12 Writers. 3 Coaches.

4 Inspiring Days in Southern Maine.

Join us for the second annual Mainely Memoir Retreat. A luxurious—and intensive—experience designed to help you make meaningful progress on your memoir, surrounded by a small, nurturing community of like-minded women writers.


Come prepared to work—and be inspired.

The Mainely Memoir Retreat is more than a respite from the demands of daily life. It’s an opportunity to leap forward in your memoir-writing journey, guided by experts.

Why join the Mainely Memoir Retreat?


Because your story matters

Writing a memoir is hard. It’s scary. It’s daunting. But you have a story to tell, and it matters.

The good news is you’re not alone. The Mainely Memoir Retreat is an opportunity to be in community with other women writers who are grappling with their own stories. Writers who can give each other support and encouragement in a safe, nurturing environment.

Mainely Memoir welcomes women, women-identifying individuals, and non-binary and gender non-conforming people who are comfortable in a space that centers the experiences of women in a writing community.

To find the clarity and confidence you've been searching for

This retreat will be tailored to your individual needs, depending on where you are in your memoir-writing journey.

If you’re at the very beginning of the process, your coach will help you develop a solid plan for getting your manuscript started, with plenty of supportive inspiration as you make your dream of writing your memoir a reality.

If you’re partway through a draft and stuck, or just need motivation and feedback to get moving again, your coach will assess where you are and work with you to get you back on track to finish your manuscript.

Ready to revise? Your coach can help you do it effectively and efficiently, bringing her deep knowledge of story craft to bear on your draft.

To enjoy expert guidance, right from the start

◊ 1:1 Pre-retreat coaching session: August/September 2024

This retreat begins with a 1:1 coaching session with one of the three Author Accelerator Certified Book Coaches.

◊ In-person coaching and writing : September 23–27.

At the luxurious Lincoln Hotel in vibrant Biddeford, Maine, you will have four days to work with your book coach, have plenty of focused time to write and find inspiration, and enjoy the opportunity to interact with fellow writers.

◊ Post-retreat coaching: October-November, 2024

The experience doesn’t end when you leave Maine. After the retreat, you will have another 1:1 session with your coach and a group call to check in on your progress and encourage you to keep going. 

The entire experience—including accommodation and all meals (except one dinner)—is $6,500.

A historic location for a unique experience.

Located in the heart of historic, vibrant Biddeford, Maine, the boutique Lincoln Hotel has been nominated for the 2024 Travel & Leisure World’s Best Awards!

Each private room has its own fireplace, luxurious linens, high-end furnishings, and stunning decor.

The public spaces provide plenty of nooks for working in a change of scene or meeting with your coach. And there’s a rooftop heated pool, for relaxing and thinking.

Plus, you’re walking distance from restaurants, shops, and pleasant ambles around this friendly town of renovated mills.

New this year: Gourmet catering by award-winning Blue Elephant Events, in a private meeting and dining room—the hub of the retreat.

You’ll have plenty of time to bond with the other writers, in between coaching sessions, as you share delicious meals, and when you enjoy needed downtime.

Plus, with four nights, there are even more opportunities to share your work by reading aloud. Mealtimes will also be enriched with presentations and speakers.

Retreat Itinerary—before, during, and after.

Before you get to Maine:

In July of 2024, we’ll match you with whichever of the coaches is best suited to your memoir type and content. That coach will contact you to arrange a one-hour Zoom coaching call to discuss how best to structure your time in Maine. She may assign you a specific deliverable, depending on where you are, and also answer any questions you may have.

While you’re in Biddeford:

Below is a schedule for our time at The Lincoln. Each writer has a 45-minute 1:1 with their coach on Tuesday and Thursday and a 15-minute check-in on Wednesday and Friday. Scheduled leisure/writing time happens every afternoon and writers are free when the other writers are having their 1:1 sessions. You’ll have time to explore, kick back, lounge by the pool, and—weather permitting—maybe even take a walk on the nearby beach.

After the retreat:

Your coach may encourage you to continue work on a specific aspect of your memoir, to discuss at your follow-up 1:1 coaching call sometime in October of 2024. Also in October or November, we’ll have a Zoom call with the entire cohort, so we can check in and see how everyone is doing.

There will be an opportunity for hot-seat coaching on this group call, so everyone can benefit!

The Bottom Line

Dates: September 23–27, 2024

Location: The Lincoln Hotel, Biddeford, Maine

Includes: All individual and group coaching before, during and after the retreat. All accommodations, and all meals except Wednesday dinner—where you are free to explore the excellent dining options in Biddeford. Transportation not included.

Cost: $6,500

A payment plan is available.

We can’t wait to meet you!

Barbara, Susanne, and Suzette have worked together in one capacity or another for several years. All three are Author Accelerator Certified Coaches, and have helped hundreds of clients achieve their book-writing and publishing dreams.

Barbara Boyd

Barbara helps writers clarify and express their ideas, ensuring rich and cohesive content that engages the reader.

Barbara has coached close to 100 writers through writing more than 200 books on topics that include memoir, leadership, and wellness. She had the privilege of coaching Jennie Nash on her book, Blueprint Your Memoir: How to write a memoir for the Marketplace and was certified by Author Accelerator in January 2021.

You can learn more about Barbara here.

Susanne Dunlap

Susanne Dunlap

Susanne is the award-winning author of more than a dozen historical novels and as a coach is certified in both fiction and nonfiction. She has coached both narrative memoir writers and self-help memoirs, including collaborating with Jennie Nash on the bestselling Moms Moving On, by Michelle Dempsey Multack.

Susanne’s focus is helping memoirists fine tune their storytelling craft to bring narrative drive, deep insight, and authentic emotion to their manuscripts.

Find out more about Susanne here.

Suzette Mullen

Suzette Mullen is a memoir and nonfiction coach committed to amplifying the voices of LGBTQ+ writers and allies. Suzette believes that there’s a right fit publication path for all writers, and her clients’ varied paths reflect that belief. Her favorite parts of coaching are helping writers find the deeper stories inside their experiences and fostering writing community.

Suzette is also a memoir author. Her midlife coming-of-age and coming-out memoir, The Only Way Through Is Out, will be published by The University of Wisconsin Press on February 13, 2024.

Learn more about Suzette here.

It's hard to put a value on everything you'll get at the Mainely Memoir Retreat. But we'll try:

Four Steps to Mastering Your Memoir—a Series of Webinars

Where to start? What to do next? How to revise? What about publication? In these four webinars, the Mainely Memoir coaches will take you through the process of getting your memoir on the page and into readers’ hands, sharing tips, insight, strategies, and more. Each webinar is $25. You’ll receive a free Mainely Memoir Mini Blueprint to complete for yourself when you attend. The first twelve people who sign up will receive a free short video from one of the coaches with feedback on your mini blueprint.

You can choose which ones you want to attend, or sign up for all four. And if you attend all four and sign up for the retreat, we’ll deduct $100 from the retreat fee.

February 14, 12pm–1:15pm EST

Mastering Your Memoir, Step 2:

Pen a First Draft That Sings

March 13, 12pm–1:15pm EDT

April 10, 12pm–1:15pm EDT

Mastering Your Memoir, Step 4:

Propose, Pitch, Publish

May 8, 12pm–1:15pm EDT

What we’re talking about!

Great Listening for Memoir Writers

Podcasts about writing have exploded in recent years. There are so many that give writers opportunities to get advice and wisdom from industry professionals, or hear authors speak about their books in all genres. We love listening to podcasts on walks, at the gym,...

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What’s So Funny?

The underlying point of almost any memoir is to illuminate something about the human condition in a way that resonates with readers. You want them to see themselves in your experiences and feel and cry and become indignant along with you. Or you want them to...

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Are you afraid to write your memoir?

Beck came to me last spring with a vague idea about the story he wanted to write: Snippets of experiences from my childhood living as a girl and moments of parallel in adulthood, as I re-experience firsts as a man. Okay. I knew there was an important story there, and...

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Who Needs to Read Your Story?

When I came out as gay in my fifties, I was desperate to read stories of other women who came to terms with their sexuality later in life and learn how they navigated that life-altering journey. Did they stay in or leave their marriages? Could they find a way to live...

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What happens at a writing retreat?

We’ve been retreating as humans probably since we first got into groups—the lone hunter who goes off to bring home a mastodon, the contemplative who retires to a cave to meditate, and more recently, burned out people who need to step off the spinning hamster wheel and...

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The Key to Writing an Effective Memoir

“I’m looking for books that are both completely unique and exactly the same,” an editor from one of the Big 5 publishers said on a podcast. And then she laughed. I laughed too. But now I've come to believe that the intersection of “completely unique” and “exactly the...

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