Peter Murphy created the Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway in 1994 based on
his belief that when writers leave behind distractions to gather in
an encouraging community, they will make breakthroughs in their art.
Celebrating its 20th year, the Getaway has become one of the oldest
and largest writers' conferences in the winter season, attracting
more than 200 writers from across the country.
The inspiration behind the conference was unique. In the early '80s,
when Peter returned home from his first residency at an artist
colony, he failed to find enough solitude to continue creating
exciting new work. Peter decided to put together his own "mini Yaddo"
retreat and rented a hotel room for a weekend. A new poem that surprised and
pleased him came to life, so he checked into a different hotel the
following month, and the month after that. When Peter told other
writers about his hotel habit, he often heard them say, "I wish I
could go with you."
A big believer in community, Peter decided to host a Getaway for
these writers and chose the three-day holiday weekend honoring Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr., which was the slow season in the seashore
town of Cape May. The Winter Getaway is now presented in
partnership with The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and
takes place at Stockton Seaview Hotel at the Jersey Shore near
In 2012, Jane Street Press published Challenges for the Delusional,
a collection of Peter's writing prompts from the Winter Getaway and
the poems they inspired. Murphy Writing Seminars currently offers
four Writing Getaways annually in the United States and abroad.
- Focused on participants: The Getaway helps writers improve their
- Philosophy: The Getaway was founded on the belief that when writers
leave behind the distractions of their busy lives to gather in an
encouraging community, they are able to make important breakthroughs
in their writing.
- Generative: At most conferences, writers listen to talks and panels
and sit in sessions where previously written work is discussed. At
the Getaway, they write.
- Small, intensive workshops: 200 writers attend the Getaway, but most
workshops are limited to 10 people. By spending the entire weekend
in one workshop, participants connect with the others in their group
and go deeper with their writing, making more progress than they
- Valuable instruction: Getaway faculty are chosen because they can
write and teach. They provide generous instruction and insightful
and supportive feedback.
- Welcoming community: The faculty, staff, and long-time participants
go out of their way to make newcomers feel comfortable. First-timers
report they are surprised how friendly everyone is, and many become
- Safe place to grow: The Getaway creates an environment that
encourages each writer to take imaginative risks. Peter begins the
weekend by singing in his off-key voice which leads participants to
realize that if it's okay for Peter to risk that kind of
embarrassment, they can too.
- Open to writers at all levels: Every writer, whether they are just
getting started or already have an MFA and publications, can improve
their craft with rigorous instruction and encouragement. The Getaway
does not have an application process; everyone is welcome.
- Time of year: Writers are looking for workshops and community all
year long, not just in the summer when the majority of conferences
are held. The Getaway is one of the oldest and largest taking place
in the winter season, helping writers get their year off to a productive
- The Getaway is fun! Year after year, the Getaway proves that even
the most serious of writers produce better work when having a good
"I had a better, more enriching experience in three days with
my workshop than in the book-writing group I attended for over a
year. Our workshop leader was at the top of the scale, keeping
the workshop intensive, genuine, supportive and inspiring."
~ Juliet, Glassboro, NJ -
Register Today to ensure your spot.