If you’re looking for a good writing retreat for young adult and middle grade authors, I strongly suggest the Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA) novel-writing retreat. They offer two tracks for attending authors: the critique track and the writing track. Both tracks attend lectures given by the guest speakers and join in the nighttime activities. The difference: the critique track attendees get the opportunity to have their work professionally critiqued by the quest speakers. They also participate in a small critique group of peers, swapping up to 10 pages of a work in progress.
I participated in the critique track, and I couldn’t recommend it enough. There wasn’t a lot of down time for writing (which may have been a result of my lack of discipline), but I didn’t miss the writing time. Reason being: the opportunity to swap ideas and work out novel crimps with advanced writers was priceless. What a great community of authors. Not to mention the critiques given by the guest lecturers: Holly Black, Alvina Ling, and Coe Booth. I’ve blogged about them in other pages, but I can’t stress enough how valuable they were.
Lastly, the generosity of the organizers, Sarah Aronson and Cindy Faughnan, can’t be overstated. Depending on which guest lecturers they get in the future, I’d definitely attend again.