Tired of winter? Tired of being cold? Tired of writing the same
thing or not writing at all? Leave your winter doldrums at home
and join us in the heart of the New Jersey Pinelands, where
spring will be breaking through the sandy soil. Let this getaway
revitalize and inspire you as you set some new writing into
motion. Choose from workshops in memoir, fiction or poetry.
"Re-PETERs" welcome! Prompts, readings and craft discussion will
differ each time.
"I was surprised at how easily the writing came to me in this setting! I
really enjoyed the unique writing prompts and the opportunity to share my work
with my group."
~ One Day Writing Getaway Participant
Space is limited.
Our programs fill quickly.
Register today so you're
Our retreats revolve around the belief that when writers
leave behind the distractions of their busy lives to gather in
an encouraging community, they are able to make important
breakthroughs in their writing. Each workshop will meet for 6
hours and will offer craft discussion, writing prompts, writing
time, sharing and inspiration.
Spend the day writing in one of the following workshops.
Poetry Inventive Intensive: A Poetry Writing Mini-Boot Camp
Want to start at least four new poems in six hours? This workshop was made for
you. Using models (by Lucille Clifton, Thomas Lux, Yehuda Amichai, Yusef
Komunyakaa, Margaret Atwood, Tony Hoagland and others), you will be guided in
composing poems that begin with a very specific object or concept and move
outwards in the direction of a discovered truth, ideally revealing something you
didn’t know you knew. Our day-long session will include some sharing and
feedback time, but the real focus of the workshop will be on inspiring you to
create at least four new pieces. Arrive rested and curious; leave exhausted and
Led by BJ Ward
Fiction Children's Books: Planning and Plotting
Learn what it takes to write for children in this intensive yet friendly
workshop. The day will begin with conversations about craft, taking into account
the ages of those in your audience and their span of reading levels. This will
include an overview of successful children’s books and their broad scope. Then
you will write to an exercise and receive instructive feedback. This sequence
will be repeated throughout the day. You can use the writing prompts to develop
ideas for a new project or to strengthen a work in progress. Head home with a
renewed sense of enthusiasm and purpose in writing for children.
Led by Pamela Curtis Swallow
Memoir The Truth, The Whole Truth & A Few Lies: A Memoir Workshop "Everything I write is true, especially the stuff I make up." (Peter E. Murphy)
When writing about our lives, it’s impossible to remember every pleasure, pain
and conversation—yet it is our job as memoirists to be true to our experience.
This workshop will show you how to use the tools of the fiction writer to tell
your story in a way that is interesting and meaningful. After leading a craft
discussion based on short memoir excerpts, Peter will give you several prompts
to help you discover the heart of your story. He will guide you in your writing,
focusing not just on what happened, but also on setting, tone, dialogue and
point of view. Your memoir does not need to be earth-shattering to be
compelling; it just needs to be well written. Spend the day immersed in this
supportive community, writing and sharing some of your new drafts. You may bring
previously-written work or start something new.
Led by Peter E. Murphy
Arrive and sign in
Welcome, Craft Discussion, Prompts, Writing Time
Craft Discussion, Prompts, Writing Time, Sharing
Poetry workshop leader BJ Ward is the author of four books of poetry, including
Opera: Collected Poems 1990-2013, which received the Paterson Prize for Literary
Excellence. His poems have appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review,
TriQuarterly, The New York Times, The Normal School and The Sun.
He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and two Distinguished Artist Fellowships
from the NJ State Council on the Arts. He has received the Governor’s Award in
Arts Education from the State of NJ and was named Teaching Artist of the Year by
the NJ Writers Project. He has been on the faculty of The Frost Place Festival,
The Controlled Burn Seminar and the NJ Governor’s School for the Arts. He
co-founded and teaches year-round in the Creative Writing program at Warren
County Community College. Read some of his work:
Fiction workshop leader
Pamela Curtis Swallow is the author of 11 books. She’s been publishing
since 1986 for a wide audience—elementary, middle grade and young adult and
adult. Pam’s fiction and non-fiction books include: Groundhog Gets A Say
(Putnam/Scholastic); It Only Looks Easy (Roaring Brook Press/Scholastic);
the Melvil and Dewey Series (Libraries Unlimited), which includes an activity
guide entitled Melvil and Dewey Teach Literacy; A Writer’s Notebook
(Scholastic); Wading through Peanut Butter (Scholastic); No Promises
(Putnam/Scholastic); and Leave It to Christy (Putnam/Scholastic). She
recently completed The Remarkable Life and Career of Ellen Swallow Richards:
Pioneer in Science and Technology. In addition to writing, Pam spent many
years as a teacher and as a school librarian. Her website is:
Memoir workshop leader Peter E. Murphy
has led hundreds of workshops for writers and
teachers. He was born in Wales and grew up in New York City where he operated
heavy equipment, managed a nightclub and drove a cab. He is the author of seven
books and chapbooks including Stubborn Child, a finalist for the Paterson
Poetry Prize. His recent essays and poems appear in The Common, Diode,
Gravel, Guernica, Hayden's Ferry Review, The Lindenwood
Review, The New Welsh Reader, Rattle, Word Riot and
elsewhere. He has received fellowships and awards for
writing and teaching from The Atlantic Center for the Arts, The Folger
Shakespeare Library, The National Endowment for the Humanities, The New Jersey
State Council on the Arts, Yaddo and the White House Commission on Presidential
Scholars. Peter is the founder of Murphy Writing of Stockton University which
includes the Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway and other programs for poets, writers
and teachers. Enjoy a
brief interview with Peter
and read some of his work at
Writing in the Pines will take place at Stockton University’s
Campus Center in the heart of the Pinelands National Reserve. Located near the intersection of the AC
Expressway and the Garden State Parkway, Stockton is just 1 hour
from Philadelphia, 95 minutes from Princeton and just over 2
hours from North Jersey and New York. See the Travel section
below for the address, directions and parking info.
Frequently Asked Questions
I'm new to writing workshops. Will I fit in?
Absolutely! Our experienced workshop leaders plan their sessions to benefit
both beginning and experienced writers. We pride ourselves on building an
encouraging community of writers where all feel welcome.
I've been to dozens of workshops. What will I get out of this one?
Our faculty challenge experienced writers to push beyond their usual limits.
If you have been writing for decades, they will compel you to go deeper, take
more risks and experiment with form and content. We know that experienced
writers benefit from our programs based on the fact that hundreds of
"re-PETERs" have attended three or more of our writing getaways.
"This program offered a lot of valuable information and inspiration. Time and
money well invested. Thank you."
~ Richard A. Herman, author of Laszlo's Fire
Tuition for April 8 — $80 Includes a sandwich, salad and soft
drink for lunch.
Take advantage & save:
● "re-PETER" Discount ($10) if you've attended any
of our other programs
● Stockton Discount ($40) for students,
alumni, faculty, adjuncts or staff with a Z number
Register Online Our
secure registration site allows you to pay with a credit card or debit card.
Click here to register.
Please note: If you have
trouble registering online, or if you don't receive an email confirming your
online registration within 24 hours, call us at 609-626-3594 or email us at
-+-+- -+-+-+- -+-+- The Fine Print
● Full fee due upon registration
● "re-PETER" Discount ($10) if you've attended any of our
● Stockton Discount ($40) for students, alumni, faculty, adjuncts or staff with a Z number
● Sorry, only one discount per person
● Change Fee ($25) will be charged to make changes to your
registration after March 25
● By March 25 — 50% credit toward one of our upcoming programs
● After March 25 — No refund
We are not currently offering scholarships for this program. Sign up for our
email list to be notified about future scholarship opportunities.
Space is limited.
Our programs fill quickly.
Register today so you're
"I loved how welcoming the retreat was. I truly felt among
a community of writers rather than people promoting themselves. The workshop
was encouraging and informative. I'm really
looking forward to the next one."
~ Jenna, Lanoka Harbor, NJ
Stockton University offers free parking on weekends. There is a big
construction project on campus. You may want to allow a few extra minutes to
Park in Lot 3 or 4 (near the Unified Science Center) and enter the Campus
Center through the center doors. Download the
campus map for more details.
Once inside the Campus Center, turn right and walk down the
long hall. The Board of Trustees Meeting Room will be on your left. If you reach
the stairs going down to the food court, you've gone too far.
If you have trouble finding the Campus Center or the Board of Trustees
Meeting Room, please ask.
The Stockton community is quite friendly and will be glad to help.
Accommodations (Optional) Stockton Seaview Hotel,
a 4-star hotel with excellent reviews, is only a 10 minute drive. This
Holiday Inn Express also has good reviews on
TripAdvisor. Spring weekends may be in high demand and if it's tough to
find a bargain, you can look into other hotels in Egg Harbor Township,
Absecon and Galloway, all of which are within a 20 minute drive.
Although you may find a good deal at an independent
motel, we suggest you stick with the major hotel chains and check reviews on a site
TripAdvisor before you book.
Note: If you are coming from out of town and prefer a Writing Getaway
where we make the hotel and meal arrangements for you, consider one of our other
upcoming writing retreats.
Testimonials about our Writing Getaways & Retreats
was my first time attending and I truly grew. I loved the low-key, relaxed
nature and appreciated the thoughtful assignments. Thanks for the great
~ Christine, Philadelphia, PA
"I loved this event. Peter offered great insight into the craft of writing
in an honest, down-to-earth way. The reading selections were great examples
and the prompts were perfectly challenging."
~ Farrah, Manahawkin, NJ
"Peter, magically, has the ability to sweep away doubts, excuses and the
static in my head–until all that is left is the opportunity to write. Another
~ Joe, Marmora, NJ
"There is so much positive energy, which creates a welcoming environment–and
this is all thanks to Peter and Amanda: two good souls who genuinely care about
the participants and disarm any pretense the minute they walk in the door. Thank
you, Peter, for inspiring and cultivating a nurturing climate packed with
creativity and free imagination."
~ Ben, Allentown, PA
● Earn Professional Development Credit.
Participants will receive a professional development certificate of
participation upon request. Murphy Writing of Stockton University is
recognized by the New Jersey Department of Education to provide Professional
Development credit hours, which many other states are willing to accept. You
may check with your district or employer to see if it will work for you.
● Your school may pay for you. Many
educators are sponsored or reimbursed by their school districts and colleges
for our workshops.