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Live Free and Write
A New Hampshire Getaway for Writers

August 17-22, 2014 - Filled!
Dexter's Inn, Sunapee, NH

The 2014 program is filled. Sign up for our email list to find out about our future writing retreats in the US and abroad.

Treat yourself to a writing vacation. Combine an extended writing retreat with a relaxing summer vacation in the picturesque mountains of New Hampshire. This getaway blends our trademark challenging and supportive workshop experience with plenty of free time for you to write and enjoy the refreshing New England summer.

You will enjoy encouraging workshops, good meals and good company. Whether you are a beginner or experienced, you will return home from this writing vacation energized by the tranquil setting and excited to continue writing.

"I've never done an overnight writing retreat before and was amazed at how much writing happened just being away from home. The atmosphere was perfect: open, honest, sincere and so encouraging. Definitely worth the money, the drive and the time!"
   ~ Anne, Belmont, MA

Space is limited.
     Our programs fill quickly.
          Register today so you're not disappointed!


Our retreats are centered on the belief that when writers leave behind the distractions of their busy lives to gather in an encouraging community, they are able to make important breakthroughs in their writing. Each workshop will meet for 20 hours and will offer craft discussion, writing prompts, writing time, feedback, motivation and inspiration. By spending the entire week in one workshop, you will venture deeper into your writing, making more progress than you thought possible.

Spend the week writing in either "Reimagining Memoir" or "Free-Writing Intensive."

Reimagining Memoir - Filled.
Memoir begins with a rush of memory—retold in fragments that surprise us on the page. Sometimes the voice and shape feel right at the start, requiring only minor tweaks. More often, we must re-enter the work, looking for missing pieces of complexity and nuance. During this workshop, we will focus on strategies for reimagining memoir, personal essays and family stories, using prompts to help shape our experiences into narratives that are both interesting and true. If you have work in progress, bring it along to use as a springboard for insights into voice, structure and storyline with the goal of turning those drafts into polished work.
     Limited to 10 participants—Led by Mimi Schwartz, co-author of Writing True, the Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction

Free-Writing Intensive - Filled.
A Generative Workshop for Poets and Writers

Free-writing can be the most important tool in a writer's arsenal, the one that gives us the best chance of surprising ourselves. It is also the first way we honor an impulse to write, and the act during which the impulse catches fire or peters out. Many writers know this, but few approach free-writing as a practice, one with a wide range of methods and purposes. This workshop will open the vault to the theory and practice of free-writing, giving participants techniques for getting out of mental and stylistic ruts, expanding the range of available subjects, solving problems in the middle of a writing project and generating a bounty of new material. Each session of Free-Writing Intensive is unique; participants often repeat the workshop due to the sheer volume of new writing they produce.
     Limited to 15 participants—Led by Douglas Goetsch


Reimagining Memoir workshop leader:
Mimi Schwartz has published 5 books, including Writing True, the Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction (with Sondra Perl), used in over 250 undergraduate and MFA programs nationwide. Her other books include Thoughts from a Queen-Sized Bed, a memoir about life in a long marriage and Good Neighbors, Bad Times - Echoes of My Father's German Village, winner of the New Hampshire Literary Nonfiction Award in 2009 and named for a Best Memoir Award by Foreword Magazine. Her short work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, Fourth Genre, Agni, Missouri Review, The New York Times, The Writer's Chronicle and The Writer, among others. She is Professor Emerita at Richard Stockton College in New Jersey. Get to know Mimi: visit or read her essay, "Who Will Tell My Story?"

Free-Writing Intensive workshop leader:
Douglas Goetsch has published 6 collections, and his poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Gettysburg Review, The Southern Review, The Pushcart Prize and Best American Poetry. His essays have been published in The American Scholar, Utne Reader and most recently at Wabash Magazine. He is a recipient of the Donald Murray prize for non-fiction writing, poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts and is the founding editor of Jane Street Press. Get to know Doug: read an interview in Verse Wisconsin, read his essay in "Wabash Magazine" or visit to read some of his poetry.

Retreat host:
Peter E. Murphy writer headshotPeter E. Murphy has led hundreds of workshops for writers and teachers. He was 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 University 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.


This writing vacation will take place at Dexter's Inn, a country inn, set on an idyllic hilltop estate in the lovely and unhurried Lake Sunapee region of New Hampshire. The panoramic views of Mount Kearsarge, Mount Sunapee and the surrounding countryside will provide a private, peaceful backdrop for our workshops.

The guest rooms are comfortable and welcoming. Each uniquely decorated room has a charming New England colonial feel and private bathroom. Chef Rolf serves up delicious homemade meals buffet style with vegetarian choices. If you have dietary restrictions, you'll be able to note them during the registration process.

During your free time you may wish to enjoy the tranquil grounds or explore the quaint New England countryside with its antique shops and unique covered bridges. On-site amenities include:

   ● Cozy common rooms with fireplaces and a library
   ● Swimming pool, tennis courts and hiking trails
   ● Free wi-fi internet access in common rooms and many bedrooms
   ● Indoor recreation room with ping pong and pool tables

Dexter's Inn is just 45 minutes from Concord, 90 minutes from Boston and 4.5 hours from New York and North Jersey. See the Travel section below for the address, directions and other travel information.


The program starts with dinner on Sunday night and concludes Friday morning before lunch.


  3:00 p.m. Check in anytime before dinner and settle in
  6:30 Dinner
  8:00 Welcome, Orientation and Craft Discussion

Monday - Thursday

  8:30 a.m. Breakfast
  9:30 Workshop
  12:30 p.m. Lunch
  1:30 Writing and free time
  5:00 Workshop
  6:30 Dinner
  8:00 Free time for writing, relaxing and socializing (Optional activities some nights including participant readings and a game night.)


  8:30 a.m. Breakfast
  9:30 Workshop and Closing
  11:30 Depart

Frequently Asked Questions

I'm new to writing workshops. Will I fit in?
Absolutely! Our experienced workshop leaders plan their sessions to benefit both beginning and experienced writers. We pride ourselves on building an encouraging community of writers where all feel welcome.

I haven't attended a mixed genre workshop, like Free-writing, before. How will I benefit?
We've found that prose writers and poets can gain much by sharing a workshop experience. More to the point, free-writing is actually a pre-genre activity: before something becomes a poem, story or book, it's healthy to think of it as a "thing," a stream of words that could go anywhere. Prose writers may find themselves unwittingly committing an act of poetry, and vice-versa—which can be exciting and liberating.


All Inclusive Fee — As low as $595

   ● Tuition with Commuter Package - $695 - Includes 6 day workshop, lunches, snacks, taxes and gratuities.

Options with room packages
Includes 6 day workshop, 6 days/5 nights accommodation with a private bathroom, three meals per day, snacks, taxes and gratuities.

   ● Tuition with Double Room Package - $1,095 - A double room can be a great way to save money. Let us know if you'd like us to match you with a roommate.
   ● Tuition with Single Room Package - $1,395
   ● Tuition with Shared Room Package (With non-participating guest) - $1,695 - If you are bringing a guest, they may join us for meals and all non-workshop activities.

Save as much as $100!
    ● "Early Bard" Discount ($50) if you register by July 1
    ● "re-PETER" Discount ($50) if you've attended any of our other programs!

The Fine Print

   ● "Early Bard" Discount ($50) if you pay in full on or before July 1
   ● "re-PETER" Discount ($50) if you've attended any of our other programs
   ● 50% deposit due upon registration
   ● Balance due by July 15
   ● Change Fee ($25) will be charged to make changes to your registration after July 15

Cancellation Policy

   ● By June 1 — 100% refund minus a $50 processing fee
   ● By July 15 — 50% credit toward one of our upcoming programs
   ● After July 15 — Sorry, no refund will be issued

Photo Gallery

Take a look at the photos from one of our previous Live Free and Write programs or view our full collection of Writing Getaway photos.


Dexter's Inn
258 Stagecoach Rd
Sunapee, NH 03782

Driving Directions
Dexter's Inn is close to I-89 and I-91. Although other routes may be shorter in terms of mileage, they find that using the I-91 and I-89 combination is less stressful and provides significantly less risk of getting lost. View the route Dexter's Inn recommends.

Public Transportation
Your best bet is to take Amtrak to Boston's South Station or fly to Boston's Logan Airport. From there, you can take Dartmouth Coach to New London, NH, which is about 10 minutes from Dexter's Inn. We can arrange to have someone pick you up there if you let us know the times in advance.
   Recommended Stations/Airports
   ● Bus: New London, NH (Served by Dartmouth Coach)
   ● Train: Boston's South Station
   ● Airport: Boston's Logan Airport

Note: Other public transportation options may be available, but the routes recommended above are the most direct options for getting to the program without driving.

Upon Arrival
When you arrive, please pull into the driveway in front of the "Welcome" sign. Follow the wooden walkway at the end of the driveway to the door next to the porch. The Inn staff will greet you and assist you with unloading your bags. After you check-in, you can move your car to the parking lot.

Testimonials about our Writing Getaways & Retreats

"Thank you once again for your lively challenging workshop. You provided a great program in a cozy environment with wonderful people. I thoroughly enjoyed the retreat and my wife enjoyed the R&R. We look forward to another Murphy escape in New England."
   ~ Jim, Providence, RI

"From the moment we arrived, the tone you set established an extremely supportive environment—enough structure and focus to keep us invested in our work, yet flexible enough to foster creativity and enjoyment. Thank you!"
   ~ Susan, River Edge, NJ

"Live Free and Write is brilliantly organized. Freedom is offered to just write, talk about writing, think about writing and read others' writing–so refreshing, restorative and encouraging. Amanda is hardworking and delightful. And Peter, how he puts us all at ease, so inclusive and open, such an energetic thinker, an enthusiastic and experienced teacher. He creates an atmosphere of friendliness that makes the whole thing work. Thank you!"
   ~ Jerri, Meyersdale, PA

More testimonials

For Educators

    ● Earn Professional Development Credit. Participants will receive a professional development certificate of participation upon request. Stockton University 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.

    ● Your school may pay for you. Many educators are sponsored or reimbursed by their school districts and colleges for our workshops. Purchase orders are welcome.


Call 609-626-3594 or email