Blogger: Wendy Lawton
As this blog goes live the agents and a good portion of the clients of Books & Such Literary Management are attending the fifth biennial retreat at the gorgeous Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa on Cannery Row in Monterey, California. The hotel is built over the sparkling blue waters of the Monterey Bay. Seals and sea otters play right in the surf below our rooms.
Nearly twelve years ago, when we first began planning for a unique client retreat, we knew we didn’t want to mimic some of the amazing writer’s conferences that were offered. We wanted to do something different. Why not choose a world class setting, offer intense workshops and training in the morning and then leave the rest of the day for our clients to connect to the other writers, meet with guest editors and spend time with their agents? It’s been the perfect recipe. The first retreat was held at the Sonoma Inn in the beautiful wine country of California. After that we migrated down the coast to Monterey and have been loathe to leave this Forbes four-star setting.
So what are we doing right now? We’ve been having industry updates from David Horton from Bethany House, Alice Crider from David C. Cook and Pamela Clements from Worthy Publishing. We have a photographer on hand to do fresh head shots and we’re having sessions on social media, the writing craft, and marketing.
Several clients are venturing out on the bay to watch whales, others are bicycling through the town or kayaking in the surf. Some are walking a block down to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, others are taking a literary tour of Steinbeck’s stomping grounds. Some groups will be knitting together, others will be plotting new novels. A few plan to retreat to the Plaza’s world class spa for facials or massages.
For lunch today we’re eating on the patio under sun umbrellas with a visit from a much-loved surprise literary guest. (Hint: In years past we had John Steinbeck and Robert Louis Stevenson.) Tonight is the popular Dine Around, after which the famed Dancing Cowboy will lead us in an evening of line dancing. Tomorrow is our Think Tank Day when we unleash our creative selves to plot and plan and come up with new ideas for each other.
So that’s what we’re up to. Sound like fun? What would be your dream location for a retreat? What are we missing? (Besides you!) I’ll not be able to respond to your comments but will read them all when I come back to the real world.