This lovely retreat in the Santa Cruz redwood forest was everything I hoped it would be. I found the quiet space to write I needed, and a supportive group of writers who will be part of my writing life for a long time to come. I’d recommend it to anyone who’s serious about their writing and about building a writing community.
I have rarely attended an event that created as many special memories for me as this one did. The close connection and community that we formed in such a short space of time, nurtured by the retreat organizers, will carry me through for years to come. Given the solitary nature of the writing life, that’s priceless!
What a wonderful experience. Heather and Chelsea put together a relaxed, informative and joyful retreat in the redwoods. I learned a lot, connected with other writers, and got a good bit of work done too. For me, NCWR has set a new standard for what a writer’s retreat should be - the perfect blend of work time and play time in a beautiful setting, with wonderful people.
— Lauren Doyle Owens, author of The Other Side of Everything
This was the perfect writing re-boot for me. The beautiful setting in the redwoods, the intense focus on writing—both craft and business—and above all, the space and time to write, was exactly what I needed.
— Martha Conway, author of The Underground River
Writing classes and MFAs teach you the craft of writing. NCWR reminds you about the techniques that are important while also educating you about the business side of a writer’s life. It gives us a community to lean on, the tools to work with, and the inspiration to continue.
This was truly one of the best things I have ever done for myself and my writing.
I’m a regular on the retreat circuit and I’ve never found one that offers as much as the NorCal Writers’ Retreat. Listening to an editor, agent and author share their experiences is not only unique, but invaluable. Together they present a complete picture of the publishing journey from aspiring writer to debut novelist. And I dare you not to feel inspired among the majestic Sequoias! I left with new pages, great memories and two beta readers. I hope to do it again.

NCWR was the perfect trifecta of luxurious writing time, workshops with writers who know their craft and an infusion of industry knowledge from acknowledged experts. Add the most spectacular redwoods in the world and fantastic, locally sourced, organic meals and you’ve got the best writers’ retreat I’ve experienced. If you write, do this. That is all.
— J.R. Hampton
If you are serious about writing there is no better place to gain insight into the business, join a community of other serious writers, learn from a published author and most importantly, write.
— Noah Shussett
For any writer with pages, who is not sure what to do with them, NCWR is the place for you! In just five days, I learned how to navigate the professional world with confidence. The added bonus: all while perched among looming redwoods, open sky, and fresh air, beside likeminded creatives.
— Lily Semel
NCWR far exceeded my expectations. The access to publishing professionals and opportunity to ask questions of them was beyond anything I’ve experienced. A million thank yous; it was so good!
— Britt Tisdale