Isabelle Allende says writing technique, e.g. like suspense, cannot be taught. We at the Writer's Edge say NONSENSE. Is darling Isabelle wrong? Or does she know something we don't? Comments welcome.
The Mission of The Monterey Writers Retreat
Writers, memorists, authors and aspiring authors have journeyed for over a century to this most scenic and literary location on the California west coast known as the Monterey Peninsula. They come in search of inspiration, individuality, purpose and vision, but more importantly, they all eventually come to share an understanding that art has preceded their arrival in the form of a brutally beautiful sea and windswept white shore, in the poetry of the twisted cypress, and in the kaleidoscope of abundant wildlife. It is this setting that inspired the poet Robinson Jeffers to pen:
Fresh as the air, salt as the foam, play birds in the bright wind, fly falcons
Forgetting the oak and the pinewood, come gulls
From the Carmel sands and the sands at the river-mouth, from
Lobos and out of the limitless
Power of the mass of the sea ...
Steinbeck found the material for his dozen volumes of California fiction in the Salinas and neighboring valleys, along the shores of Monterey Bay, in the Corral de Tierra, and on Big Sur. Even the Monterey sunsets illuminate the secrets of Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island" which served as a stage for the lives and times on which Jack London and George Sterling composed their allegories. Don Blanding, Henry Miller, Mary Austin, Ambrose Bierce, Upton Sinclair, Sinclair Lewis, Nora May French and countless others have nurtured their creative intellect here for years on end, all of them fondly recalling their Monterey days in the years to come.
In keeping with their spirit, and the spirit of the place, you can be as goal-focused at this unique retreat, or as hesitant in approach as you wish. You can show us your manuscript, improve your skills, clear your head, have your work read by our onsite writer mentors, whatever works for you, whatever helps you grow and find your vision as a writer. You discuss with us ahead of time via the Monterey Writers Retreat Application about the goals you wish to focus on, and we'll work with you to make it happen. Do you desire a review of your poetry, or poetry collection? A review of your short stories or flash fiction? Do you need to discuss the reality of the market, or your novel project, plot and characters, or perhaps get feedback on the opening hook or a sample chapter? Or would you simply like a relaxed and productive dialogue about your goals as a writer?
Three of the best developmental editors (two of them agents) in the biz--Caitlin Alexander, Paula Munier, and Michael Neff of Algonkian Writer Conferences--will be available from 8 AM to noon each day of the retreat for one-on-one sessions with writers. Attendance and focus will be up to each individual writer. Mentors will also schedule, as needed, up to four more hours during afternoons and evenings for further one-on-one sessions, as well as any ad-hoc workshops the writers may desire.
The Monterey Writers Retreat