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January 2022 - ongoing

Your Teen Media
Your girl is the new Digital Editorial Manager at Your Teen Media! Do you have a 600-900 word  expert article or personal essay to share about raising preteens or teenagers? Send me your submissions at:
June 3-5, 2022 

Squam Writes Retreat  

Squam Writes is back, and this time we're in June! Continuing our programming from our last retreat, Jilly and I will once again welcome a small group of vaccinated writers to learn, write, and connect deeply with ourselves, our stories, and each other as we relax on the wooded shores of Squam Lake, in New Hampshire's White Mountains. We welcome authors of fiction and creative nonfiction from kidlit up through adult literature. Pricing includes room and board, all workshops, and a one-on-one Mastery Session with one of our mentors. This year, we welcome: 

Charlotte Wenger, Author at Prospect Agency

Lauren Scovel, Junior Agent at Laura Gross Literary Agency (LGLA)

For more information about the retreat, go to

October - November 2021

Epic Authors Academy with Jess Keating
I enrolled in this transformative program to give my self-doubt a hug, pack its bags, and send it off on a vacay. It's worked extremely hard for a very long time and now it needs to rest.
September 10-12, 2021 

Squam Writes Retreat  

Squam Writes was back again, and better than ever! Deep in the woods of New Hampshire's White Mountains, a small group of vaccinated writers gathered together at the shores of Squam Lake to prove there's life, and hope, and creativity beyond the confines of the pandemic. We expanded beyond kidlit to include authors of creative nonfiction and adult literature! We also downsized enrollment, took special pandemic health precautions, ran workshops, and gave our writers more free time to connect and get words on the page. Everyone left feeling refreshed and inspired to do their best work. This year, we were thrilled to welcome: 

Rebecca Podos, Author and Agent at Reese Literary

Sera Rivers, Author and Senior Literary Manager at Martin Literary Management

For more information about the retreat and to register for our next one, go to

May 2018- April 2021

Break Out Novel Intensive Story Lab with
Donald Maass and Lorin Oberweger
I'm still gobsmacked that these two industry powerhouses chose to mentor me for nearly three years. Unfrickenbelievable! Their mentorship and my fellowship with other writers in this program sparked huge advances in my professional and personal growth. I'm now a more courageous writer and a more authentic version of myself. Priceless!
June 26-28, 2020 

Squam Writes Retreat  -- POSTPONED --

Damn this pandemic! Due to health concerns, we decided to postpone our beloved Squam Writes Retreat. All our lovely Squammies who registered early got a full refund and we promised to notify everyone when we decided on the date for our next one.

June 14-16, 2019


Squam Writes Retreat


Exciting news:  Squam Writes moved to June! Jilly and I decided it was time to spread our wings away from SCBWI. We made a bold move by scheduling our retreat to June, mainly because we wanted a fresh start to focus on advanced craft in a relaxing setting. Participants came away from the weekend inspired, recharged, and grateful for this opportunity to make professional connections. Mentors this year included: 

Sarah LaPolla, Agent at Bradford Literary

Mekisha Telfer, Associate Editor at Roaring Brook Press

For information about our latest retreat, go to

Sept 7-9, 2018


Squam Writes Retreat

This was the third and final year Jilly and I partnered with the New England Chapter of SCBWI to bring our region a small retreat for kidlit creatives focussed on elevating craft and making professional connections at a beautiful venue. Our September 2018 mentors were: 

Monica Odom, Agent at Liza Dawson Associates

Liz Kossnar, Editor at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Victoria Marini, Agent at Irene Goodman

For more information on our latest retreat, go to

Aug-Nov 2017


Pitch Wars


True story: I was shopping (then squealing, then crying, then jumping up and down) at Target when I found out Kelly DeVos chose me as her 2017 Pitch Wars mentee. Over the course of several grueling months and just as many rewrites, Kelly helped me overhaul my young adult novel THE OTHER SIDE OF NORMAL, about a zaftig Jewish teen who fends off dybbuks and tries like hell to become more mensch than mean girl. You can read our PitchWars interviews here.  

September 2017

Squam Writes Retreat

After a successful first year, Jilly and I decided again to partner with NESCBWI and continue the tradition of offering kidlit writers and authors a place to grow their writing skills and connect with their peers and industry mentors. This years mentors were: 

Christian Trimmer

Wendi Gu

Linda Epstein

For more information on our latest retreat, go to

September 2016

Squam Writes Retreat

When Julie True Kingsley and Cameron Kelly Rosenblum decided not to continue the Squam Lake retreat they ran with NESCBWI in 2013 and 2014, Jilly Gagnon and I decided to build off the premise they started and in 2016, with their blessing, we made it our own. We partnered with NESCBWI for this one so we could continue offering kidlit writers in northern New England a venue for learning and connection. 2016 mentors were:

Krista Marino

Arianne Lewin

Elena Giovinazzo

For more information on our latest retreat, go to

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