The Authors of The Plot Whisperer and Make a Scene are thrilled to invite you to a unique writing retreat and intensive.
Friday May 1st, to Sunday May 3rd, 2015

Scroll down to see the details!

Deep Plot & Scene Retreats

Writing Retreat

Your story is waiting to be revealed; we'll help you find its perfect design. Your spirit & body also needs to be nourished. On these all-inclusive weekend retreats you'll plot to the heart of your story at the scene level and go deeper than ever before. NEW: Yoga sessions with Amy J. McElroy. (Lodging and meals are included in registration fee).


From Friday May 1st, to Sunday May 3rd, you’ll apply NEW material from Martha Alderson and Jordan Rosenfeld’s forthcoming book from Writer's Digest, DEEP SCENES: Plotting Your Story, Scene-by-Scene Through Action, Emotion & Theme.


Over the course of the weekend you’ll learn how to identify and write the key markers of your plot to design a page-turning story, identify and play with crucial scene types, and go deeper into your plot by layering the three key elements of all great fiction: Action, Emotion & Theme.


You’ll be deep in the beautiful Santa Cruz mountains, surrounded by forest, woodland creatures, beautiful open vistas and the necessary silence to help you replenish. You can take advantage of on-site yoga and massage at your leisure, as well. Whether revising or beginning a new project, you’ll emerge with a mastery of your plot, a scene tracker, and a calm, quiet, nourished soul.


Who should register for this retreat?

  • - Writers with an existing plot and manuscript
  • - Writers with an idea for a new plot not yet written
  • - Writers grappling with changes to a plot
  • - Writers in need of better plot design
  • - Writers at the beginning of their writing journey
  • - Writers who are seeking to publish their work
  • - Writers who need help improving upon their scenes
  • - Writers who would like to learn to add tension and texture to their scenes
  • - Writers who wish to understand the intricate relationship between plot & scene

CONTACT US: writerpathmj@gmail.com


Food & Lodging

Mount Madonna Center in Northern California awaits you!


Mount Madonna Center is a conference and retreat center located on 355 acres of mountain-top redwood forest and grassland overlooking Monterey Bay, between Santa Cruz and Monterey, in Northern California.


During your time with us at the Mt. Madonna Center, you can take advantage of their amazing facilities: walking trails, yoga classes, on-site massage therapists (appointments necessary), a meditation room, gift shop and café.


Food and lodging are included in your registration fees. Remmber: Lodging options are first come, first served. Please note that all meals are vegetarian. Hot tea and instant coffee available 24 hours a day, and regular coffee is available in the cafe. Accommodations can be made for food sensitivities and allergies with enough advance notice.  Guest towels are not provided.

About Mt. Madonna Center:



Friday, May 1, 2015

Introductions | Orientation

5:30 - 6:30 PM

7:00 – 9:00 PM
Group Session:


Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

8 - 10:00AM
Group Session:

10 - 11AM

11:15 - 1:15

1:00 PM

1:30 - 3:00 PM

3:00 - 5:00 PM
Group Session: Check-in, Q & A session.

3:30 - 4:15 PM

Group session

4:15 - 5:00 PM


5:00 - 6:00 PM

6:30 - 8:30 PM
Group session:


Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

8:30 - 9:30 AM

10:00 - Noon
Group Q & A session





Friday,  May 1st to Sunday, May 3rd 2015





The Authors


Martha Alderson

Martha Alderson, aka the Plot Whisperer, is the author
of the Plot Whisperer series writing resources for
authors,  and several ebooks on plot:


The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts:
Easy Exercises to Get You Writing


The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises
to Help You Create Compelling Stories


Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master
(A companion workbook to The Plot Whisperer, Adams
Media, a division of F + W Media)


Blockbuster Plots Pure & Simple
(Illusion Press)

As an international plot consultant for writers, Martha’s
clients include best-selling authors, New York editors,
and Hollywood movie directors.


She teaches plot workshops to novelists, memoirists,
and screenwriters privately, at plot retreats, through
Learning Annex, RWA, SCBWI, CWC chapter meetings,
Writer’s Digest, The Writers Store and writers' conferences
where she takes writers beyond the words and into the
very heart of a story.


As the founder of  International Plot Writing Month
in December, better known as PlotWriMo, Martha also manages
the award-winning blog for writers: The Plot Whisperer
which has been awarded honors as a top writing advice
blog by Writers Digest (2009-2013).


Her vlog, How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay
covers 27 steps to plotting your story from beginning to
end and playlists to help writers create a compelling plot
for their novels, memoirs and screenplays.


Follow her on social media:
Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest


Jordan Rosenfeld

Jordan is author of the novel Forged in Grace,
and the writing guides:


Make a Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story
One Scene at a Time


Write Free: Attracting the Creative Life
(with Rebecca Lawton)


and the forthcoming:
A Writer’s Guide to Persistence



Jordan’s essays and articles have appeared in such
publications as AlterNet.org, Modern Loss, The New
York Times, ReWire Me, Role/Reboot, San Francisco Chronicle,
Whole Life Times, The Washington Post, Writer’s Digest
Her book commentaries have appeared on The California Report,
a news-magazine produced by NPR-affiliate KQED radio.


A former Petaluman, she created and hosted the LiveWire
Literary Salon at Zebulon’s lounge which hosted readings
for several years, and Word by Word: Conversations with
Writers, a radio program interviewing well-known writers
such as TC Boyle, Louise Erdrich and others on KRCB, which
won an NEA Chairman’s grant in 2004.


She now lives among the garlic and the mushrooms in the
south bay with her husband, son, and their cats.


Follow her on social media:
Twitter | Facebook