Salt Cay Writers Retreat - October 20-26, 2013 - Bahamas
An unparalleled opportunity for writers of fiction, memoir, & narrative nonfiction to work one-on-one with New York Times bestselling authors, top acquisition editors, and prominent literary agents in a gorgeous and inspiring setting.
Every year, beginning May 1 and continuing through the end of the month, New York Times and USA Today bestselling Author Brenda Novak runs an online auction for diabetes research. The auction takes a full year to plan and pull off, but it’s a labor of love—an effort to help all the people who, like her youngest son, suffer from diabetes.
The Brenda Novak Online Auction for Diabetes Research is the biggest online event for diabetes research in the world. Each year, with the help of generous donors--which include some of the biggest and brightest stars in publishing, like Nicholas Sparks, Nora Roberts, Diana Gabaldon, Steve Berry and Janet Evanovich--Brenda offers up over 2000 fabulous items, creating a shopper’s paradise. Last year, the auction brought in $319,000. As a cumulative total, she’s raised $1,675,280.
But the auction is more than your everyday charity gala. It’s a blast to participate in--a real community. They do drawings and give away prizes. Shoppers quickly become donors and donors quickly become shoppers. It’s an outstanding fundraising model!
Did you know that William Styron put the finishing touches on Sophie’s Choice while vacationing on Salt Cay, Bahamas? Or that Anne Morrow Lindbergh worked on Gifts From The Sea during a visit to Salt Cay as well?
Now you too can practice your craft on this beautiful private Bahamian island. While the Salt Cay Writers Retreat curriculum is particularly suited for advanced literary and upmarket commercial fiction writers, memorists and narrative non-fiction writers, any author who wishes to take their writing to the next level is welcome to join us for a memorable week of writing and instruction October 20-26.
Imagine a faculty of #1 New York Times bestselling authors, top editors from the most prestigious publishers, and prominent literary agents. Add a sunset dinner cruise, swimming with dolphins as part of the curriculum, island feasts with local entertainment. Finish with plenty of time to write in a beautiful, secluded, and inspiring setting.
With 65 students and 10 faculty members, the Salt Cay Writers Retreat focuses on craft at an MFA level in a non-academic setting. Published authors who wish to take their writing to the next level are welcome to apply.
Salt Cay Faculty:
Robert Goolrick, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Jacquelyn Mitchard, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Chuck Adams, Executive Editor, Algonquin Books (WATER FOR ELEPHANTS)
Amy Einhorn, Publisher and Vice President, Amy Einhorn Books (THE HELP)
Kate Miciak, Editorial Director and Vice President, Ballantine/Bantam Dell
Michelle Brower, Folio Literary Management
Steven Fisher, Vice President, Agency for the Performing Arts
2013 Backspace Writers Conference - May 23-25, 2013
Radisson Martinique, New York City
Please note: This will be your only chance to attend a Backspace Agent-Author Seminar in 2013.
Three days of panel discussions, workshops, and one-on-one editorial critiques. Mingle with agents, editors, and bestselling authors in a relaxed, friendly and helpful atmosphere in the heart of the publishing world!
Keynote Speaker: award-winning young adult author A.S. King
The November Agent-Author Seminar in NYC was a great success!
Nearly everyone who registered for the seminar was able to make it into the city despite travel cancellations and delays in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Backspace would like to thank the faculty members who attended, as well as those who participated from home by conference call (including those without power!), our hardworking volunteers, and most of all, the fabulous, resourceful writers who made it all possible!
“Thank you for running a smooth event and for being so accessible for the last few months. Even with the storm, I was pleased with the seminar and grateful to be a part of it. I learned an incredible amount.”
“Great job on yesterday’s arrangements with the phone conferences. I called in to morning and afternoon sessions and they both went without a glitch.The agents were very patient and helpful, as were the other participants.”
“I am writing to offer you my sincerest thanks for the fabulous event that you pulled off, post-Sandy. This event has been a great experience for me in spite of the schedule changes. I have not only learned a lot and developed more conviction in my work, but also gained more personal confidence!”
“Thank you so very much for putting together and keeping afloat a major conference with excellent agents and writers in a turbulent couple of days when transportation was disrupted. What an extraordinary conference you managed to bring off despite the dislocations of Sandy. Brilliant use of iPhones to reach agents not there, high diplomatic skills in evidence to calm authors and agents, while organizing tables and events.”
Backspace: A Retrospective
originally posted: June 24, 2010
Backspace began in April 2004, before the days of social network sites like Facebook and Myspace, back when writers were just discovering the Internet as a means to connect with other writers. Co-founders Christopher Graham and Karen Dionne met at a public online writers discussion forum, where they saw a tremendous amount of potential in interacting with other talented, serious, up-and-coming writers. But because the site wasn't moderated, they often had to wade through pages of useless information to find the posts of value.
So Karen and Chris started their own forum, a private site for serious writers, and invited everybody whose experience and talent they felt they could benefit from to join. "We knew we were onto something when 110 writers signed on the first week," says Chris.
Five years later, 45 of the original 110 members have been published - most by major publishers; many more than once. Six of their books have made the New York Times bestseller list (Sara Gruen, WATER FOR ELEPHANTS; Ally Carter, I’D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU BUT THEN I’D HAVE TO KILL YOU and CROSS MY HEART AND HOPE TO SPY; Lesley Kagen, WHISTLING IN THE DARK; Allison Winn Scotch, TIME OF MY LIFE; Karen Abbott, SIN IN THE SECOND CITY).
Six of the original 110 members have also sold film or television rights. Their books have won awards: the American Library Association’s Notable Book Award (Jon Clinch, FINN; Sara Gruen, WATER FOR ELEPHANTS), the National Library Association’s Colorado Book Award (Kim Reid, NO PLACE SAFE), been featured as a Today Show Top 10 Read (Allison Winn Scotch, TIME OF MY LIFE), featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine (Martha O’Connor, THE BITCH POSSE; Jackie Kessler, HOTTER THAN HELL), named a John Singer Sargent Award finalist (Jon Clinch, FINN), Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award finalist (Karen Dionne, FREEZING POINT), and #1 New York Times bestseller, 2-time Quill Award Nominee, 2007 Booksense Book of the Year (Sara Gruen, WATER FOR ELEPHANTS), to name just a few.
In addition to these 45 published authors, another dozen of the original 110 Backspace members are on the cusp of publication, and are either currently or have been represented by agents and have had their work on submission at the major publishing houses. Considering a mere 4% of aspiring authors ever see their novel or non-fiction project in print, these stats represent a success rate that would be the envy of any MFA program in the country.
As of this writing (April, 2009), Backspace has close to a thousand members in a dozen countries. Members released 112 titles in 2008 (see list at right), and a third are agented and/or published. Backspace has the endorsement of top literary agents and bestselling authors. The Backspace homepages (www.bksp.org) have been named one of Writer’s Digest Magazine’s 101 Best Websites for Writers all five years of our existence. (2005 - 2009). Backspace also puts on an annual writers conference in New York City that faculty members, attendees, and even other conference organizers rank as one of the best.
"Backspace is relatively new, but it’s the real deal,” NYTimes bestselling author Lee Child once wrote, “which is amply proved both by the quality of discourse within and the truly amazing hit-rate its members have already achieved."
For years, members have maintained that the Backspace discussion forums are the best-kept secret on the Web. We think it's time the world found out about the incredible confluence of talent that spawned one of the most unique and successful writers communities on the Internet.
The Backspace organization is predicated on the idea of writers helping writers, which we accomplish by means of discussion forums, a guest speaker program in which agents, acquisitions editors, and bestselling authors regularly conduct online question and answer sessions with the group, and articles and advice from agents and other publishing professionals on our homepages, along with useful links, conference and book reviews, and more.
Backspace has attracted the support and/or participation of Richard Curtis, Dan Lazar, Jenny Bent, Sara Nelson, Kristin Nelson, Jeff Kleinman, Kristen Weber, Jeffery Deaver, Lee Child, Robert Crais, Neil Gaiman, Chris Bohjalian, Elizabeth George and many other publishing professionals.