Testimonials

“I had never attended a formal writer’s retreat before I went to the first Sonoma County Writers Camp in 2016, although have been writing fiction for almost 40 years. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Backstabbing fellow attendees? Haughty, unapproachable agents? Rubber chicken? Hackneyed writing advice? Take each of those to their extreme opposites, and that’s what Ellen and Elizabeth delivered. From the moment I arrived at the magical, sunlit retreat, I felt cared-for and nurtured in body, mind, and spirit. I met a fantastic community of fellow writers, each pursuing our own works in our own way but all generous and supportive. The professional writers and agents who were invited were similarly generous and down to earth. The food was out of this world (if you’ve ever feared that going vegetarian would be boring, five days here will convince you otherwise) and the first-night wine-tasting was a brilliant touch. But best of all, I left with energy, inspiration, and practical daily writing practices that have sustained me in the six months since we all said goodbye last August. I can’t wait to do it again.”
—Audrey Kalman

The saying that “you can’t teach writing,” is only partially true. Just like when a good book or poem inspires and helps shape my writing, attending camp with the talented and supportive writers at SCWC (both teachers, panelists and attendees) had a similar influence on my work. I returned home with renewed creative energy, ideas and confidence. I can’t wait to attend again this year. Plus, the food is kick-ass delicious and the setting magical.
—Jan L Nussbaum

“I am going back to Sonoma County Writers Camp this year because I loved the food and the welcoming place last year! Really I would go back just for that. But Ellen and Elizabeth’s workshops and supportive environment are so great. No one is saying you have to follow just one approach or another. We were all respected, supported, and challenged with the writing exercises and practices. The proof of the pudding for me was that on the drive home I planned out my new writing schedule and have mostly stuck with it since then.”
—Lisa Meltzer Penn

“At Sonoma County Writers Camp, Ellen and Elizabeth created the perfect writer’s experience, with a balance of craft talks, skill sessions, quiet writing time, agent and writer panel discussions, and friendly, supportive readings. Plus, the location is gorgeous and the food amazing. It was all around dreamy.”
—Lisa Taggart

“The Sonoma County Writers Camp was a fantastic experience in the gorgeous rolling hills of Sonoma. Classes were taught in an environmental mecca with terrific and accomplished instructors (Ellen and Elizabeth are a great team!), guest speakers included amazing authors, agents, editors, and coaches. The writing exercises and teaching approach from the instructors were different, thus everyone found great tools to take home to enhance their own writing. The food was sumptuous, with colorful, delicious food choices at every meal! Highly recommended and worth every penny! Try to schedule a bit of extra time to enjoy some of the fascinating nearby areas.”
—Linda Hartmann

“What fun! Occidental was the perfect backdrop to days and evenings of inspiring workshops, craft talks, readings and panel discussions. SCWC struck just the right balance between contemplation and community. I went home energized, with new friends, new material and renewed confidence. Thanks, Ellen and Elizabeth, for a terrific experience!”
–Shannon Spangler

“A highlight of SCWC is the chance to learn good habits of writerly persistence from bestselling novelist Ellen Sussman. Elizabeth Stark’s workshop sessions at the SCWC gave head-spinningly good lessons on style–Excellent, pragmatic tricks for editing one’s own writing.”
—Bridget Connelly