Marcia Strykowski

Novel Revision Retreat

First, another interview about the Amy books to share. Click here for Marcia Meara’s popular Bookin’ It blog.

This past weekend I returned to Rolling Ridge for my second Novel Revision Retreat. My first time was four years ago when I was still polishing Call Me Amy. Darcy Pattison is the wise instructor at the helm of these nation-wide workshops. This particular retreat (along with two other workshops) was organized by author Anne Broyles.



Rolling Ridge, a 40 room Georgian estate on Lake Cochichewick is located in Massachusetts. There are 38 acres of woods, water views, and rolling hills.

There were only ten of us this time, but along with Massachusetts commuters, participants came from Arkansas, Kansas, Pennsylvania, New York, and Virginia.

rolling ridge group

The dining room is filled with local art and water views. Delicious meals accommodated many special requests from gluten-free to vegan.

???????????????????????????????rolling ridge 4

There was quite a bit of work beforehand to prepare for the retreat. For example, each person read all the full novel drafts of everyone else in their group. Here’s my group:DSC09618 - Copy

After lunch I took a walk around the grounds and was excited to come across a lone red wheelbarrow (we had just discussed William Carlos Williams’ poem about plums earlier that same morning).DSC09610 - Copy


It wasn’t long before I spotted several kayakers paddling smoothly across the lake.


All in all a very successful retreat and I recommend these workshops for anyone who wants to work hard at making their novels shine.


  1. Joyce

    This looks like a wonderful retreat venue. I recognize Trinity there! I’m glad you had a wonderful time.


  2. Ashley

    What a beautiful place! The workshops sound fabulous, too!


  3. Vijaya

    Marcia, what a wonderful place to learn and grow. And Darcy is so generous!!!


  4. My mouth parted when I saw that house- gorgeous! I have a thing for buildings. =) What an amazing place to get to concentrate on writing at!


  5. mirkabreen

    The manor itself is so evocative, I can see in my mind’s eye a rich atmospheric story right there. Thank you for sharing the images.


    • It would be a great place for a story. At one point, I remember feeling like we were in a Clue game. Thanks for your comment, Mirka!


  6. Great pictures and the place is wonderful 🙂


  7. I’ve heard of writing retreats but never revision retreats. What a great idea! Especially for people like me who’ve got to write the continuation of a series over the next several years. Definitely have to look into this one. 🙂


    • It works really well–first it forces you to finish your drafts faster (for the retreat) and then helps to make them stronger. Thanks for stopping by, Barbara!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. darcypattison

    Thanks for the report on the Novel Revision Retreat. You’re right! The Rolling Ridge Retreat Center would be a great place for a Clue Game! So glad we had an opportunity to re-connect!


  9. What a pretty, pretty place! I can imagine revising my stories by the lake or at the dining room table or on the white bench in the yard. That red wheelbarrow bit must have been a fun moment.


    • You’re right, lots of comfortable spots for creativity. Thanks for the comment, Claudine!


  10. This seems heavenly! A retreat like this is on my bucket list….



  11. Bette Norton

    What a beautiful setting for a retreat! A wonderful opportunity for authors like you to learn and share ideas and be in community with each other!


  12. cawinn

    Oh, wow, this is an amazing place for a retreat. Thanks for sharing your experiences and the pictures.


  13. Catherine Johnson

    That looks wonderful, Marcia! Closing my eyes to be there virtually.


  14. “Be still my beating heart!” What an amazing writers’ retreat. This is bucket-list worthy!


  15. Mariam

    Excellent post. I am impressed! 🙂 I care for such info a lot. Thank you and best of luck.


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