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Discover new writing retreats and find out why attending one might be the best investment for your writing and publishing goals.

The Writing Retreat Sampler is thrilled to announce the kickoff of our newly revamped virtual event series.

Join Barbara Boyd, Susanne Dunlap, and Suzette Mullen, hosts of Mainely Memoir Retreat as they talk with Writing Retreat Sampler host, Lisa Shaughnessy, about their upcoming retreat and offer tips and advice for writers to find the right retreat for their writing and publishing goals.

Their 25 minute presentation will be followed by a live Q&A session so you can ask all the questions you have about their retreat and how a writing retreat can help you uplevel your writing.

To make our pilot kickoff more fun and engaging, attendees can earn points towards one of these gifts:

  • “If A Story” Handmade Leather Journal
  • Writer´s Workbook: A Personal Planner with Tips, Checklists and Guidelines
  • Writer Emergency Pack – 26 Illustrated Idea Cards

Register now to get this event on your calendar!

Meet Our Speakers

Barbara Boyd

Barbara believes everyone has a book to write—it’s just a matter asking the right questions. With more than two hundred books under her belt, she brings deep experience as a book coach, developmental editor, and ghostwriter. Barbara blends innate nurturing and laser-focused organizing. She has been celebrated by clients for her unique ability to honor their intentions with practical and intuitive insights that also ensure the reader has the best possible experience.

Memoirist Nicola Mendenhall has this to say about working with Barbara: “Barbara has walked beside me through all stages of creating two memoirs: developing structure, reading first drafts, fine-tuning language, offering ideas to flesh out content, and supplying publication options while consistently encouraging me to keep growing as a writer. She is reliable, receptive, resourceful, relatable. I recommend her unreservedly.”

— Nicola Mendenhall, author of Fear, Folly & Freud: A Psychotherapist in Psychoanalysis and Leaving Analysis: A Year Finding Freud, Rediscovering the Sacred

Barbara’s superpowers are active listening, organization, and being able to see both the whole picture and the steps to go from idea to completion. She’s skilled in research, writing, project planning, and production and applies those whether she’s coaching a writer on a book idea, editing a manuscript, or tending the garden, bringing the same care, attention, and intention regardless of task.

When she’s not coaching, editing, or reading, she tends an olive farm and apiary in southern Italy, where she lives with her husband and their dog, Lucy.

Susanne Dunlap

Susanne Dunlap is an Author Accelerator Certified Book Coach in Fiction and Nonfiction, as well as the author of more than a dozen historical novels for adults and teens. Susanne loves to work with both fiction and memoir authors, helping them develop strong, compelling stories. As her client Susan Spector said of her memoir, Keep Calm, it’s Just a Brain Tumor (Bellastoria Press, 2019), “I just want you to know what a miracle this book was and is for me. I owe you a lifetime debt of gratitude for working with me in such a crazy time of my life.”

Susanne is an active author and member of the literary community. Her most recent novel, The Courtesan’s Daughter, is a Chanticleer Reviews Best Book, and her novel The Portraitist is a finalist in both the Foreword Indies Awards and the CIBA Goethe Awards. Her young adult historical mystery The Paris Affair won first place in its category in the CIBA Dante Rossetti awards for Young Adult Fiction. The Musician’s Daughter was a Junior Library Guild Selection and a Bank Street Children’s Book of the Year, and was nominated for the Utah Book Award and the Missouri Gateway Reader’s Prize. In the Shadow of the Lamp was an Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book Award nominee. Her essay, What Memoir Writers Can Learn from Historical Novelists, was featured on Jane Friedman’s blog in March, 2023. Susanne earned her BA and an MA (musicology) from Smith College and her PhD from Yale University (music history), and lives in Biddeford, ME, with her little dog Betty.

Suzette Mullen

Suzette Mullen is an Author Accelerator Certified Book Coach in Fiction and Nonfiction and is the author of the memoir The Only Way Through Is Out, forthcoming Winter 2024 from the University of Wisconsin Press. She believes that everyone’s story matters, and she has a particular interest in amplifying the voices of LGBTQ+ writers and allies. Suzette has helped numerous writers find agent representation and land book deals, including Jamie Gehring, author of the memoir The Madman in the Woods: Life Next Door to the Unabomber. Amy Goldmacher, winner of the 2022 Kurt Brown Prize for Creative Nonfiction, calls Suzette “calm, in charge without being bossy, and tough in the best kind of way. She won’t let you get away without going as deep as you need to go in service of the story you were meant to share with the world.”

Suzette’s favorite part of coaching is helping memoir writers find their deeper story and the structure that serves that story. A former attorney and now a creative writer, she is both analytical and intuitive, attributes she brings to her coaching practice. Suzette also finds great joy in fostering writing communities, whether it’s by helping writers make one-on-one connections or creating ongoing accountability and support opportunities through her group coaching program for LGBTQ+ writers. She is the proud mom of two adult sons and lives in Lancaster PA with her wife and their nine-pound rescue pup, Lucy.

Find out more about the Mainely Memoir Retreat and connect with them on social media:

Mainely Memoir Retreat Website

Mainely Memoir Retreat on Instagram

Mainely Memoir on LinkedIn

Mainely Memoir Retreat on Facebook

Meet The Host

Thank you to our sponsors

Learn more about our sponsors


Scribophile is one of the web’s largest writing groups. Take writing workshops, meet beta readers, and become a better writer in our busy and friendly community. Writing doesn’t have to be a solitary passion!

A Writer Within

Kathryn Kay is the founder of A Writer Within, a published author, writing coach, and retreat leader who supports and inspires women writers. Her focus is on getting writers into the creative flow and beyond their internal critic to complete projects and refine their writing. Whether working privately with Kathryn or attending one of her retreats in Tuscany, she has the uncanny ability to get to the heart of each writer’s needs.


eBookFairs provides a platform for authors to work together to promote their books through online book fairs. Each book fair includes an Amazon gift card giveaway. The goal we have for each book fair is to provide authors with more sales on Amazon (or their preferred store) and access to emails submitted for the giveaway to add to their email list.

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