scene is believing

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Scenes are one of the fundamental building blocks of stories, and yet many writers find the craft of them elusive.

We will study compelling scenes in film, break them down beat by beat, and develop an understanding of how you can translate this to your novel writing so that every craft element—character, setting, plot, dialogue, and them—are rich and brilliantly layered.

One of the biggest challenges writers face is finding the time and space to reach a spot of sustained deep focus. You will find that here in this grand seaside home in Pacific Beach. What's more, you'll get individualized support, whether you are a new writer or one who is already well published.

Instructor Martha Brockenbrough is the award-winning author of 12 books for young readers and 2 books for adults. She teaches at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, in their Writing for Children and Young Adults MFA program.

Here's what you'll get:

  • Lodging for three days and two nights in a serene, luxurious home. (Feel free to take a video tour.)

  • Food: Five meals and snacks (Friday snack & dinner; Saturday breakfast, lunch, snack & dinner; Sunday brunch)

  • Intensive craft instruction: We will get deep into the art of novel writing, with a special focus on scenes and the elements that make them powerful. You will revise your own work and play with new words, to practice these concepts until you understand them thoroughly.

  • Supportive conversation and reading. In the evenings we'll unwind with chatting, optional (brief) readings of our work, as well as delightful beverages of all sorts.Take a 3-D tour of the retreat facility: 


Reserve early to get the room of your choice. Please be sure to read our policies about refunds first. Rates include your room & board, instruction, and optional bike rides and other activities. This does not include transportation to Seabrook, WA (although if you're coming in from out of town, we can almost certainly get you a ride from the airport.)