Squam Writes

  A craft-focused weekend for writers ready to take the next step  

  June 26-28, 2020


   All-Inclusive Weekend: $685   

June 26-28, 2020 at 
Squam Lake, NH

Rockywold-Deephaven Camps 

18 Bacon Rd, Holderness, NH 03245
(603) 968-3313

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Learn from agents, editors, and writers at an exclusive retreat designed to take you to the next level of success.

The Squam Writes Retreat is a small group retreat for writers and illustrators of children's literature. This retreat is focused on craft and especially beneficial to those ready to start down the road to publication. There will be opportunities for feedback and plenty of time to write, make new friends, and recharge creative batteries in a beautiful New Hampshire lakeside setting. Every participant receives a one-on-one critique with an agent or editor. 


Space is very limited and fills quickly. Sign up early to guarantee your spot.


Registration for 2020 opens Saturday, December 1st.



Experience the magic of a three-day retreat at a historic campsite nestled against the edge of beautiful Squam Lake. Optional morning mountain hikes, meditation sessions, and plenty of free time to explore will give you the mental space you need to create your best work.

Renew old friendships and forge new ones. The intimate setting and limited enrollment make this retreat the perfect place to get to know your agent and editor mentors, as well as other participants, on a personal level.​


You'll receive personal feedback from an agent or editor, participate in genre-specific critique groups, and hone your skills during technique presentations from the mentors. This exclusive retreat is designed to improve your writing and take you to the next level of success. We hope you'll join us.




Rebecca Podos, Agent at Rees Literary

Twitter: @RebeccaPodos


Rebecca Podos is an agent at the Rees Literary Agency in Boston, primarily representing Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction, but with an eye out for the perfect Adult Romance. A graduate of the MFA Writing, Literature and Publishing program at Emerson College, her own YA fiction is published by HarperCollins. Rebecca loves everything from high fantasy to horror, contemporary to historical, and rom-com to magic realism, as long as it has a strong voice and memorable characters whose humanity shines through. She represents authors like Ashley Herring Blake, Rin Chupeco, Mackenzi Lee, and more.

Ashley Hearn, Editor at Page Street Kids

Twitter: @AshleyHearn


Ashley Hearn is a young adult editor at Page Street Publishing, working with authors such as Candice Montgomery, whose debut Home and Away was named a Kirkus Reviews best YA of 2018, and Addie Thorley, whose debut An Affair of Poisons is a Spring 2019 Discover Great New Writers selection. When she steps away from her desk, she can be found sampling craft beer, armchair-quarterbacking for the Green Bay Packers, or haunting her local coffee shop.



You'll be hearing a lot from us, so let's get to know each other! 

Melissa Hed, Retreat Co-Director (www.melissahed.com)

Twitter: @melissahed

Retreat Co-director and former Bay State Games gold medal discus thrower Melissa Hed inadvertently gave up being an inline skater to become a writer addicted to dark chocolate. She frequently talks to plants and trees and is almost brave enough to pet the bumblebees in her organic garden. Her tea collection is embarrassingly large for someone who rarely drinks it.

Melissa is a 2020 Breakout Novel StoryLab writer, a 2017 PitchWars mentee, and a children’s fiction award recipient in the 2014 Sandy Writing Contest.

Jilly Gagnon, Retreat Co-Director (www.jillygagnon.com)

Twitter: @jillygagnon


Jilly Gagnon is a comedy writer, essayist, and young adult author. Her YA debut, #famous, came out February 14, 2017, from HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen. To date, three books in her adult comedy series (with co-author Mike MacDonald), Choose Your Own Misery, have been released: The Office, The Holidays and Dating. A fourth installment, The Wedding, will be coming from Quirk Books in Spring 2021.


In the past Jilly's work has appeared in NewsweekElleVanity Fair, McSweeney's Internet TendencyThe OnionThe Toast, and The Hairpin, among many others. When she's not writing, Jilly's probably talking to her cats.


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© 2015 by Jilly Gagnon

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