Who we are

A writers’ conference focused on giving 30 fresh voices in adult or YA literature unprecedented access to the agents, editors and industry experts who can help make dreams come true.

Why boutique

The Work is all about details. From attendees to agents to lunch menus, the weekend’s finer points have been carefully considered and hand-selected.

What to expect

A weekend of intensive attention to your novel, innovative programming, inspired revision, strong coffee, and big fun.

The Work Retreat 2020

The Work Retreat is back for a second year of workshopping, critique, revision and craft! Join us March 27-29, 2020, at the historic Endicott Estate in Dedham, MA.

The Work Retreat is designed for authors of fiction and narrative non-fiction, whose works-in-progress are intended for traditional publication. Participants will workshop up to 50 pages of a WIP in a series of supportive, constructive, small-group sessions led by an editor or agent, and you’ll meet one-on-one with your workshop leader, too. All-faculty panel discussions on topics of craft, revision and industry give participants a chance to hear from and engage with all our experts. You’ll have plenty of time to write throughout the weekend, and the sprawling mansion and estate provide ample space to find your perfect writing nook.

Group-rate accommodations are available at the Courtyard Marriott in Westwood, MA, and shuttle service will be available to hotel guests to/from the venue daily (ride time: approx. 7 minutes). 

Programming begins at 9am on Friday, March 27th, and ends by 2pm on Sunday, March 29th. Out-of-town participants should plan to check-in at the hotel  Thursday evening, March 26th, to ensure timely arrival at the venue on Friday morning.


Early-bird tickets (purchased by 1/31/20): $1000.

Tickets purchased after 1/31/20: $1200.

3-night stay at Courtyard Marriott Boston-Westwood (check-in Thurs. 3/26): + $435

2-night stay at Courtyard Marriott Boston-Westwood (check-in after programming Friday): + $288

Travel costs, including airport shuttle transportation, not included. Those traveling by train should arrive at Amtrak’s Rt-128 station, located directly across from the hotel.

To apply, email a cover/query letter and the first five pages of your manuscript draft to beccaheyman@gmail.com

2020 Retreat Faculty

Sylvan Creekmore

SMP/Wednesday Books

Rebecca Brewer

Penguin Random House

Rebecca Heyman

Conference Director

Rhea Lyons

HG Literary

Kerry D’Agostino

Curtis Brown

Amara Hoshijo

Soho Press

Loan Le

Atria Books

Contact Us

For details, questions or comments about the work, contact:
@TheWorkConf on Twitter
Email The Work Conference


Q: Will my 50-page submission be edited by a publishing professional?

A: Yes and no. We do not require line editing from our workshop leaders, since much of the work at the Retreat is in-progress, but you can expect to receive written notes and personalized feedback during your one-on-one session.

Q: Do I get to choose my editor/agent?

A: Nope. After you put on the Sorting Hat — wait, no. That’s not right. You’ll be placed in a critique group based on your genre, style, and the workshop leader’s specific expertise/interests.

Q: Do I get to read for the other members of my critique group?

A: You sure do! No need to edit others’ submissions, though — that’s for your workshop leader.

Twitter Feed


Committed to taking your writing to the next level in 2020? Join our weekend-long retreat this March. Your small-group critique sessions will be led by an editor or agent who specializes in your genre, and our focus all weekend is CRAFT (and candy tbh). https://t.co/Cp8gJdD1re

THE WORK RETREAT (March 27-29) is now accepting applications! Workshop up to 50pp of your WIP with a seasoned editor or highly editorial agent. Catered meals, historical venue, dynamic programming and a focus on craft. Join us! Details: https://t.co/zRcl0c4Ma3


Sooo.... who's game for the redesigned #WorkWeekend in early spring 2020? This will be a full retreat weekend with accommodations, all meals, and programming on-site at the absolutely stunning MIT Endicott House in Dedham, MA. Early registrants get a room in the mansion 🧐😍

Hey Team TWC19, @ValerieBiberaj just joined Twitter. Can you follow her please and thank you?

The first author-agent pairing for the Class of 2019. Who's next??

(No, applications aren't open yet for 2020 but yes, you can sign up for our newsletter so you're the first to know when they open. You could be next!) https://t.co/1Qv9CB7b4p
TheWorkConf photo

Today! Is the day! The day that is last! The last day!

Submissions close at midnight. Don’t be late!


Keep in touch

Don't miss a chance to join us at the next conference! Sign up below to stay current on our scheduled events, submission window openings, and other TWC-related news. You won't hear from us often -- just when we've got something important to share.


What attendees had to say about the 2016 inaugural event

Past Faculty

If you're an agent or editor interested in joining a future Work Conference, please contact theworkconference@gmail.com, or reach out on Twitter via @TheWorkConf.
Laura Apperson
Alex Arnold
Noah Ballard
Carmiel Banasky
Guest Author
Katie Bayerl
Guest Author
Rebecca Brewer
Laura Brown
Natalka Burian
Guest Author
Serena Burdick
Guest Author
Laura Chasen
Stephanie Delman
Matthew Dicks
Guest Author
Heather Flaherty
Kaitlyn Greenidge
Guest Author
Katie Grimm
Natalie Hallak
Erin Harris
Julie Lekstrom Himes
Guest Author
Leon Husock
Annie Hwang
Guy Intoci
Daniel Kirschen
Loan Le
Sarah Levitt
Tiff Liao
Monica Odom
Veronica Park
Elana Roth Parker
Emma Patterson
Soumeya B Roberts
Liz Stein
Jennifer Udden
Carolyn Williams
Kate Johnson
Kent Wolf
Adriann Ranta Zurhellen
Jon Michael Darga
Miranda Hill
Bridget Smith
Sylvan Creekmore
Jim McCarthy
Samantha Fabien