Featured authors—all of them published by Penguin, including Kim Edwards, Kathleen Flinn, Meg Mullins, Mary Relindes Ellis and Barry Eisler—will speak during meals about their work, and their books will be distributed to all of the retreat participants. Six Wisconsin authors will also join in the weekend's activities, which will include panel discussions and a dozen concurrent breakout sessions on such topics as memoirs, hot fall releases and reading group recommendations.
According to Nancy Owen, marketing director for Schwartz, this is the second year the retailer has organized a weekend retreat, but it is the first year that the bookseller has asked a publisher to be a partner. Owen hopes that this year's event will at least double the 100 participants who attended in 2006. So far, 75 people, most of them from Wisconsin and Illinois, though a few from as far away as California and Florida, have registered for the weekend.
Schwartz is charging $310 for one-night packages, while two-night packages start at $365.
(My take: what a great idea! Kind of like a mystery conference for mainstream writers.)