Murphy Writing of Stockton College and University of Dundee Present
August 8-15, 2013 -
The 2013 program is filled. View
photos from the retreat and sign up for our
email list to find out
about future writing retreats in the US and abroad.
Get away from the grind to write and be inspired. Using Dundee
as your home base, you will spend a week writing, relaxing and
exploring this beautiful country, heading beyond the wellworn
tourist path, and getting to know the real Scotland. Dundee, a
university city of 150,000, bustles with Scottish arts and
culture, set alongside a centuries-old seafaring community and
In the country made famous by Braveheart, where clans
once warred, medieval writers argued for independence and
self-rule as far back as 1320. You will follow the trails of
scholars and trains of thought that have inspired classic
authors like Sir Walter Scott, poets like Carol Ann Duffy, the
U.K.'s poet laureate, and modern storytellers like Alexander
McCall-Smith, Ian Rankin and J.K. Rowling.
Plunge into it all—plentiful writing time, excursions to remote
castles, fishing villages and the city of
Edinburgh, a program
featuring readings by local writers and an option to extend
your Getaway for even more writing time and a day trip to the
Join Peter Murphy for a writing retreat in the country that gave
the world an Enlightenment, an international fringe festival of
the avant-garde and some of the strongest voices in
Peter's unique assignments and insightful feedback have helped
thousands find voice and direction. He will challenge you to
stretch your imagination as you explore personal archetypes,
history and your foreign surroundings to produce new writing
that will surprise and please you. Whether you plan to begin new
material or continue an ongoing project, you will return home
from this adventure energized, with a substantial body of fresh
writing and ideas on how to develop it.
"The program was one of the most enjoyable
vacations I ever had. The friendships, the creativity, the entire experience
of the workshop, guest speakers and excursions amounted to a trip I will
never forget. It helped me as a writer, as a potential novelist, and I'll be
~ Walt M., Novelist, Linwood, NJ
Each morning you will join Peter and the other writers to discuss craft
issues around a packet of stories, poems and essays. Then Peter will give
you one of his imaginative assignments and send you off to work. These
writing prompts are designed to challenge you whether you are starting a new
poem or prose piece, or working on a long-term project such as a novel,
memoir or other nonfiction manuscript.
Peter's writing prompts are effective at connecting with all genres and
levels of writers. If you are a beginner, they will get you started. If you
have decades of experience, they will compel you to go deeper, take more
risks and experiment with form and content.
"I thought the feedback would be the most valuable part of the workshop,
but actually it was the prompts and the new material they led me to write. I
accomplished everything I set out to do and devised a plan for finishing my
manuscript. I feel freed—thank you!"
~ Terri, Novelist, Philadelphia, PA
Afternoons are free for you to use as you wish:
Keep writing and revising.
Share your new writing in optional, supportive feedback sessions. These are
not workshops per se, but an opportunity for
you to reflect on what you
wrote during the day and get responses on what worked well and suggestions
for the next draft.
Delve into Dundee's rich legacy of kings and queens, adventurers and
inventors by visiting its museums, historic buildings and monuments.
● Take a day trip to Glasgow, known for its art and Art
Nouveau architecture, or visit nearby St Andrews, the seaside town famous
for its Scottish links golf course, which also has the battered ruins of a
medieval castle and a quaint city center with an aquarium.
Explore the unspoiled countryside—Highlands northward, borderlands
southward—woven in history, tradition and culture.
Evenings will offer opportunities to socialize, enjoy cultural activities
and meet with local writers. Or you can always choose to keep writing.
Sample Daily Schedule
||"Travel Talk" Office Hours for travel and sightseeing questions
||Workshop and Writing Time
||Free Time for writing, relaxing and exploring
||Optional Feedback Session (Selected days)
||Free Time or Optional Reading/Activity (Selected days)
Need more inspiration in your life? The Scots invented the bicycle,
the telephone, the TV and radar. J.K. Rowling wrote much of the first
Harry Potter book in the back room of an Edinburgh coffee shop overlooking
the Castle. And the first ship to sail to Antarctica was built right here in
Dundee Harbor. Seize that spirit—book your slice of inspiration for Summer
has led hundreds of workshops for writers and teachers. Born in Wales and
grew up in New York City where he operated heavy equipment, managed a
nightclub and drove a cab. He is the author of Stubborn Child, a
finalist for the 2006 Paterson Poetry Prize, and three poetry chapbooks,
Thorough & Efficient, Mr. Nobody and Atlantic City Lives
(Forthcoming in 2015). His unique poetry writing assignments have been
collected in Challenges for the Delusional. He has received
fellowships for writing and teaching from The Atlantic Center for the Arts,
The Folger Shakespeare Library, The National Endowment for the Humanities,
The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Yaddo and the White House
Commission on Presidential Scholars. Peter is the founder of Murphy Writing
of Stockton College which includes the Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway and
other programs for poets, writers and teachers in the U.S. and abroad. Read a
recent interview with Peter.
Juliet Fletcher, statehouse reporter for the
Bergen Record, reports on Governor Chris Christie and New Jersey state
policy with a focus on economic growth, campaign promises and lobbying. A
UK native born to a Scottish mother, Juliet lived in Scotland while earning
her undergraduate degree from the University of Aberdeen. She has had years
of experience helping Americans uncover the real Scotland after marrying an
American and acting as a tour guide to his large extended family. During our
program, she will guide some of the tours and make herself available each
morning to answer your travel and sightseeing questions.
Juliet will lead a special session, "Freelancing Feature Stories," focusing
on travel writing that will help you turn your Get Away to Write -
Scotland experience into a publishable article.
When I have attended other workshops there were separate groups for people
writing novels, memoir, poetry, etc. Will we all be in the same workshop on
this trip? How will I benefit from this program?
While different genres have different demands, Peter has found that fiction
writers, nonfiction writers and poets can learn much about their own craft
by reading, discussing and experimenting with the craft of others. For
example, playing with dialogue, setting and point of view can make a poem
more surprising and meaningful. Paying attention to compression, rhythm and
sound can make a work of prose stronger and more credible.
I write both poetry and fiction. Do I need to have a project in mind to
No, a number of our participants write both poetry and prose. It's not
uncommon for someone to decide what form their writing will take after Peter
gives the prompt.
I'm new to writing workshops. Will I fit in?
Absolutely! Peter's unique prompts will allow this supportive program to
benefit both beginning and experienced writers. We pride ourselves on
building an encouraging community of writers where all feel welcome.
Dundee has been recognized as having more hours of sunshine, the
purest air quality, and more green spaces than any other
Scottish city. During the trip, you will enjoy long days of
15+ hours of sunlight. The weather tends to be cooler and damper than
the typical muggy Mid-Atlantic summer, but it's always
refreshing. However, it is Britain, so you'll want to pack your
"Mackintosh" and "Wellies" just in case.
You will be housed in the modest but comfortable Belmont Flats (student
apartments), centrally located on the University of Dundee campus, a 10 minute
walk from the city center. You will be adjacent to the city's cultural quarter
with theaters, art-house cinema, restaurants, galleries, bars, boutiques,
markets and craft shops all within an easy walk.
● Each flat has 6 bedrooms, a shared kitchen, dining and
● You will have your own bedroom with a twin bed, private
bathroom and a writing desk. Bed linens and a towel will be provided, but there
will not be daily housekeeping service.
● Your kitchen is equipped with a stove, refrigerator,
microwave and tea kettle. A basic supply of crockery, cutlery, cooking pots
and utensils will also be supplied.
Internet access is available throughout the campus, and you will
be able to use the coin operated laundry.
● You will be given access to the University's libraries and
Couples are welcome to share adjoining rooms or can make their own arrangements
nearby hotel. For this reason, accommodations are priced as an "optional
than the Opening and Closing Dinners, which are included in the program fee, you
will be responsible for your meals and will be free to choose your own balance
of eating out and cooking at home. Dundee has 50 restaurants, coffee shops and
pubs in walking distance of campus. There are a number of inexpensive options on Nethergate and Westport streets where you can get a meal for less than £5. If
you enjoy people watching, you can get some meals to "take away" and dine al
fresco in historic Dundee City Square. When you're looking for a quieter night,
you can shop at one of the local markets and prepare food in your flat. And of
course, throughout the program, you will have the opportunity to connect with
other participants and dine together.
The 2013 program is filled. View
photos from the retreat and sign up for our
email list to find out
about future writing retreats in the US and abroad.
Program Fee — $1,295 — includes the following:
● Welcome and Closing Dinners
● A walking tour of Dundee
● Cultural activities including meetings/readings with local
● Use of University of Dundee library and computers
● Private trip website or Google Group providing travel
● Fees do not include airfare, transportation, accommodations,
college credit, additional meals, excursions, gratuities or personal
Take advantage & save:
● "re-PETER" Discount ($75) if you've attended any of our
You are encouraged to select your
add-ons when you register, but if necessary, you will be able to add
them on until June 1 at no additional charge.
● $300 — Accommodations for 7 nights/8 days
(single room with private bath) in shared apartment
● $163 — Excursions: This fee
covers both of the optional trips to cultural and
historical sites including transportation, guides and admission.
While none of our planned trips will be "extreme," they will involve
walking and moderate physical activity. The trips will tie into the
writing you are doing and will take you to:
Trip 1: Dundee Law, Glamis Castle, the coastal town of Arbroath:
Friday, Aug. 9: Our private bus will take us to the top of Dundee Law, the
city's extinct Volcano, to enjoy the view overlooking the city and the North
Sea. Then we'll head to the countryside to Glamis Castle, home of the
late Queen Mother, and finally to the coastal town of Arbroath with its abbey built in 1178. Before heading back to Dundee, we'll
stop at The Golden Haddock where you can indulge in a true Scottish
delicacy, Arbroath Smokies, or enjoy traditional fish and chips.
Trip 2: Edinburgh: Monday, Aug. 12: Traveling by train to Edinburgh, we will start with a walking tour of the
city before heading to the National Library of Scotland to enjoy its
public exhibitions. Afterward, you will have free time when you might take a
tour of Edinburgh Castle, visit The Elephant House coffee shop where J.K.
Rowling wrote her famous first novel, go shopping on the Royal Mile, catch a
performance at the world-famous Fringe Festival or kick back and enjoy the
Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour.
● $292 — Extend your stay in Dundee
three extra nights and enjoy a day trip to the Highlands, Glencoe and Loch
Ness. Enjoy extra time for exploring or writing while taking advantage
of the budget-friendly accommodations as you stay in your same room.
● Three nights additional
accommodation, departing on August 18
● Highlands Day Trip on August 16:
You will embark on a 12-hour tour of Scotland's most iconic sites, a day
designed to sample the best of what the Highlands have to offer in a
short amount of time. You will visit dramatic Glencoe, the site of the
1692 massacre of the MacDonald clan, and take in the stunning mountain
scenery on our way to visit the infamous Loch Ness.
● $120 — Transportation to/from
Edinburgh Airport: Pick up on 8/8 at 12:00 p.m., Drop off on 8/15 at
2:30 p.m. or 8/18 at 12:15 p.m.
● $295 — Non-participating Guest Program Fee (Includes all
non-workshop activities and select meals). If your guest would like to
take advantage of the add-ons, be sure to select those choices on the
registration form as well.
Unfortunately, we do not currently have scholarships available for Get
Away to Write - Scotland.
The Fine Print
● To receive the "Early Bard" Discount ($75), you must register by May 1 and
pay in full within 1 month of registering
● To receive the "re-PETER" Discount ($75), you must have attended at least
one of our other programs
● A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your place
● Balance due in full by June 1
● Change Fee ($25) will be charged to make changes to your registration or
add-ons after June 1
● By Apr. 15 — 100% refund minus non-refundable $500 deposit
● By June 1 — 50% credit toward one of our upcoming programs
● After June 1 — Sorry, no refund will be issued
For maximum flexibility,
airfare is not included. You will be responsible
for making your own round-trip travel arrangements. The program organizers
will assist registered participants in identifying budget-conscious flight
options. For best fares, you should purchase your ticket in the spring, no
later than June 1.
Arrival: You will get the most out of the program if you arrive in the UK
a day or two early to adjust to the time change and get over jetlag. The
program will start in the afternoon of Thursday, August 8. If you wish to
take advantage of the optional transportation, plan to arrive at Edinburgh
Airport on the morning of August 8. Public transportation from the airport
to Dundee will take approximately two hours, or you can choose the option to
add-on round-trip airport transfers when you register, which will save you
time and energy.
Departure: Thursday, August 15 (or Sunday, August 18 for those extending
their stay). You can make your way to your next destination or take
advantage of the optional transportation to Edinburgh Airport.
Travel Note: You will have access to our private trip website,
which will provide you with travel recommendations and give you the
opportunity to connect with other participants before the trip. Each year
this leads to people traveling together before and after the retreat. This
can be especially helpful if you are not an experienced overseas traveler.
You will need a passport, but US citizens will not need a visa to enter the UK.
Double check that your passport is up to date, and if not, renew it today!
You may also want to buy travel insurance to protect yourself before and during
your trip, but we do not require it.
Take a look at the photos from our most recent
international writing retreat or view our
full collection of
Writing Getaway photos.
video highlights of our 2012 writing retreat in Wales, created
by participant Nicole Zuckerman. Mae fy hofrenfad yn llawn llyswennod.
Try and say that three times fast.
was a big deal for me since I'd never been to a writing retreat before. It
turned out to be fabulous—the atmosphere was perfect for writing and Peter
was an excellent teacher. His lessons were unique and helped uncork my
writing, getting me to think and use my writing time wisely. I highly
enjoyed the trip and would recommend a Murphy Writing retreat to absolutely
anybody, whether a novice or pro."
~ Michelle, Poetry, Huntsville, TX
came to write, and Wales was a super setting in which to do it. I am
impressed with your knowledge and the breadth of your experience, Peter, and
I am thankful for the community of writers I encountered at the Wales
~ Merrill, Memoir & Poetry, Middlesfield, CT
"Peter, you strike a balance I find most helpful and enjoyable, between
drawing out our responses and knowledge and offering your own input. Thank
you so much for another wonderful week in Wales. I hope it's not the last!"
~ Bobbie, Poetry, Chatham, NJ, Two time Wales Getaway participant
"The program couldn't have been better. I especially enjoyed the feedback
sessions, with their warm atmosphere and an environment of trust which
helped us listen to each other, to really hear what the reader was saying
and venture a thought or two. Thank you for everything."
~ Belinda, Short Fiction & Memoir, Barcelona, Spain
"I think you, Peter, are one of the best writing teachers around,
certainly the best I've ever had, the proliferation of MFA programs
notwithstanding. You create a space where writers can REALLY GROW, and my
manuscript and I are very happy to have been in it for a week."
~ Kate, Memoir, New York, NY
Read more testimonials.
Participants will receive a professional development certificate of
participation. Murphy Writing Seminars, LLC is recognized by the New Jersey
Department of Education to provide Professional Development credit hours,
which many other states are willing to accept. You may check with your
district or employer to see if it will work for you.
Call 609-823-5076 or email
+++ The 2013 program is filled. We travel to a
different destination each summer. Sign up for our
email list to
find out about our future writing retreats in the US and abroad. +++