Murphy Writing of Stockton University offers challenging & supportive workshops


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Autumn Writing Getaway
A One Day Retreat for Poets and Writers

Saturday, October 28, 2017 - Filled
9:15 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Stockton University, Galloway, NJ

The 2017 program has finished. Sign up for our email list to be notified about future dates and our other writing retreats.

Need a brief break from your life? Need to rekindle your love affair with writing? Join us for this mid-autumn Getaway to give your creative spirit a much needed boost. No need to stay the night. No distractions. Just a day of writing. Choose from workshops in memoir, poetry and ePublishing.

"I loved how welcoming the retreat was. I truly felt among a community of writers rather than people promoting themselves. The workshop was encouraging and informative. I'm really looking forward to the next one."
   ~ Jenna, Lanoka Harbor, NJ

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

Workshops | Schedule | Faculty | Location | FAQ | Registration | Travel


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 6 hours. The poetry and memoir workshops will offer craft discussion, writing prompts, writing time and sharing. The ePublishing workshop will offer motivating hands-on instruction in the field of self-publishing.

Spend the day in one of the following workshops.

Poetry Workshop
Led by Peter E. Murphy

Are your poems too static? This workshop will show you how to jimmy your words, enliven your sentences and stretch your ideas so your poems leap, rather than just lie sleepily on the page. After a craft discussion based on a carefully selected packet of poems, Peter will give you several of his challenging, imaginative prompts and send you off to write. If you are new to poetry, you will learn techniques that will make your poems more original and how to hold yourself to a higher standard when you revise. If you are an experienced poet, Peter will challenge you to push beyond your usual limits. Spend the day immersed in this supportive community, writing and sharing some of your new drafts.

"Re-PETERs" welcome! Prompts, readings and craft discussion will differ each time.

Getting Started with Memoir
Led by Anndee Hochman

Perhaps you’re spilling with life stories, but you aren’t sure how to begin writing them down. We will start small, with a "snapshot" of memory—a recalled taste, sound, texture or smell—and learn to make it rich with sensory details, well-chosen words and a clear point of view. We’ll examine the "clockworks" behind short memoir excerpts—how these authors create dialogue, move around in time or capture a sense of place—but most of our time will be spent writing and revising as we learn to transform memory into vivid memoir.

"Re-PETERs" welcome! Prompts, readings and craft discussion will differ each time.

Navigating the World of ePublishing
Led by Richard K. Weems

Becoming your own editor, publisher, layout team, copyrighter and promoter can be a monumental task. This supportive workshop will teach you how to avoid the typical pitfalls of self-publishing and create a product you will be proud to promote.

You will learn:
   ● Advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing
   ● Whether to choose physical and/or electronic (Kindle) books
   ● Crucial proofing and editing routines
   ● Business basics: ISBNs, copyrights, choosing distributors (i.e., exclusive to Amazon vs. Amazon/iBooks/B&N)
   ● The steps to publish your work through hands-on practice
   ● Marketing: Why blurbs are necessary, How to promote your work via social media, contests and giveaways

You should bring:
   ● A laptop that can connect to the venue’s wi-fi
   ● A printed excerpt of your writing (up to 3 pages) for an in-class exercise
   ● An electronic copy (.doc, .docx or .pdf) of your book in progress
   ● Login information for your email address and if you already have social media or Create Space accounts, bring those login details too
   ● Optional: electronic copies of any other materials you may have already developed (i.e., a cover design, blurbs and author bio)

Whether you are working on a novel, memoir or book of poems, you will go home inspired and with the knowledge to move forward with confidence.

"This was perhaps the best workshop I have been to. Keep up the good job."

  ~ Barb, Northfield, NJ

Schedule - Poetry & Memoir (Tentative)

  9:15 a.m. Arrive and sign in
  9:30 Welcome, Craft Discussion, Prompts, Writing Time
  12:15 p.m. Lunch
  1:00 Craft Discussion, Prompts, Writing Time, Sharing
  4:15 Closing
  4:30 Head Home

Schedule - ePublishing (Tentative)

  9:15 a.m. Arrive and sign in
  9:30 Welcome, Workshop, Instruction
  12:15 p.m. Lunch
  1:00 Workshop and guided hands-on practice
  4:15 Closing
  4:30 Head Home


Poetry workshop leader
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 seven books and chapbooks including Stubborn Child, a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize. His recent essays and poems appear in The Common, Diode, Gravel, Guernica, Hayden's Ferry Review, The Lindenwood Review, The New Welsh Reader, Rattle, Word Riot and elsewhere. He has received fellowships and awards 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. Enjoy a brief interview with Peter and read some of his work at

Memoir workshop leader
Anndee Hochman writes features, essays and commentaries about education, health, the arts, religion/spirituality and the wide spectrum of family life, including adoption, reproductive technology and LGBT parenting. In addition to her weekly column, “The Parent Trip,” in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Anndee's work appears regularly in Purple Clover, Broad Street Review and on WHYY's Speak Easy site. She has written for O, the Oprah Magazine and Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers. Anndee is the author of Anatomies: A Novella and Stories (Picador 2000) and Everyday Acts & Small Subversions: Women Reinventing Family, Community and Home (The Eighth Mountain Press, 1994). For the past 20 years, she has taught writing to people of all ages in schools, senior centers and in a small fishing village on Mexico’s Pacific coast. Her website is Read Anndee’s piece, "Long Distance Call," originally in Purple Clover. (Photo credit: Rob Cardillo)

ePublishing workshop leader
Richard K. Weems has published three short story collections, and his Kindle book series, the Cheap Stories series, is an Amazon bestseller. His first collection, Anything He Wants, won the Spire Fiction Prize and was a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Award. Rich has been teaching creative writing for more than 20 years and was named a Distinguished Teacher of Writing by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and a Distinguished Educator by The Alliance of Young Artists & Writers. In former lives, he was head bouncer of a nightclub, a novelty item salesman, a furniture mover and a disc jockey. His website is


The Autumn Writing Getaway will take place at Stockton University’s Campus Center in the heart of the Pinelands National Reserve. Located near the intersection of the AC Expressway and the Garden State Parkway, Stockton is just 1 hour from Philadelphia, 95 minutes from Princeton and just over 2 hours from North Jersey and New York. See the Travel section below for the address, directions and parking info.

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've been to dozens of workshops. What will I get out of this one?
Our faculty challenge experienced writers to push beyond their usual limits. If you have been writing for decades, they will compel you to go deeper, take more risks and experiment with form and content. We know that experienced writers benefit from our programs based on the fact that hundreds of "re-PETERs" have attended three or more of our writing getaways.

"I had a story published in a magazine thanks to one of your prompts. You can’t do better than that!"
  ~ Kim, Little Egg Harbor, NJ


Tuition for October 28 — $85 - Filled
     Includes a sandwich, salad, soft drink, chips and dessert for lunch.

Take advantage & save:
    ● "re-PETER" Discount ($10 off) if you've attended any of our other programs
    ● Stockton Discount ($40 off) for students, alumni, faculty, adjuncts or staff

The 2017 program has finished. Sign up for our email list to be notified about future dates and our other writing retreats.

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The Fine Print
    ● Full fee due upon registration
    ● "re-PETER" Discount ($10 off) if you've attended any of our other programs
    ● Stockton Discount ($40 off) for students, alumni, faculty, adjuncts or staff
    ● Sorry, only one discount per person
    ● Change Fee ($25) will be charged to make changes to your registration after October 14

Cancellation Policy
    ● By October 14 — 50% credit toward one of our upcoming programs
    ● After October 14 — No refund

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

Photo Gallery

View our full collection of Writing Getaway photos.


Stockton University
Campus Center - Board of Trustees Meeting Room (New location for 2017)
101 Vera King Farris Drive
Galloway, NJ 08205

Driving Directions
Important Update – 9/1/17
The "Rest Stop Exit" on the Garden State Parkway is permanently closed. Please follow these new directions to Stockton: Stockton’s driving directions, or view Google's directions.

Stockton University offers free parking on weekends. There is a big construction project on campus. You may want to allow a few extra minutes to park. Park in Lot 3 or 4 (near the Unified Science Center) and enter the Campus Center through the center doors. Download the campus map for more details.

Once inside the Campus Center, turn right and walk down the long hall. The Board of Trustees Meeting Room will be on your left. If you reach the stairs going down to the food court, you've gone too far.

If you have trouble finding the Campus Center or the Board of Trustees Meeting Room, please ask. The Stockton community is quite friendly and will be glad to help.

Accommodations (Optional)
Stockton Seaview Hotel, a 4-star hotel with excellent reviews, is only a 10 minute drive. This Holiday Inn Express also has good reviews on TripAdvisor. Spring weekends may be in high demand and if it's tough to find a bargain, you can look into other hotels in Egg Harbor Township, Absecon and Galloway, all of which are within a 20 minute drive.

Although you may find a good deal at an independent motel, we suggest you stick with the major hotel chains and check reviews on a site such as TripAdvisor before you book.

Note: If you are coming from out of town and prefer a Writing Getaway where we make the hotel and meal arrangements for you, consider one of our other upcoming writing retreats.

Testimonials about our Writing Getaways & Retreats

"Many of the ideas I expressed and questions I asked at the program had been gathering inside me for a long time. It was heaven to be able to speak with my workshop leader and fellow participants about them."
   ~ Sue, West Creek, NJ

"This was my first time attending and I truly grew. I loved the low-key, relaxed nature and appreciated the thoughtful assignments. Thanks for the great experience."
   ~ Christine, Philadelphia, PA

"I've been to many workshops where the atmosphere was so thin I could barely breathe. You made me feel incredibly comfortable, as if I were as accomplished as the writers we read. Again, thank you for a great day at the Murphy Writing retreat and for your open arms."
   ~ Mary, Bridgeville, DE

"Murphy Writing provided a supportive and inspirational environment that helped me to build confidence and move my writing ahead."
   ~ Lori, Galloway, NJ

"A few days after the workshop I read what I had written during the class and I was amazed. I didn't remember writing most of it. The prompts and writing samples got me going. I am excited about taking what I wrote and developing it more."
   ~ Lanee, Somers Point, NJ

"Anndee created a safe space and then dared us to take a risk. It was worth it!"
   ~ Anne, Austin, TX

More testimonials

Professional Development Credits

Participants will receive a professional development certificate of participation. 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 employer to see if it will work for you.


Call 609-626-3594 or email

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