Praise from participating writers worldwide
"I will bask in the creative after glow of Wendy Goldman Rohm's Paris Writers Retreat (May 2019) for a long, long time. During my many years as a literary agent, I attended numerous writers conferences, but none of them came close to the extraordinary event for writers that Wendy produced and directed on a barge in the Seine near Pont Marie. Wendy, who is a best selling author, is now also a respected literary agent. She has the gift of inspiring writers to expand their visions and hone their crafts and of sensibly instructing them how the publishing world works. As a writer-in-process, to be under the spell of Wendy's wise wand, and to be supportively surrounded by other writers who are working on their books or scripts, is to be richly nurtured in the imaginative realms of words, stories, plots, themes, beliefs, characters, time, place and narrative voice. I return to my own writer's desk enlightened, enriched and energized. I am blessed by new friendships with fellow writers and am filled with gratitude for the grand literary dame who brought us all together."
--Phoebe Larmore, literary agent to Margaret Atwood , Tom Robbins, and more. May 2019.
“I was awarded the most incredible opportunity of my career to work with author/agent Wendy Goldman Rohm at the Paris Writers Retreat (May 2019), and agent Phoebe Larmore, who nurtured the talent of Margaret Atwood, Tom Robbins over their literary careers. In this intensive week, I was able to work on my screenplay for 3 Arts Entertainment, and a full play for Primitive Grace Theater Ensemble. I had continuous one-to-one with both Wendy and Phoebe, as well as group feedback. We covered structure, plot, story, character, dialogue and the overall development of the works after reading our scenes. I worked alongside some of the greatest writers --mostly published authors-- as well as guest speakers from leading literary power houses who discussed industry, pitching and survival. Not only did it re-establish my goals, strength, talent, and give me confidence as a new writer, but gave the opportunity to collaborate directly with both agents and editors. It also opened up creative avenues for new ideas -- with meditations, group empowerment, and the essential ingredient of magic (the whole week spent creating with Wendy possessed a certain magic as we opened up as artists together, taking bigger risks in a safe, nurturing environment). The relationships I have made because of the Paris Writers Retreat will be with me for life –incredible, inspiring artists honing our skills together.”
--Joanna Pickering, Actress, Screenwriter, Playwright (HBO's ITV festival top 5 broadcast, and Screencraft official play selection), 3 Arts Entertainment
"A big thanks to Wendy Goldman Rohm, for your Paris Writers Retreat (May 2018), and the lovely, thoughtful week you created. You pushed us, entertained us, believed in our power as writers, and shared lessons that are worth their weight in gold. I left with gratitude for your attentiveness, artistry, and the community you created. Thank you for your labor of love. And I was equally grateful to the other writers present, for the opportunity to enter their worlds and meet characters indelibly marked in my mind: a dog with more humanity than many humans; a physicist-janitor; a Southern girl playing a Baldwin piano; two steelworkers expressing their love on a factory floor; a woman sowing a black wedding dress asking, "what could go wrong?"—and many more."
--Saket Soni, author, Strangers at the Golden Door (forthcoming from Algonquin Books
"There's something permanently transformative about immersing yourself in a beautiful setting with a group of other serious writers and allowing the process to change you – as it inevitably will. This five-day retreat in Paris (May 2019) with Wendy Goldman Rohm was an experience that will have a ripple-effect on the rest of my life. The workshop components were illuminating; the friendships were deep and immediate; the after-hours dinners and conversations complemented and cemented my growth in skill and confidence. Every time I need a push to continue challenging myself, I look back on pictures of this trip and smile."
--Stevie Mikayne, Author and Two-Time Lambda Literary Award Finalist
The Paris Writers' Retreat (May 2019) was all that I had hoped for and more. This was my first formal retreat, and it was both inspiring and validating in more ways than I could cover in just a few paragraphs. I particularly enjoyed the guided meditations, as they led my writing to go in directions that were completely unexpected, and I can’t wait to expand on the work that I began at the retreat. The speakers were engaging and interesting, and I thoroughly enjoyed Phoebe Larmore’s anecdotes about her career and the advice she provided throughout the week. The location was fabulous. I will definitely take part in another week-long retreat with Wendy Goldman Rohm and would at some point also like to participate in her 12-week online class.
“I just accepted an offer on my book from St. Martin's Press (New York)! In this economy as a first time non-celeb or no major platform writer I'm very excited to get this opportunity. I wanted to thank Wendy Goldman Rohm for her help!!! I used a lot of your lessons in my editing!” --Melissa Malamut, author
“The Paris Writers Retreat (May 2018) came at a really interesting time in my life, and I'm so grateful to have had the space to reflect and write -- in such a magical location, no less -- all while being enthralled and inspired. Thank you, Wendy Goldman Rohm, for making it all happen. I was always amazed at how quickly you got to the crux of the story. Your insight, edits, and critiques were invaluable." --Mikaela Conley
"I had the happy experience of participating in the Paris Writers Retreat created and led by Wendy Goldman Rohm. The "retreat" was more like a charge forward, an energizing experience, propelling me (and I think all the participants).
The experience was valuable for several reasons, including: updated information about how the book business is operating currently, including a presentation by a guest speaker in Los Angeles on optioning books for TV or film production; tips and practical exercises on writing techniques, and recommendations of readings that may serve as models or as sources of ideas to stimulate our own creative imaginations. But beyond all that was something hard to get from on-line forums or self-help books: the synergy of face-to-face contact and interchange, with Wendy Goldman Rohm and with the other participating writers.
Wendy is a very experienced magazine writer, book author and agent (as you'll see if you check out her website), so there was a lot to learn from her. She was also closely attentive and constructively critical of the work as we produced it in workshop exercises. And it was also very helpful to engage with the other participants and they developed books completely unlike mine, suggesting other approaches and seeking solutions to some of the same problems of narrative structure, pacing, etc. The face-to-face exchange with an experienced professional, in real time and in a real place, is insurpassable"
–-Geoffrey Fox, Ph.D, Northwestern University, Harvard-educated author (A Gift for the Sultan)
"Wendy Goldman Rohm's students get published! Three writers in my group alone got major publishing contracts after taking her course!"-- Bess Gallanis, author, Chicago
"Wendy ran the best workshop ever! The classes are exceptional. I have done the Iowa Workshops for non-fiction books, and although they are excellent, Wendy's are more helpful and inspirational, i.e., they translate into moving projects forward with a lot of creative intensity." -- Darcy Evon, author, Smithsonian scholar, Chicago Sun-Times columnist
"The Paris Writer's Retreat was truly mind blowing and yes, even life changing. The way Wendy created the assignments and meditations provided us a structured and disciplined approach to writing, especially us neophytes. What was truly amazing, beyond the developing of our writing skills, was how the structure and the process that Wendy created enabled us to get to know the other participants, and learn from them to an extent that I've never experienced in business and in teaching...plus, it all took place in Paris on Isle Saint-Louis! How perfect is that! So thank you Wendy for the workshop, for your expert guidance and feedback, and for your hospitality in making us all feel so welcome! --Andy R., PhD, marketing, and former Reebok executive
“Wendy Goldman Rohm possesses a rare ability to deepen and strengthen her students' writing. My novel improved greatly from the week with her at the September Paris Writers Retreat. Wendy helped me strengthen the bones of my plot, sharpen the writing, and deepen my connection to soul of the story. I grew more in my craft than ever before. Every moment of struggle was worth the effort. New joys came from the work. ” –Beatrice Bowles, San Francisco
"A brilliant retreat. Having arrived at the retreat with just one simple sentence, I departed five days later with a fully-fledged main character, complete with voice, as well as most of the plot. Unheard of for me (and I suspect most normal writers) as plot and voice usually take months to materialise." --Hattie Edmonds, London, England
"Whatever stage of writing your book you find yourself –- not yet started or almost done –- Wendy’s classes are sure to fill in missing pieces and break through stumbling blocks. Whether it’s through her unique guided meditation method, where she navigates you through scenes in your own book with her soft voice, or running you through the ins and outs of getting published with her natural business savvy, you are sure to benefit from her tips and techniques that will get your book finished and at the door of publishers." -- AG, Bangkok
"Wendy Goldman Rohm's 2011 Writers Retreat in Thailand helped me tremendously. However soft and sensitive I may become as a monk, learning to be more harmless in whatever I do, I never really had the courage to think I could write in any way poetically. How wrong I was and how blessed to be able to attend the workshop. Funny how you think you know yourself and find an even greater surprise! Wendy's workshop was truly excellent. I have been recommending the workshop to friends who write and who have been pondering how to begin, or continue, a book. Being such a solo experience, it is good to be working with someone who has a high level of experience in all aspects of writing, to get practical help and gentle assistance to close in on what you really want to write to find your voice as a writer. Rohm's workshop is really worth the time and effort if you've ever considered writing a book. It was a real breath of fresh air. Thank you!"
--Jake Chapman, monk and teacher, Angkor Wat, Cambodia
"Thank you so much for the wonderful experience. This has really inspired me to work on getting everything together to try and solicit interest from an agent and a publisher. The whole goal of getting an advance; to stop working in this vacuum, and just write, is such a tantalizing goal... I mean, wow! I was really startled by people's reaction to my story. I have always thought of it as a dark and frightening passage in my history, I never considered that people might actually be eager to hear about something that gruesome. I am so glad I came to this event. It was very well executed, and it has given me a lot of hope. Where before I was feeling like I needed to write my personal story, just so I could get it out of the way and start writing something else, I now almost feel like everything happens for a reason, and I am getting closer to my true calling. Thank You Wendy!" ---Andy Alper, Chicago
“If you have a great idea for a book and need a primer on how to shop the idea and develop a great book proposal, this is the class. Wendy offers great advice and walks you through the process of getting your nonfiction book idea published. She's very approachable and makes time to help you. I'd like to take a longer workshop with her as I develop my book proposal! I thought it was time and money well spent!” --Mike Reilley
"I am an aspiring novelist. I took Wendy's course last June (2009) in Paris and I found it very useful and practical on many levels -- well worth the cost of admission. The others who were taking the course were also aspiring writers, with a great deal of writing skill among them, and they were good colleagues and very positive critics. The whole dynamic was excellent, and I was sorry, but wiser, when it was over."
--Dr. Gordon Black, Paris
“The 12-week Book Development class really energized the writing of my novel. I have gone through the completed manuscript more and am finding it harder to find sections that need tweaking. I spent some time on a new novel and like the direction that it is headed in. Then I picked up an old story that I worked on for a good while and absolutely figured out how to make it work!!! I can't tell you how excited that made me. I worked on the first novel for about 8 months and couldn't figure out how to tie it all together. Now I have and can't wait to do just that. Your class feedback has been amazing. Thank you for that!” ---Jon Pendergrass, Little Rock, AK
"The Paris Writers Retreat has literally changed my life in many ways. I knew I had stories to tell but I also knew I didn't have the tools to create a gripping narrative. Attending the Retreat, listening to Wendy's sage advice and following her practical guidance, has been a godsend. An unexpected bonus was how warm, intelligent and helpful the other members of the group were. I really didn't expect to have the privilege of feedback from such educated, experienced and wise classmates. In addition to learning how to write my best and in my best voice, I also acquired a new circle of friends. So, what can I say about having attended the Paris Writers Retreat? I guess 'Lucky me!' says it all." --N. Lane, Paris
“Having worked in the media business (television, magazines and newspapers) for twenty years, my wings are broken and my writing voice cut in pieces.
After the Paris Writers Retreat with Wendy Goldman Rohm, I can almost fly again and sing from my inner, true voice. Thank you ever so much." --Ingrid Maria (Werner) Ericsson, Paris, Swedish journalist, writer & illustrator
“The Paris Writer's Retreat was very powerful. As a somewhat resistant writer, I felt overwhelmed by my book project and wanted help. Since the group was small, I was immediately comfortable with Wendy and the others. One of the most helpful exercises for me was a guided meditation that took us from writing in the first person to writing in the third person. It completely surprised me that I could bring in such diverse emotions from the two different perspectives. That exercise alone will make my book far richer. The workshop on Publishers, Literary agents and Editors was also very important. Staying at a fabulous hotel in Paris gave it an almost magical quality, but having an intelligent, talented and fun loving facilitator made it completely worthwhile. Wendy Goldman Rohm is precious and I couldn't have planned out, or asked for, a more delightful, fulfilling week. I'll be sure to keep you posted on my book's progress.”
---Glenda Bloom Ackley, Idyllwild, Calif.
"Great workshop ... I learned a ton, and met some wonderful people.Take care and thanks again for a terrific weekend."--James Roswell Quinn, Chicago
"A big Thank You to Wendy Goldman Rohm for her excellent Writers' Retreat at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin. I personally got a lot from the day from the advice from Wendy and from meeting other writers on the course. I hope to keep in contact with as many of my fellow 'retreaters' as possible." --Paul Fitzsimons, Dublin, Ireland
"The Writers Retreat in Mumbai was fabulous and probably the first time such an even was held in India for writers. I don't know if that's a fact but thats what I think. One thing is for sure, from the feedback I got it was evident that your being here gave a lot of hope to those who attended. For me your presence was a blessing. I had submitted my query letter by email to many Literary Agents but got no interested responses. Suddenly you were here, you understood what I had to say, you were interested and once again hope came back letting me know that one day these precious words that have moved my soul and changed my life will somehow make their way into print and be read by people all over the world. Thanks for everything. "
-- Dr. Rohit Juneja CHt., R.H., R.M.P (A.M)
Spiritual Psychotherapist, Clinical Hypnotherapist & Corporate Trainer
"I had a marvelous time and truly enjoyed the workshop. My only regret was that I could only attend one day. Wendy you area fabulous mentor. Thank you ever so much." --Sharon Lang, Chicago
"Thank you Wendy. Your workshop was inspiring, exciting and stimulating. It gave me faith that if I really do want to write a book, start today, which I did. Anyone who wants to express their inner voice in the written word really has an obligation to do so. And so I look forward to another workshop or a weekly or monthly gathering to get into the habit of writing, get feedback and produce. I want to thank you for sharing your knowledge and for your very positive feedback. I thank the group as well for being so supportive." --Ros Kaspi, Chicago
"Wendy is a fantastic instructor and this course is a great starting point for someone who is thinking about getting a book published, but just doesn't know where to start. Wendy was down-to-earth, accessible and honest - the class encouraged me to keep working on my writing, and helped me know what to expect from the literary industry." - Marthe Druska
“Wendy Goldman Rohm offers insider information about the publishing industry, both from the standpoint of an agent and an author. Her stories are entertaining and informative, and her interest in learning more about the participants and their book ideas is refreshing and makes for an engaging seminar.”--Susan Blumberg-Kason
A sampling of press coverage of our conferences:
So you want to be an author
By Chami Jotisalikorn
Special to The Nation
"Imagine yourself in a dark, dark space with no light," Wendy Goldman Rohm whispers to the 10 people seated in a comfortable hotel conference room.
Floor-to-ceiling windows offer a panorama of the Bangkok skyline, but none of the aspiring writers in the room are paying any attention to the view.
Everyone sits with eyes closed, intently channelling a character from their book into a dark birthing room. By the end of the exercise, all hands are scribbling furiously in notebooks as people, settings and moods take shape on what had begun as that writer's dread - blank pages.
For people who dream of writing a book and getting it published, the Bangkok Writer's Weekend Workshop is a guide to the finer points of creative writing, including professional advice on the business side of getting published, even in the ultra-competitive US market.
Rohm, a literary agent as well as a New York Times best-selling author, has been conducting classes like this since 2002.
"A book is like a picture frame," she says. "You need to decide what's in the frame, what's in the foreground and what's in the background. These become your central theme and sub-themes, but all the themes must all be linked."
At one point she issues a stern warning: "Flashbacks are a bad writing habit." Furrowed brows appear, especially on the faces of those writing biographies. But Rohm has a work-around, and leads the participants through a series of exercises that give birth to all sorts of unexpected new ideas and even the seeds of new books.
The course is open to all writers, regardless of what stage they've reached in their work, and attracts an eclectic mix of ages, nationalities and professional backgrounds.
This weekend there's a precocious 11-year-old, Sila Puhl, who's writing an adventure novel, and 69-year-old retired diplomat Alberto Moyano Bonel from Spain, who's written his memoir and is looking for a publisher.
An American man is compiling a book about his hair-raising adventures as a military contractor in Afghanistan, and a Malaysian painter is writing and illustrating a children's book. Another American, a marketing executive, is writing a biography, and several journalists are trying their hand at fiction.
With patience and personalised attention, Rohm coaches each writer, offering advice on their books' structure and how they can best be shaped to win over an agent or publishing house.
It's fascinating to hear about Rohm's own experiences. Her work has appeared in Men's Vogue, Wired, the Boston Globe, the Financial Times and the Washington Post. Her first book, "The Microsoft File", was an instant bestseller in 1998 with its account of the US anti-trust litigation against the software giant.
A resulting speaking engagement at Yale University inspired her to start teaching writing, and she's done so in America, Europe and India. She worked as a literary agent in New York and California before founding the Rohm Agency to represent emerging authors.
The annual Thailand workshops also feature guest speakers. Previous speakers include Thitinart na Phattalung, whose self-help book "The Life Compass" sold 1.3 million copies in Thailand, Pulitzer Prize finalist Suketu Mehta ("Maximum City"), Broadway producer Brian Swibel, screenwriter-director Pan Nalin ("Samsara"), and Sterling Lord, who was once Jack Kerouac's agent.
Past workshops have been held on Koh Phangan and in Chiang Mai. Find out more about Rohm and the workshops at www.ParisWritersRetreat.com.
Aspiring Writers Flock for Author's Tips
MUMBAI--- Heartened by the success of Slumdog Millionaire, The White Tiger and The Sea of Poppies, a group of aspiring writers took a leap of faith and enrolled for a Writers Retreat organized by New York Times bestselling author Wendy Goldman Rohm, in Mumbai.
The inaugural session of the two-day retreat and workshop in Powai saw journalists, screenwriters, lawyers, boxing coaches, diamond merchants, IT professionals and TV directors spare their weekend to gather tips on writing, getting published and being successful, from Rohm, a literary agent who has been conducting such sessions across the US and Europe since 2002.
"I had all this knowledge from being in the publishing business and have been on both the writer's and agent's side of the spectrum," said the author of narrative nonfiction.
Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found author and dear friend Suketu Mehta urged Rohm into hosting her first workshop in India, for which majority attendees got word through Facebook.
"After my father was diagnosed with cancer, I started mulling over my purpose. I want to write to bring meaning to my life," said 30-something Nihar Mehta, a diamond merchant.
Rohm's session in Mumbai featured guests such as writer and Broadway director Brian Swibel and Jane Hawksley (Je T'aime Paris), via audio conference.
"Good writing transcends cultural backgrounds. I tend to lean towards stories riddled with odds and attempts to overcome them. Slumdog..is a watershed film and indicative of the changing times," said Swibel.
The session packed in established writers with ready scripts, first-time directors and ghost writers-all of whom seeking information specific to their genres.
"It's quite broad-based right now. I am hoping to get tips on specifically how to write and publish a novel," said TV director Reshma Ghosh.
Mingling genres and basics and more advanced aspects of writing was a deliberate move of Rohm. "I have initiated an online digital course, which the Mumbai participants can dial into next week for a one-on-one with Suketu and [Slumdog Millionaire author] Vikas Swarup," Rohm said.