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When the Political Becomes Personal
A one day workshop for writers

Saturday, July 29, 2017 - Filled
9:45 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Hammonton, NJ
Led by Peter E. Murphy

The 2017 program has finished. Sign up for our email list to be notified about future dates and our other writing retreats.

Are you eager to contribute to the political conversation? Take advantage of our supportive atmosphere as a safe space to write a provocative personal essay worthy of submitting to the Op-Ed editors of major publications. Whether you lean left or right—or stand smack dab in the middle—this invigorating workshop will help you transform your fiery arguments into an eloquent and persuasive, thought-provoking piece.

Workshop | Faculty | Location | Registration | Travel


Join us for a day of writing that responds to the tumultuous nature of our current social and political ecosystem. A selection of readings will offer examples of well-written personal essays. Peter’s writing prompts will inspire you to explore the different ways you can present your point of view.

In the afternoon, you can spend more time writing and revising or share one of your new drafts in a supportive feedback session. Peter will help you sharpen your focus and turn your opinion into a publishable piece that will evoke understanding and empathy within your readers. The day will end with suggestions on how and where to submit your essay.

More details:

   ● Bring a work in progress or start something brand new.
   ● Open to prose writers and poets, even if personal essay isn’t your usual genre.
   ● Participants will receive a selection of readings approximately one week prior to the program. You will get more out of the day if you read them before you arrive.
   ● Everyone will have time to "workshop" their piece!

Limited to just 12 participants. Register today so you’re not disappointed.

"I have a tendency to write with the emergency brake on, but your exercises provided me with some wonderful new tools for freeing my imagination. I really appreciate the amount of thought you put into the program."
   ~ Mary, Bala Cynwyd, PA


  9:45 a.m. Arrive and sign in
  10:00 Craft discussion + Assignment #1 writing time
  11:15 Coffee break
  12:15 p.m. Lunch
  1:00 Assignment #2 writing time
  2:30 Feedback session
  5:45 Submission suggestions + closing
  6:00 Head Home


Peter E. Murphy writer headshotPeter 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

"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 great experience!"
   ~ Joe, Marmora, NJ


This workshop will take place at Kramer Hall, Stockton University's beautifully restored three-story former shoe factory. Centrally located in the Arts District of Downtown Hammonton, Kramer Hall is seconds away from shops, restaurants, The Eagle Theatre, the Hammonton Arts Center and the Noyes Museum of Art of Stockton. Hammonton is in the heart of South Jersey–only 40 minutes from Philadelphia, 70 minutes from Princeton and under 2 hours from North Jersey and New York. See the Travel section below for the address, directions and parking info.

"This was my first Murphy Writing workshop. It was worth my time, travel and money. I learned a lot!"
   ~ Greg, Hinesburg, VT


Tuition for July 29 — $150
Includes the workshop, a morning coffee break and a lunch of salad, sandwiches, chips, soft drink and cookies.

The 2017 program has finished. Sign up for our email list to be notified about future dates and our other writing retreats.

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The Fine Print
    ● Full fee due upon registration
    ● "re-PETER" Discount ($15 off) if you've attended any of our other programs
    ● Stockton Discount ($15 off) for students, alumni, faculty, adjuncts or staff
    ● Sorry, only one discount per person
    ● Change Fee ($25) will be charged to make changes to your registration after July 15

Cancellation Policy
    ● By July 15 — 50% credit toward one of our upcoming programs
    ● After July 15 — No refund

We are not currently offering scholarships for this program. Sign up for our email list to be notified about future scholarship opportunities.

“This 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 experience.”
   ~ Christine, Philadelphia, PA


Stockton University Kramer Hall
30 Front Street
Hammonton, NJ 08037

There is plenty of free parking at Kramer Hall including lots on both sides of the building as well free parking on Front Street. There are also two municipal lots a block away on the other side of the railroad tracks.

Public Transportation
From Philadelphia or Atlantic City to Hammonton: Take the NJ Transit Atlantic City Rail Line to the Hammonton Station. The station is a 5 minute walk from Kramer Hall.

Accommodations (Optional)
Unfortunately, we cannot recommend any hotels in Hammonton. Try Mount Laurel or Galloway which are both approximately a 30 minute drive.

Additional Meals (Optional)
This writing retreat provides meals as described above. There are numerous options within a 5 minute walk if you wish to eat dinner in Hammonton.

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.

 Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I usually write poetry and fiction but this topic appeals to me. Do I need previous experience writing personal essays?
A: No. If you are a writer, you already know how to put sentences together to form ideas. This workshop will show you how to shape those ideas to inform and influence others.

Q: I'm new to writing workshops. Will I fit in?
A: Absolutely! Peter's unique prompts will allow this supportive program to benefit both beginning and experienced writers. We pride ourselves on building an encouraging community of writers where all feel welcome.

Q: I've been to dozens of workshops. What will I get out of this one?
A: Peter challenges experienced writers to push beyond their usual limits. If you have been writing for decades, he 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. Try one of Peter's prompts from Challenges for the Delusional.

Photo Gallery

View our full collection of Writing Getaway photos.

Testimonials about our Writing Getaways & Retreats

“I needed this. I feel absolutely inspired and I can’t wait to attend again.”
   ~ Susan, Medford, NJ

“There’s a great energy in the room at this program. I appreciate the planning that goes into the day. The pacing is perfect--just enough time for each prompt. The prompts are creative and thought-provoking. These workshops are always so productive; I leave with so many ideas and pieces to expand upon!”
   ~ Jackie, Bridgeton, NJ

"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 Murphy is an inspirational force of nature! He is wonderful at fostering a warm, inviting environment in which writing comes easily. The writing community is blessed to have his leadership and presence."
   ~ Shore Thing Writing Getaway Participant

More testimonials

Professional Development Credits

Participants will receive a professional development certificate of participation. 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 employer to see if it will work for you.


Call 609-626-3594 or email


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