time without interruption or distraction. You’ll also participate in numerous lectures and critique groups and enjoy the camaraderie of your writing peers. 


7 beaver dam road, scituate harbor, ma 02066

Your home during the Retreat will be The Inn at Scituate Harbor. Experience the quintessential New England seaside experience at this comfortable and quaint hotel, nestled in Scituate Harbor, midway between Boston and Plymouth. Take a seaside stroll along Scituate’s five beaches or walk into the village and take in the local color. Bask in an idyllic setting in which to relax and reflect on your work.


meet hallie ephron

A three-time finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark award, Hallie Ephron made a splash with Never Tell a Lie. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called it “stunning” and a “deliciously creepy tale of obsession.” USA Today: “You can imagine Hitchcock curling up with this one.” It was adapted for film as And Baby Will Fall for the Lifetime Movie Network.

Hallie’s newest suspense novel, There Was an Old Woman, is set in the Bronx. It’s a story of trust and betrayal, deception and madness. In it, a young woman and a very old woman connect across generations in spite, or perhaps because, of the fact that they are not related. Washington Post book reviewer Maureen Corrigan says, “For those who love Gotham and abhor gore, There Was an Old Woman is the perfect thriller lite.” New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen calls it “an absolute must read. I devoured this in one ravenous gulp.”

Hallie lives near Boston, happily married for longer than she can remember, and has two beautiful and talented daughters. She teaches writing workshops at venues across the country. Her Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel: How to Knock ‘Em Dead with Style was the first how-to-write book nominated for the Edgar Award.

Hallie is also is an award-winning book reviewer for the Boston Globe.

Meet Paula Munier

Paula Munier, Senior Literary Agent and Content Strategist at Talcott Notch Literary Services, boasts broad experience creating and marketing exceptional content in all formats across all markets for such media giants as Disney, Gannett, Greenspun Media Group, and Quayside.

She began her career as a journalist, and along the way added editor, acquisitions specialist, digital content manager and publishing executive to her repertoire. She most recently served as the Director of Innovation and Acquisitions for Adams Media, where she headed up the acquisitions team responsible for creating, curating and producing both fiction and nonfiction for print, eBook, eShort and direct-to-eBook formats. Her specialties include mystery/thriller, SF/fantasy, romance, YA, memoir, humor, pop culture, health & wellness, cooking, self-help, pop psych, New Age, inspirational, technology, science and writing. Paula is very involved with the mystery community, having served four terms as President of the New England chapter of Mystery Writers of America as well as on the MWA board. (She’s currently VP of that organization.)

Paula has also served as both co-chair and Agents and Editors chair on the New England Crime Bake committee for seven years and counting. And she’s an active member of Sisters in Crime. A well-published journalist, author, copywriter, and ghostwriter, Paula has penned countless new stories, articles, essays, collateral, and blogs, as well as authoring/co-authoring more than a dozen books, including Fixing Freddie, 5-Minute Mindfulness, and A Miscellany of Murder.

Meet Phil Sexton

Phil Sexton is the Publisher of Writer's Digest. For more than 25 years, he has worked in the book business, serving in numerous roles, including Vice President of Sales for F+W Media, Sales Director of Adams Media, Director of Merchandising for United Magazine Company and—perhaps most importantly—Independent Bookseller.

Phil is the author of A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words, Legends of Literature, The Writer's Lab and it's sequel The Writer's Adventure. He is also the co-author of The Writer's Book of Matches. He is the co-founder and co-editor of the much loved (and sorely missed) literary journal Fresh Boiled Peanuts.


June 5

3:00pm Check-In Opens

7:00pm Meet & Greet with Phil Sexton

June 6

8:00am Breakfast - Tesoro Latin Kitchen

9:00am First Ten Pages Lecture - Paula Munier (Tesoro Latin Kitchen)


10:00am First Ten Pages Reading & Discussion - Paula Munier and Hallie Ephron (Tesoro Latin Kitchen and Terrace)

  • Attendees will break into two groups (10 with Paula, 10 with Hallie) to discuss each 10-page submission in random order, keeping in mind what Paula has just taught them.

Noon Lunch - Tesoro Latin Kitchen

1:00pm Free Time for Writing

2:30pm Plot Perfect Lecture and Q&A - Paula Munier and Hallie Ephron (Tesoro Latin Kitchen and Terrace)

4:00pm Free Time for Writing

5:00pm Dinner [on your own]

June 7

8:00am Breakfast - Tesoro Latin Kitchen

9:00am First Ten Pages Revised Reading/Discussion - Tesoro Latin Kitchen

  • Attendees will break into their original groups but switch instructors (10 with Paula, 10 with Hallie) to discuss each 10-page submission in random order, noting revisions made the day prior. Feedback from new instructor and group on changes.

11:00am How to Pitch Your Story - Paula and Hallie (Tesoro Latin Kitchen and Terrace)

12:00pm Lunch Tesoro Latin Kitchen

1:00pm Free time for writing

2:00pm Plot Discussion Session- Paula and Hallie (Tesoro Latin Kitchen and Terrace)

  • Attendees will break into two new groups (10 with Paula, 10 with Hallie) to discuss each person’s plot. Everyone should bring copies of the summary or pitch letter submitted previously. Feedback will be focused on elements noted in plot lecture from the previous night and market viability.


4:00pm Free time for writing and dinner on your own

7:00pm Pitch Practice Workshop [Optional] - Hallie, Paula and Phil

The Oceanside Inn, 8 Oceanside Drive, Scituate, MA

June 8

8:00am Coffee & Tea Service - Restaurant Oro - 162 Front Street, Scituate Harbor, MA

8:00am Self-Editing Lecture - Hallie Ephron (Restaurant Oro)

9:00am The World of Publishing - Hallie Ephron, Paula Munier and Phil Sexton (Restaurant Oro)

10:00am Brunch - Restaurant Oro

11:00am Live Pitch! - Restaurant Oro


In addition to the lectures and other events, your $1,999 registration includes a continental breakfast each morning, a full lunch on Friday and Saturday, three nights of lodging (arriving Thursday, departing Sunday). Your travel expenses to and from the event site are not included. Dinners are on your own (or with your fellow writers) in the village of Scituate.

A $1,000.00 nonrefundable deposit must be received within 7 days of registering for the Writer's Digest Retreat by the Sea to secure your registration. If your $1,000.00 deposit is not received within 7 days, your registration will be cancelled.

The balance ($999.00) of your registration fee is due on or before May 2, 2014 and can be paid by check or credit card.  If your balance is not received by May 2, 2014 your registration will be in jeopardy of being cancelled and your $1,000.00 nonrefundable deposit will not be returned to you.

Check payments will be accepted up until May 2, 2014.  After that date, only credit card payments will be accepted and payments must be made in full at the time of registration.

Cancellation & Refund Policy: If you must cancel for any reason, please notify us via email at writersdigestconference@fwmedia.com by April 11, 2014. Your registration fee will be refunded less the $1,000.00 nonrefundable deposit. Refunds will not be made after this date for any reason.

register now!