New England

My wife, Sharman, and I recently traveled north to New England for a three-day writer’s retreat that was held in the idyllic town of Lenox, Massachusetts. Our drive from home led us up the Hudson Valley and into the Berkshire Mountains where the trees displayed an extravaganza of fall color. Our road ended at a beautifully restored, 130-year-old mansion that now serves as an inn. It was the perfect setting for a writing retreat.

Designed to improve our skills as novelists, the workshop provided us techniques to organize our massive stories into small, workable parts. During our sessions, we worked on defining the protagonist’s big problem, creating characters with depth and building the story foundation.

This was all invaluable information designed to help us craft a great story. But, meeting the other writers, Di, Kathy, and Kathleen was equally as important. In the evening, we gathered in the piano lounge, warming ourselves by the fireplace and sipped wine while sharing stories of the trials and tribulations of writing. On the second night, dinner at the Gilded Age mansion, Cranwell Mansion, gave us another opportunity to share experiences. Who knew the other writers were suffering the same doubt and anxiety as me?

By the final day, Sharman had an armful of gifts and our writing group had all the necessary tools to turn our stories into vastly improved manuscripts.

The retreat in New England was held by our very talented leader, Diane O’Connell, teacher and owner of Write to Sell Your Book. The first retreat I attended with Diane led to the development of my second book. This was my second retreat, and while the level of my writing has evolved over time, this experience was as rewarding as my first.


The Return to ElingaleBill Rowe recently published his second book in the Elingale trilogy, The Return to Elingale and was a participant in the Fall 2017 Novel Writing Retreat. Learn more about Bill and his books by visiting his website at

To find out more information about Diane’s next writing retreat, click here.


One comment on “My Retreat to New England

  • Bill, I couldn’t agree more! You never know where the next insight will come from. It was reassuring to not only share ideas, but to hear about each author’s unique publishing journey. And a real treat to see you and Sharman again. Cheers, Di

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *