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  Writer's Retreat In The Woods            Tahquitz Pines - 55251 South Circle Dr., Idyllwild, CA 92549     


Retreat Coordinators Contact Info


Bev Plass

Heather Buchta

Contact & Mailing Address

Mail Checks, First Pages and Critique and Contest Manuscripts to: 

SCBWI - Francesca Rusackas        4195 Chino Hills Pkwy, #381          Chino Hills, Ca 91709

Francesca Rusackas - Regional Advisor

Q. L. Pearce- Assistant Regional Advisor  


Kate Sullivan is a Senior Editor at Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House, where she works on middle grade and young adult content, including the new novel from Jennifer E. Smith, Windfall. Previously, she was at Little, Brown, where she edited many bestselling and award winning authors, including Malinda Lo, Darren Shan, Kody Keplinger, Gail Carriger, Carrie Ryan, and Margaret Stohl. She’s a sucker for speculative fiction, humorous realistic, happy endings, animal books, and anything that gives voice to marginalized perspectives or people who can’t speak for themselves. 

Erin Young works as an agent at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret LLC. Previously, she worked as an editor at two prestigious literary magazines, and she continues to freelance edit books and short stories. Erin also holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and dabbles in writing. Her most recent work was on the libretto of the critically acclaimed opera, “Hopscotch,” which played throughout Los Angeles. Before entering the publishing business, Erin worked as a zoologist, which gave her a great love for all animals, even the fictional ones.

Estelle Laure is the critically-acclaimed author of young adult novels This Raging Light, which has been widely translated throughout the world, and the forthcoming But Then I Came Back. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, is an agency associate at Folio Literary Management, and thinks everyone should have to wait tables or work in a kitchen at least once in their lives in order to be better people. She has been a video store manager, a waitress, an actor and, disastrously, an office manager. She likes hiking with her dog (but not too much) and yoga (but not too strenuous) and cooking (but not too complicated). She lives in Taos, New Mexico with her family where it is easy to believe in love and magic, which she does. 

Steve Bramucci is a novelist, travelwriter, adventurer, teacher, and storyteller. He’s rowed down the Mekong River in a traditional Vietnamese x’ampan, ventured into the Outback with Aboriginal elders, and spent four months driving a rickety Nissan Patrol through East Africa. His story of exploring a long-forgotten pirate graveyard in Madagascar won the Trazzler Oasis prize and his trip across Australia in a car fueled with French fry oil was turned into an Aussie TV show.
Steve’s first novel, The Danger Gang & the Pirates of Borneo! will be published by Bloomsbury on August 1st, with a sequel to follow a year later. Rock Stars -- a non-fiction book about rock climbing for National Geographic -- launches this spring.Steve has also published stories in The Expeditionist’s Guide to the World, I Learned Ku Fu From a Bear Cub, Never Trust a Smiling Bear, andEminem: Rap, Poetry, and Race. He’s written for National Geographic, Afar, Outside, the Orange County Register Magazine, and dozens of other outlets. He’s the founding editor of the LIFE section at – a website that averages 20 millionunique readers each month.




May 5th - May 7th, 2017 

Tahquitz Pines - 55251 South Circle Dr., Idyllwild, CA 92549 

Cabin Check In Time 1:00pm 


Refunds: Email cancellations by 4/1/17 to Accommodation fees are non-refundable. A service charge of $25 will be applicable for returned checks or cancellation fee. No conference refunds after April 1, 2017 or if you signed up for a written critique. No refunds for program changes. All event opportunities are open to registered retreat attendees only.

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55251 South Circle Dr., Idyllwild, CA 92549
idyllwild, CA 92549

Driving Directions 

                  May 5th to May 7th 2017 

                 ONE SPOT LEFT

       Sixteenth Annual Spring Writers' Retreat



Attention all Young Adult and Middle Grade writers: Put the shine on your novel with the support of professionals in a scenic mountain retreat. Join Kate Sullivan, Senior Editor from Delacorte Press, Random House Children's Books, Literary Agent Erin Young from Dystel, Goderich & Bourret, critically-acclaimed YA author Estelle Laure and MG novelist, Steve Bramucci.

Our goals? For you to find the gold in your manuscript and query letter, and to inspire you to polish your work until we all holler “Eureka!”  Attendees will participate in four critique-group sessions lead by an editor, agent and authors. You will hear speaker presentations on the craft of writing, as well as valuable feedback on query letters and what makes them shine. Plus, you’ll get to mingle with an editor, agent, authors and fellow Forty-Niner writers during happy hour.  

This three-day, two-night retreat includes lodging, meals, critique groups, speaker presentations, sunrise meditations, hiking, campfires under the stars and lots of writing time.

Because we want to keep the critique groups cozy, we are restricting the number of attendees to 23. 

The beautiful Taquitz Pines are tucked away in the mile-high pine forests of the San Jacinto Mountains. Picture yourself strolling on a nature walk in a protected national forest, surrounded by fresh mountain air and majestic pine trees, just a short ten-minute stroll to the quaint town of Idyllwild with its unique shops and art galleries. There are a multitude of quiet reflection spots throughout camp, the perfect setting for a writer’s retreat.

Mark your calendars! You don’t want to miss out on the Gold Rush. 

Accommodations; The cabins tucked into the pine forest are each heated and each include a personal shower and bathroom facilities. You may sign up for a double occupancy cabin (2 beds) or triple occupancy (3 beds). If you would like to share the cabin with a friend that is attendee please include your friend's name during signup, or we will match you up with a roomie. The event is open to only 23 attendees. All meals are included.

  1. Dates: May 5-7, 2017 
  2. Friday at 1:00 to Sunday at 1:00
  3. Location: Tahquitz Pines in Idyllwild, California
  4. 55251 South Circle Dr., Idyllwild, CA 92549 
  5. Price: $375 for SCBWI members, $395 for non-members
  6. Written critiques will also be available 
  7. Accommodations

Sponsored by: SCBWI tri-regions (Orange County, San Bernardino, Riverside)

Save your spot please register as soon as possible.

Manuscript Critique -  Fee: $45 Members, $65 Non-members        

 If you would like a written critique by an editor, please send your first ten pages (double spaced) and a one-page, single spaced synopsis. Manuscripts must be postmarked by April 1, 2017 

  • Type 'Critique' and genre (MG, YA) at the top of your manuscript.
  • Type your registered name, address, email address and phone number 
  • Manuscript must be double spaced, 12point font size
  • Send the first ten pages of your manuscript only.

To Register using a check, credit card, or your own paypal account, 

We have ONE spots left. One cabin spot for a female attendee only is left to fill. 

Click the Register Now! button below. 

Please note; you  do not need a paypal account to check out .You can check out using our Paypal account with your own credit card-  Pay with a debit or credit card, or Bill Me Later