SCBWI Squam Lake Writing Retreat

Relax. Rejuvenate. Write. All weekend long.

2014 SCBWI-NE Squam Lake Writing Retreat – Sept. 5-7


An inspiring weekend for serious children’s book creators.

(Space still available!)


Rustic cabins.  A hint of fall in the air.  Catered meals.  Loons on a lake surrounded by acres of woods and wildlife.  A community of writers and illustrators.  Professional mentors.  S’mores.  And the gift of time.  This is just a sampling of what will greet you at the  SCBWI Squam Lake Writing Retreat at Rockywold Deephaven Camps in stunning Holderness, New Hampshire.  

The Venue

Registration for the retreat includes two nights accommodations and all meals from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch at Rockywold Deephaven Camps.  The setting is rustic and charming– a family camp setting with cottages, cabins, and a lodge with a big old stone fireplace– surrounded by natural splendor.   The lake is visible from just about everywhere!  You will share a room with another participant.  Meals, which have earned rave reviews, are served in a beautiful old dining hall.  One of the great things about a small retreat is that we share all mealtimes, with mentors, providing great opportunities for networking and kindling friendships.  The casual atmosphere is heavenly!  Rockywold is about 2.5 hours from Boston.

The Offerings

About six weeks before the retreat, all participants are invited to submit 25 pages of a manuscript (middle grade or YA) or a full picture book manuscript, which we’ll send on to one of the mentors.  You will have a scheduled thirty-minute critique with the mentor, and the editor and agent will accept submissions from Squam Lake participants for a limited time after the retreat.  Details on submissions will follow.
Our fabulous mentors this year are Heather Alexander, Agent at Pippin Properties, and Brooks Sherman,  agent for The Bent Agency.

We will have a First Pages Panel Friday night and an Open Mic Saturday night, where participants can share work with the group.  During the days, Brooks and Heather will give presentations, sharing their wisdom from the field with us.

Choose Your Own Retreat

There are no have-to’s at this retreat.  You can hike on nearby Rattlesnake Mountain,  paddle out on the lake on one of Rockywold’s kayaks or canoes, hole up and write like crazy, or spend your time getting to know fellow SCBWI writers.  The choice is completely yours!

The Price 

The cost of the retreat is $535, with meals, lodging, taxes, and critiques included.  A deposit of $175 is required for registration.

Registration open until full or July 25.  There aren’t many spots left!  

 Does this not sound utterly amazing?  Yes?  Register here.


  1. Would graphic novels for grades 1-3 fit with this retreat? Also, when can writers arrive?
    Trying hard to make this work this year!

    • Hi Nancy– I’ve gotten the official thumbs up from Brooks and Heather regarding graphic novels for young readers. As for arriving, the official check-in is at 3:00. Hope to see you this time!

  2. I am curious if it is too late to sign up for the Sept 5-7 conference at Squam Lake.
    Thank You,
    Cheryl O’Donnell

  3. I live close by and and am a SCBWI member. Is there a daily rate for just the retreat?

    • Yes there is, Maggie. And since we’re small there is flexibility. Were you hoping to attend everything but just sleep at home? Or, do you only want to come Saturday during the day? We do have after-dinner activities Friday and Saturday (Open Mic and First Pages). I will email with you . . .

  4. I’d be interested in a daily rate for Saturday, as well. Still possible?

    • Hi Ginger,

      Day-trippers are welcome! It’s $175, which includes three meals. I can’t guarantee a critique slot yet– I’ll know by July 25th, when registration closes. If there is room for another crit, it will be $225 total. Hope you’ll join us!


      • Hi Cameron–
        I’m sending in my check and registration tomorrow (7/25) for a day-tripper. I’ll send the deposit, unless I hear from you that there’s still room for a critique. Thanks!

  5. Couple of questions – I just heard about this and would LOVE to be able to attend. I moved from Colorado last October and it would be great to connect with New England SCBWI folks. :) Are there any spots left? And is there a list of people already signed up that I could contact to see if anyone lives close enough to me (Amherst NH) who would be willing to let me tag along for the ride…I’d be happy to pay the gas+. :) Unfortunately, I can only drive locally these days. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

    • Hi Vivian,
      Welcome to New England! There is still room and Squam would be a great way for you to connect with other NESCBWI peeps. I’ll email you off-line re: rides.

  6. Is there room for preschool rhyming book writers?

  7. Hi there, I just found out about this, and would love to attend but it’s past July 25th! Are you still accepting applications by any chance?


    • Hey Rebecca! Yes, we have an unexpected vacancy. How soon can you get us your submission? (Both mentors prefer electronic, so you just need to email it to me.) Let me know your thoughts and I’ll fill you in on details.


  8. My schedule has changed unexpectedly and opened up this weekend for me. I know it’s very late, but I thought I’d see if there was any chance of still getting in.


    • Hi Sondra,

      We had someone have to pull out, so there is a space! I will contact you offline with details. Thanks!


  9. I am will not be able to attend this fall as we are moving that weekend. Is there a Spring retreat?

    Thank you,


  10. Ok thank you. I should have 3 books written by next fall. I am aching to go to this retreat. Next fall is so far away. It is my favorite season. My dream is to be a successful children’s book author and use the creativity God has given me. I do wish this year was possible.. But I look forward to the opportunity next year and to meet you wonderful people and get any advice help advance my dream. Thank you very much!

  11. Will there be a 2015 retreat?

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