Honor your writing and sell your book.

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California beckons…

“I still dream about my stay in Carmel. It was indeed magical. Linda could teach anywhere, and to much larger audiences, but creates a powerful, intimate experience at her retreats. (And good God, can she write!) I didn’t know what to expect and did not expect it to be what it turned out to be—interesting and exciting, with talented, beautiful women. I was thrilled by how brilliant they were, and how different their projects, both meaningful and important. Linda knows what she’s doing, and I was very impressed with the format—the yin and the yang, the give and the take. And, to go five days without watching TV, especially MSNBC? Heaven!

“I’ve never paid to go on retreat before and joked that I didn’t need to come, but I really did. I needed to get out of my loft, out of my office. To be in a beautiful place, surrounded by other writers. It didn’t matter to me if they were published or not. The bottom line was that we were all there trying to do the same thing, and I appreciate and thank every one of them.”

Terry McMillan, #1 New York Times bestselling novelist (author of 10 books, including Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back, both of which became hit movies)

Current Carmel Schedule

Dec. 4-8, 2023 (full)
Jan. 29 – Feb. 2, 2024
Sept. 9 – 13, 2024


Hello! I’m so happy you found me. The Internet is magic! I’m Linda, and since 2009, I’ve led nearly 100 dreamy writing retreats in my favorite place growing up, one of the most desirable artist communities in the world, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA. In this treasured hamlet, a longtime favorite of legendary residents Jack London, Mary Austin, Upton Sinclair, and Ansel Adams (rated the #8 Travel Destination in the U.S. by Condé Nast magazine), countless bestsellers, friendships, and writerly, business, and book dreams have been birthed.

Everyone says it. Carmel is magical! Our participants are, too. They come from every career background and country imaginable, with open hearts and unbounded talent that wows me each time. In this creative soup, new books emerge, old books are sorted out, and we all have psychic revelations for each other. Yep. It’s that otherworldly. And, most importantly, it’s WORKING, as you’ll see by the book-deal testimonials sprinkled throughout. It’s been my great pleasure to connect 50 retreaters so far with their literary agents, resulting in book contracts with traditional publishers at a rate of something like 26 x the national average. [These stats are far more significant now and need to be updated, but math scares me, so bear with me.]

I cap the retreat size to 5 participants, which means lots of space to dive deep for everyone.

Spots fill fast! If your intuition tells you it’s time, and you’re jonesin’ to join us, join the wait list below (no commitment necessary) so we can schedule a phone/Zoom chat to discuss your project. I. Cannot. Wait.

“Last Christmas I gave a family member the gift of a week with Linda Sivertsen at her Carmel Writer’s Retreat. Good news: It was the PERFECT gift and far exceeded expectations. Bad news: This year I don’t think I can top it!”

Tom Bergeron, Emmy-winning host of Dancing with the Stars, and author of I’m Hosting as Fast as I Can! Zen and the Art of Staying Sane in Hollywood

The ChateauWhen We Were Young“Linda, I can’t thank you enough for your spot-on edits, wise suggestions, support, cheerleading, friendship, mentorship, and the transformative cocoon of your magical Carmel writing retreats—all of it. Your love and cheerleading and guidance over the years has meant the WORLD to me! I am so grateful for your part in bringing this to fruition. Every time I see you post about Carmel, I think: One day again I will join! Hopefully sooner rather than later (although how can any group match our girls?! Even four years later, I’m still dreaming about that magical week!).

“… I’ve had so many pinch-myself moments. I’ve dreamt of this for so long; I’m trying to soak it all in that it’s happening. And I simply can’t overstate your influence on my career, my debut novel, and my writing community. I’ve written two novels since my debut—one set in Bali, and one in Tel Aviv, and both in the same book club fiction vein—and am just really happy. Thank you thank you thank you, Lin. You really are my fairy bookmother! ❤ XO”

Jaclyn Goldis, novelist, When We Were Young (Grand Central Publishing/Hachette, 2021), and The Chateau, a Novel (Atria Books, 2023)


Superman's Not Coming“Linda literally changed my life! Going to her Carmel Retreat was a huge stretch for me. I was super scared and yet a little voice in me was a total YES. So I said a prayer, put it on my credit card, and hoped for the best. Within days of registering for the retreat, I signed two new clients, which helped me pay off half the cost before I even got there. Thanks, Universe!

“By the end of the retreat, Linda had helped me sort through whether to pitch my book direct to my dream publisher or go with an agent, which has been a lifelong dream. She hooked me up with my first choice of a NY agent before the retreat was up, and a week later I signed with that agent, who not only agreed to represent my next book, but also brought me in to ghostwrite for one of my longtime, personal (s)heroes, Erin Brockovich. (We finished the proposal, which sold for a significant deal, and just finished the book!) Also, after a brainstorm with a friend at the retreat, we’re working on a super cool book too.

“In one week I filled the next few years of my writing career with dream projects. Plus, Carmel is one of the most magical places I’ve ever visited; we ate delicious food, and I left with some amazing new girlfriends and a forever friend in Linda. How’s that for wow?”

Suzanne Boothby, co-author of Erin Brockovich’s Superman’s Not Coming: Our National Water Crisis and What WE THE PEOPLE Can Do About It (Pantheon/Knopf, Aug. 2020)

I’m all about the win-win. In this photo, for example, two of the three gals with me from that retreat have signed with lit agents I referred them to, and both memoirs have become New York Times bestsellers (Paris Letters and Misdiagnosed). And we’ve all become dear friends.

That’s my favorite part of all of this. What I hoped and prayed would happen, life-changing RESULTS and relationships. In this book + brand + business-building retreat, I draw upon all of my 29-year experience combining creativity & commerce–writing and marketing award-winning, bestselling books (and magazine cover stories)–and building solid, robust platforms.

Need a literary agent? When you and your project are ready, I tap my best agent connections in the industry to get my gals SOLD, often working closely with the agent to strategize and celebrate.

Increasingly, too, publishers are reaching out to me to meet directly with my retreaters. I’ve connected writers with editors (some via agents, some not) at imprints for Simon & Schuster, Sounds True, and Workman. By the way, I’m not an agent, and I don’t take a percentage of anything; I LIVE for the squeals and happy tear-filled sniffles of are-you-sitting-down GREAT news. To see more of those results beyond this page and updated often, go here.

FYI: CARMEL magazine did a beautiful 5-page article on the retreats, revealing that the mind-blowing magic of sisterhood & synchronicity—with a few heartfelt men—in this enchanting place has been one of the greatest joys of my life.

Happy Masked Retreaters

What do we work on?

Breathe life into your book proposal, novel, memoir, non-fiction business, self-help book, cookbook, overall business & career marketing plan… WHATEVER’S whispering (or yelling) in your ear for time and loving attention.

Show up with merely a few ideas, a belly full of them, nothing but a title and a gut feeling, or two full manuscripts. It all works. I love helping wide-eyed first-time writers and veteran authors, people at the BEGINNING of their creative process (to shortcut their path from IDEA to DONE), and battle-weary pros in need of a creative B12 shot. If you’re a newbie, we’ve got you. You won’t feel that way past day #1 (and, we’ll likely save you years of doing it the hard way).

Conversely, if you’ve been at this FOREVER and ache for fresh perspectives and insights, you’re coming to the right place. And I’ve got one hell of an address book, so if it’s connections you long for, I love making those intros when the time is right. Birthing a book takes a team; I’m all about team love.

Corey Reading
Night reading

Incurable Optimist“To Linda Sivertsen—Your encouragement. Your heart. Your stick-to-it cheerleading. Your energy. Your expertise. It all adds up to big magic. Thank you, friend! You gave me the boost of wind that helped me fly.”

Jennifer Cramer-Miller, from the Acknowledgment pages of Incurable Optimist: Living with Illness and Chronic Hope (She Writes Press, 2023)


“Linda is the literary Fairy God Sister sprinkling pixie dust over your book proposal. Having gone to her Carmel Writing Retreat and then taken her Book Proposal Magic course online, I can say firsthand that every time we interact, I leave feeling so much clearer and more able and motivated to create my own magic.”

Penelope Patricia Jagessar Chaffer, Sundance Artist in Residence in partnership with Johns Hopkins University and MIT Research Fellow


“Linda Sivertsen’s writing retreat in Carmel is one of the best gifts I have ever given to myself. And, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. From our first Introductory emails, I knew Linda was special. Her light shines that brightly. Her brilliance as a writer is only matched by her magical ability to share her skills, expertise, and contacts. And deliver. Man, does she deliver! My TED talk was a vision she had at my retreat last February, and by October, I did my Talk at TEDWomen. (It was through her contacts that the door opened… and performing on that stage was a career- and life-highlight!) Linda worked her magic on everyone—connecting one gal to her dream agent (who got her a book deal soon after our retreat), etc., etc. The amazing food, friendships, and support were only possible through Linda’s coaching and wisdom.”

Taylor Dayne, singer/songwriter, with 18 top-10 Billboard hits, Tell It to My Heart: How I Lost My S#*T, Conquered My Fear, and Found My Voice (Wyatt-MacKenzie, 2019)

Your Body Your Best Friend“Best. Time. Ever. Signing up for Linda’s writing retreat at Carmel was the beginning of a magical journey in writing and publishing! If you want to write a book, it’s good to have a guide in this new and strange world, and Linda has been—and continues to be—a great friend and ally to me.”

Erica Mather, founder of the Yoga Clinic of NYC, The Adore Your Body Transformational Program, and author of Your Body, Your Best Friend: End the Confidence-Crushing Pursuit of Unrealistic Beauty Standards and Embrace Your True Power (New Harbinger, 2020)

“I didn’t come to make new friends, yet I left with sisters. I wanted hard criticism, yet I was given constructive, loving responses. I didn’t want to write the tough stuff, yet I was supported through nerves and tears. I wanted to resist, resist, resist, but the energy in the room wouldn’t allow the muse check-out.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a writing lion or a cub, just attend the retreat. Release your ideas from captivity. Receive the gifts that await you. You won’t regret it. In fact, your life will be altered forever and for the better!”

Dina Eastwood Ruiz, journalist, Carmel magazine

Food Story“After YEARS of talking/dreaming about writing a book, I took the leap of faith and attended Linda’s retreat. I can’t believe it took me so long and I can’t wait to go again! Not only did Linda help me clarify my message, she also offered a fresh and clear perspective on how to share it with the world. Since then I’ve been published in three books, released my own book, and am now working on the next book proposal with Linda’s incredible support and guidance. If you’ve been thinking about becoming an author, go spend a week in Carmel-by-the-Sea. It’s indeed where magic happens!”

Elise Museles, founder of Kale & Chocolate (.com) and author of Food Story: Rewrite the Way You Think, Eat, and Live (Sounds True, October, 2021) and Whole Food Energy: 200 All Natural Recipes to Help You Prepare, Refuel, and Recover (Barron’s Educational)

“Ever get that wooba-wooba feeling? You know, the one where one minute you’re in your own kind of pedestrian world, and then suddenly you’re transported? I would have called it deja-vu, but I never had it before. Like you’re in another dimension, free of human and this-world worries and limits, able to see things you haven’t seen, able to imagine things. Most importantly, able to picture yourself as a full-fledged Writer, capital W. I wouldn’t have believed it, but it happened to me at one of Linda’s Writers’ Retreats. Sign up; you’ll see what I mean!”

Dr. Dave Davis, novelist, family doctor, and professor at University of Toronto. (Dr. Dave’s wife bought the retreat for her husband for their anniversary, and we found another “dude” for the good doctor to bunk with:) )

The food! Writing makes you HUNGRY. Get ready for world-class meals and tea or lattes made with love in this “think tank” of the most loving order–where you can stay in your PJs all day if you please. This brain-trust-by-the-sea is about being cozy and renewed, with nothing but writing, brainstorming, pampering, camaraderie, gut laughs, and ocean ions to help get your book up, out, and onto bookstore and home library shelves around the world.

Never felt supported in your writing before? Those days are about to be long gone.

Carmel Writing Retreats - the view
Carmel Writing Retreats - Carmel LaPlaya think tank
Carmel Writing Retreats - Past Retreaters

Why a Retreat? A few reasons:

  • B/c you’ve been going it alone too long already. Isolation can be lonely & SLOW.
  • “Group Think” becomes loving/healing/magical “Muse Think” in the right environment.
  • Your sister-in-words writing pals will champion your dreams far beyond the retreat.
  • When you know you’re reading aloud at 7 pm, you get BUSY! Prepare to amaze yourself.
  • You gain radical insights into your work while hearing feedback from and for others.
  • Because it’s ridiculously FUN! You’ve found your people, finally! (How the groups stay in touch for YEARS, continuing to meet and champion each other, is beyond magical to me.)
  • Plus, our new retreat-alum-only Read-Ins: These 3.5+-hour Zoomtastic brainstorming sessions are the perfect pick-me-up to add to your writing life if you’re ever missing the energy of reading to a group of brilliant writers. Accountability, fresh perspectives, camaraderie: These afternoons mimic our retreat reading sessions, one of the primary reasons why many of our writers repeatedly return in person or virtually. Finally, an alternative without travel or pet care!
Read-ins for alumns
Carmel Writing retreats food!

I live to help you. I’ve written book proposals for clients that have garnered 6- & 7-figure book deals and have worked with most major publishers. (Retreaters have also received 6- & 7-figure book deals.) In the last decade, aside from interviewing many of the world’s most beloved authors for my top-rated Literature podcast, the BEAUTIFUL WRITERS PODCAST, and championing/ coaching several hundred writers (both individually and in groups), I co-authored among other collaborations: Harmonic Wealth, Hyperion Generation Green, Simon & Schuster; Closer Than You Think, Hampton Roads, and Your Big Beautiful Book Plan, self-published with Danielle LaPorte. The first two won multiple awards and hit the bestseller lists, the third is now published in 9 languages, and the fourth has led to countless book deals. I also collaborated with Emmy-winning life coach Rhonda Britten on Do I Look Fat In This? (Dutton), and with the publisher of SUCCESS magazine, Darren Hardy, on his business bestseller, The Compound Effect (Vanguard Press, a NYT, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller). Meaning: I love this stuff!

Carmel Writing Retreats Fun

Reserve your spot.

I’d love nothing better than to help YOU ink a book deal. In these competitive times, a book with your name on it increases your market value, credibility, opportunities, and professional profile in every way. Not to mention, it’s a BLAST. Your world will never be the same. But you know that already, or you wouldn’t be here now.

It’s your retreat to work on anything you want feedback on—your pitch, book outline, chapters, and even your website! If you’ve been avoiding pieces at home, bring them here. We will wrangle you!

Afraid of writing your book proposal (the lengthy business plan publishers must have before offering you a book deal)? Most people are. Let my enthusiasm rub off. The good news: If your topic is non-fiction, you don’t have to write your whole manuscript to get a lit agent or a book deal. You only need a unique concept backed by a winning book proposal with a few beautifully written sample chapters.

To help in a big way (something you can start the minute you sign up), you’ll receive access to my Book Proposal Magic course (normally sells for $800), where I walk you through every step of your proposal from Idea to Done & Sold. We can review it together during the retreat if you decide to work on it before you come. Also included: Your Big Beautiful Book Plan, my co-creation with Oprah 100 Leader Danielle LaPorte. Write on!

No matter what you’re working on, you’ll dance with your muse during this retreat and rock your book’s casbah once and for all! Hasn’t that idea been rolling around in your brain long enough?

Retreat size = intimate, so everyone gets maximum value. 

The Deets (what, where, when, price…)

Where: Only the most beautiful hotels! I have a theory, often corroborated by our retreaters: When you put yourself in extraordinary beauty and receive pampering far outside your norm, it’s easier to raise your vision of what’s possible for your life and writing future. (Think about it. You’re so busy taking care of your people—who has time for much writing, much less luxury? I make sure you do!)

I started these Carmel retreats in a lovely redwood rental treehouse by the sea. I saw that inspiration flowed when women gave themselves the gift of traveling to and surrounding themselves with a mix of natural and artistic beauty. Magic unfolded. Our home base is the La Playa Hotel, a newly renovated 1905 gem initially built by the Ghirardelli heir for his ARTIST wife steps from the sands of Carmel Beach. It’s a three-minute walk from the ridiculously darling shops, galleries, & cafes of this charming hamlet. And there are all sorts of nooks and crannies for writing—in your private room overlooking the Pacific, in the hotel’s lush gardens, intimate patios, secluded courtyards, and at the beach, in a cafe or patisserie, or in front of the fire.

I’ve taken these retreats on the road, once into Carmel Valley when the La Playa was full, and another time to the Four Seasons, Scottsdale (where my husband and I live with our herd of horses and our pack of dogs), and both were divine. Look for our main hashtag #CarmelWritingRetreat hashtag on social media or #BeautifulWritersRetreat.

When: Each retreat starts Monday before our group dinner and ends Friday after our delicious brainstorming brunch. Some retreaters stay to enjoy the town for an additional day or two. All know their next steps, with solid plans for maintaining their magical momentum once they return home.

What: Dinner on Ocean Ave., at my favorite eatery, il Fornaio, where we gather to share our dreams and intentions for the week and evermore. Hint: Tell us what you’re REALLY up to so we can help you get there!

Our days together are rich and full:

  • Private consulting, writing, and editing sessions with me.
  • Hours of peaceful writing time.
  • Energizing daily reading & brainstorming sessions with the group.
  • Brisk walks on the beach or through the heavenly town. 
  • Exceptionally delicious meals (napping anyone?).
  • Sisterhood (and sometimes brotherhood!).
  • Synchronicity, and more laughter and perhaps tears than you’ve had in years.

You’ll arrive as strangers and depart as lifelong friends & writing comrades. For an in-depth breakdown of our daily schedule, click here.

Price: For in-person retreats: $14,000 ($7,000 due upon sign-up to hold your spot, & the balance due 30 days later). This covers ALL retreat expenses—lodging, food, & instruction—except travel. Plus, you’ll receive two private sessions with me when you’re ready after we return (plus any unused private time you may have banked during the Retreat)—usually used for pitching to agents. I’m generally available for additional editing, brainstorming, and agent connecting for an hourly rate when needed. 

This is a sizable investment, maybe more than you’ve ever spent on yourself. But my retreaters consistently tell me it’s more than worth the price for how it catapults their lives and work and that the incredible beauty and pampering of our hotels and natural surroundings help supercharge the magic. (We women are so busy caring for everyone else that giving ourselves such a gift is rare and life-changing.) Because I keep the groups so small, and they’ve replaced my ghostwriting—and radically slowed down my book writing—not everyone can afford to spend a week with me. But for those who do, I work hard to ensure the experience is priceless.

My father raised me with the notion that business should be collaborative and a “win-win” all around. This is his philosophy in action. The agents win. My clients win. And I have the most incredible experience acting as midwife.

Virtual Retreat: $8,000 ($4,000 due upon sign-up, to hold your spot, & the balance due a week later). You get all of the instruction, connection, and value—in 3.5 weeks instead of 5 days—without having to find a sitter for the dogs and kids or pay for travel. Receive my 6-module Book Proposal Magic course (that sells for $800) for free upon sign-up.

My goal is to help make you agent ready and to facilitate those introductions when you are! I work with top agents in NYC and elsewhere and can’t wait to send them your project. They’re always looking for new, powerful voices + material. If you think about it, helping you WIN helps everything I’ve worked a lifetime to create rolling.

What do I mean by the magic of sisterhood and synchronicity?

Here’s an example: Sarah from Santa Barbara has a page-turner of a book. All of us women hang on her every word. The subject matter is heavy—but her voice is funny and wise, spiritual and suspenseful, so we’ll follow her anywhere. Trouble is, her woo-woo title stinks! It’s a snoozer and we can’t let her step out with it. We have to protect our new sister in words! It’s got to be catchy, twisted, and memorable—something like Running with Scissors or A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. Her work resembles those off-the-charts bestsellers; to call it something light and cosmic would be tragic. This is easy. Helping Sarah nail down a winning book title takes all of about 5 minutes!

With tea mugs in hand, and juicy, lively energy crackling, we simply ask a few more detailed questions about her topic and BOOM! It’s right there, under her nose. In the midst of outlining a common comedic situation in her life, she utters the PERFECT sound bite, and we all jump on it at the same time—laughing and squealing. Within minutes, we’ve pulled up Amazon.com to find out that NO ONE in all of Amazon’s 2,000,000+ titles has EVER written a book with this name. Then, she does a global search and finds that the domain name is still unclaimed. Within a few more minutes, Sarah has registered the domain for her book (something publishers will love when they consider buying + promoting her). High fives are shared all around. Another pesky dilemma handled. Bam.

I could go on and on.

Carmel Writing Retreats Friends
Carmel Writing Retreats Beach
Carmel Writing Retreats collaboration
Carmel Writing Retreats fast friends

What makes sisterhood so magical?

These retreats have transformed my life. At the risk of sounding dramatic, they saved me, my kid, and our home during a tough divorce. I’d never been much of a joiner, but once I felt the magic of sisterhood beyond my one real-life best friend little sis, I knew I’d never live such a sequestered again. Bring on the posses. I was hooked! 

As for the participants, what makes them go back home and create Zoom, Whatsapp, and/or Facebook groups to continue their brainstorming and cheerleading sessions, even traveling in person? Aside from their newfound sense of community, and of being seen (and heard) and supported in untold ways, there’s something else going on. My friends Katherine Woodward Thomas and Claire Zammit talk about a study done at Harvard University that revealed that people wanting to manifest goals in a group were 6X more effective than the individual. I don’t want to paraphrase, and don’t know much about stats (having dropped out of statistics in college), but that’s how it feels to me. And, the reality of it keeps expanding.

For instance, when working on a book that needs just the right story, I think of my retreat gals and what they have to offer. When Deb and I needed a few more stories for Closer than you Think (about the use of ritual to help people deal with loss, the importance of forgiveness, and a spiritually comedic perspective), I reached out to Ritual expert Elizabeth Murray, Forgiveness Expert Ana Holub, and Spiritual Blogger Alexandra Hill, all of whom gave stunning stories for the book. The author, Deborah, was cheering when she read these additions because they were exactly what we needed to round out the book, and my girls were elated, as they had an instant writing credit complete with promotion (in the resources section of the book). It was a win-win-win all around.

That’s the magic of sisterhood and synchronicity. I can’t wait to share it with you live and in person in Carmel!

“Linda and I met as writers, which is sometimes hard to accomplish, given the solitary life of our profession. She was an immediate sister in words. But beyond that, she helped me. Being a published author was new to me, and Linda went out of her way to share a spectrum of excellent advice with a natural and abundant spirit. I would soon come to find that this is who Linda is/can’t help not being. Helping writers is central to her spirit and explains why she extends her talent in this capacity so effortlessly—in championing their book proposals, and in creating inspiring writing retreats. She is as interested in your writing, as he is in hers. And that is rare. Linda Sivertsen is rare.”

Laura Munson, New York Times bestselling author of This Is Not The Story You Think It Is (Putnam)

HEAL documentaryHeal“Linda’s Carmel writing retreats have become my yearly tradition—the gift I give myself to oxygenate my art. I grew up ‘just one of the guys’ playing sports, and had a tough time relating to ‘emotional’ girls. As a direct result of these retreats, I finally learned what men have known for centuries: Girls rule. It’s hard to describe the magic that occurs when women from around the world come together, open up their hearts and minds, and share their creative projects. Year after year, the groups change, but the tremendous love, support, and genius I witness never ceases to amaze me. I highly recommend everyone give themselves the gift of five days with Linda in Carmel.

drbernielegendkellynoonanandbernie“One of my favorite things to watch is how Linda opens up her Rolodex to connect us to the perfect person who can catapult our journey or launch our endeavors. I’ve seen her get agents—and even Taylor’s TEDWomen talk—for retreaters in days (not months). In my case, when I mentioned at the last one that I’d LOVE to interview the legendary heart surgeon/author Dr. Bernie Sanders for my documentary, HEAL, Linda said, “I KNOW Dr. Bernie! I’ll email him right now!” She did, and just like that, I was on a plane to the East Coast. Unbelievable. These photos are all because of you, Linda! I love you!”

Kelly Noonan Gores, actress, writer, director, and producer of HEAL, the award-winning film (#1 Best Seller on iTunes, streaming on Netflix) and book (Beyond Words/Simon & Schuster) 

My Mother Next Door“I came to Linda’s first retreat at La Playa Hotel in early 2018. So many people had tried to change my story to benefit themselves, but Linda loved it and recognized how it could do more than entertain and actually help so many others. I joke that Linda forced me to do painstaking, nit-picky edits I didn’t want to do, but I’m so glad I listened and followed her lead (and edits) because it totally paid off.

“From there, things happened fast. Linda introduced me to my perfect match lit agent, who wrote to me right before I spoke with her that her heart is totally in this project! We’re so aligned and I feel she will have my back, just as Linda did in affirming my dream and voice and how best to move forward. Contracts have been signed and I’m floored. My heart is overflowing with joy, love, and gratitude!”

Diane Danvers Simmons, My Mother Next Door (Koehler Books, November, 2021)

“The Carmel Retreat feels like a dream now. Except that in so many ways I now divide my life into BC, Before Carmel, and AC, After Carmel. BC I was terrified of investing money in my writing, nervous about getting the most out of the week, worried I wouldn’t be able to write. All of that seems impossible and ridiculous in my AC hindsight.

“Carmel was the best money I ever spent on myself. I wrote 2,800 words in four days. Figured out a title and a plan for two projects. Met the most extraordinary group of women who will be my friends for life. And maybe most importantly, I came back not only reinvigorated in my commitment to my writing, but with a new momentum throughout my life. I’m back at the gym twice a week, took up transcendental meditation (thanks to my Carmel roomie!), and generally feel more optimistic about a future that I now deeply believe includes success in my writing. You are truly magic, Linda. You have an extraordinary ability to bring the right people together at the right time, an uncanny gift for facilitation (the perfect title, the perfect edit, the perfect plan), and a very special way of bringing forward the best in those around you. The supportive, girl power, creative experience you’ve created is like no other and one that I will treasure always.”

Allison Hill, Former CEO/President of Vroman’s and Book Soup (L.A.’s two largest indie bookstores), and current CEO of American Booksellers Association

“I saw Linda speak at a writer’s conference, and her expertise, warmth, and genuine passion for supporting others were evident. I jumped at the chance to join her Beautiful Writers Retreat – a truly transformational experience. Linda’s industry knowledge, honest and insightful feedback, loving heart, and unwavering support create a space for focused, vulnerable, high-quality work. She reinforced the value of my story, made it better than I could have alone, and gave me the momentum to finish my manuscript.”

Jennifer Maggiore, CEO, writer, media consultant

Unknown“Your retreat helped me immensely. I knew the story I wanted to tell but your intuitive skills helped make it a much bigger, much more helpful book. Before, my book would have been just okay. Now, it’s epic. And you can quote me on that. And a side note, I met my new best friend at my retreat and we’ve supported each other on this adventure each step of the way. She’s coming to visit me in Paris in the spring and I can’t wait!”

Janice MacLeod, artist & author of New York Times bestseller Paris Letters, Sourcebooks (click here for Janice’s thoughts on her follow-up memoir, Paris Year, with St. Martin’s Press–Summer, 2017)

careergasm_bookcover“Linda is one well-connected mofo. In our very first session at Carmel she sent my book proposal to multiple literary agents. BIG ones. Like, agents that were so big I nearly peed my pants.

“She knew exactly who would be right for me. By our second day together I already had a promising lead with an agent at a big, badass agency. I ended up signing with that agent (at Writers House) and a month later we pitched my book to publishers. MULTIPLE publishers were interested–including a top publisher who said my title was “too edgy.” That’s a deal breaker for me.

“Thankfully, an indie press–ECW (who, according to Publishers Weekly, is “one of the most diversified independent publishers in North America”)–courted me and I fell in LOVE with the editor. SOLD! Somebody pinch me! I wouldn’t have found my agent without Linda. Seriously, just give her all of your money and go to Carmel. #WORTHIT”

Sarah Vermunt, author of Careergasm: Find Your Way to Feel-Good Work, (where it became the #1 bestselling Career book in Canada!)

“I knew I had a story that needed to be told. What I didn’t know was how or where. So I googled it (yep) and the Universe brought me to Book Mama. The retreat in Carmel looked exquisite. I saved and took a risk and boarded a plane from Alberta, Canada, which felt right from the moment I landed. I learned more in five days about what it takes to write, publish, market, and sell a book then I could have ever imagined. It would have taken me a decade to do this on my own. Linda inspired me, believed in me, connected me to some amazing souls I never knew I needed, and pushed me to a potential I didn’t know I owned.

“I had a big speaking event planned and needed a book—no time for traditional publishing! I wrote as fast as I could and Linda squeezed in time for some MASTERFUL edits. Eight months after the retreat, I self-published Kids These Days. Now, one-month post-launch, we’re #1 in Calgary! We’ve sold our first 10,000 copies, with 5000 more on order. And, my book is next to my idol Brené Brown’s latest in bookstores! Whaaaaat?! I’ve scheduled Carmel for my next book—another story that needs to be told. Linda says she can’t wait to take me to agents, wanting me to experience a bidding war this time. I can’t even. We’ll keep you posted!”

Jody Carrington, Ph.D. Speaker. Author of Kids These Days: A Game Plan for (Re)Connecting with Those We Teach, Lead, & Love 

I’m so looking forward to meeting you for this magical five days, where it’s all about you, your voice, your book, and your legacy. I want this to be one of the best gifts you’ll ever give yourself–truly the start of a blessed and creative new beginning!

So… you’re feeling ready already, right? Contact me before you get sidetracked and another year flies by. (It’ll be Christmas in five minutes… you might as well just leave the tree up all year ’round.) Seriously, creativity has a way of slipping through our fingers. Breathe life into yours. Schedule it. Make it real. Let’s start a life-long friendship (sounds corny, but it’s true) and let me help you script your success. Your book plannin’ paradise awaits!

Can’t come in person or you want to start sooner? Check out my super fun Virtual Retreats without the travel expenses! A few “regulars” who’ve been to multiple in-person retreats swear the vibe & results are the same. They, maybe like you, have hectic careers and need to schedule their writing with inspirational support and group accountability, over a longer period of time. Ahhh.

Additional ways to work together: private consulting, my membership community (the Beautiful Writers Group), my downloadable Book Proposal Magic course (w/ add-on one-on-one brainstorming sessions), and Your Big Beautiful Book Plan. xo

For lots more retreat testimonials…

Have questions? Want more in-depth details? The FAQ page has so much more…

Want the scoop on our hour-by-hour daily schedule?

Read about these retreats on Forbes.com and CARMEL magazine.

Space fills up quickly, so take a minute to fill out the wait list form!

In closing, as of January 2018, Merry, my 8 lb toy poodle angel (as seen in many of these pics), is now a literal angel. There are no words for how much I miss her, my soulful ball of joy and love. All the more reason to live my best life—our best life. Time is precious. So, so precious.

Humbly yours,



Publish or Perish: Ready to Launch Your Writing? My Top Secrets to Landing the Deal

Download my free audio right now for:

  • THE #1 secret I’ve ever found for taking writing from good to unignorable—fast!
  • The top 3 little-known mistakes I see most new writers make, preventing them from landing that coveted book contract.
  • How to script your Book Proposal’s success so that you land your dream agent and dreamier book deal

You’ll also be added to my monthly newsletter for all the latest intel.

Join me in donating this am? 🙏Thalia @allseatedinabarn is on the ground at the Bowie Auction in Texas.

We are working together to save the 18 mares, 20 stallions and 7 foals from the Alpine herd.

While it is truly amazing that $50k has been raised in such a short time, $100k is still needed to get them all and reunite the bands.

It would be heartbreaking if some were left behind—Please Share!

To Donate See link in our STORY!

#Alpinewildhorses #wildhorses #savewild @returntofreedom @allseatedinabarn #returntofreedom #makeadifference

Help! 🙏🐴 Repost from @srwhmg

Update: No solutions have been found yet and no other rescues have found solutions either and therefore we are not fundraising yet, but If u want to help, many thousands of calls are needed to officials for someone to step in to save our Arizona icons.

For Immediate release:
Apache Sitgreaves National Forest Sends 45 Arizona Wild Horses to Texas Slaughter Auction
Horses to be sold on Sunday, leaving no time for rescue groups to save them Phoenix, AZ (December 2, 2023)-- In a shocking betrayal of public trust and an affront to the welfare of cherished Arizona wild horses, the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest yesterday callously transported 45 beloved Alpine wild horses to a Texas slaughter auction. This act prevents rescue groups from intervening, as the horses are set to be sold on Sunday at an in-person sale in Texas. The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group (SRWHMG) and the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) today condemned the Forest Service for this blatant disregard for the welfare of these beloved horses and the public’s interest in protecting them.
The 45 horses arrived yesterday at the Bowie Livestock Auction, located in Bowie, TX after being captured by Forest Service contractor Rail Lazy H. The action is part of an ongoing effort to eliminate the entire wild horse population from the Alpine Ranger District in the Apache Forest.
The group includes multiple family units, some with young foals that have been separated from their mothers. The horses are survivors of a brutal massacre that occurred in October of last year.
Previously, the Forest Service had sold the captured horses through public auctions in Arizona or online. Over the last two years, the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group and allies successfully purchased and relocated 270 of these horses to homes and sanctuaries through these auctions. However, in July 2023, Rail Lazy H arbitrarily prohibited the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group and its allies from participating in these public auctions.
The recent move bypassed local or online auctions entirely. Instead the Alpine wild horses were sent directly to Texas…

Riveting. 💜 A stunning film. Have you seen it yet? Wow. 🎥 #americansymphony @jonbatiste @suleikajaouad @mheineman @netflix ...


Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Cover for Linda Sivertsen
Linda Sivertsen

Linda Sivertsen

Author🌿Beautiful Writers Podcast (& Book 8-22)🎧FSC Ambassador🌲
Virtual & Carmel Writing Retreats📚

😂 Love her! How do your favorite authors like Anne Lamott tune in? If you’re struggling to write something awe-inspiring, is it solely up to you? Surely, a writer can’t be penalized if their snoozy muse is asleep on the job! And if divine inspiration is real, it begs the question: How can we mere mortals gain favor from the gods? 🙏

Libraries are filled with books written by authors who beseeched the heavens and their muse to give them inspiration, protection, and compensation. There isn’t a writer alive who doesn’t want their creative endeavors to carry on when the honeymoon phase inevitably ends. That’s when many of us bow our heads (or, in #MaryKarr’s case, hit her knees, say a lot of swear words, and shoot her middle finger at the light bulb while saying, “Why do you want me to do this if it’s this damn hard?”).😜

Chapter 8 of #BeautifulWriters (Dancing with the Muse: Coaxing and Cultivating Creativity) contains awe-inspiring tips for how the greats collaborate with their higher power to craft their best work. Read as Van Jones, Steven Pressfield, Marianne Williamson, Elizabeth Gilbert, Danielle LaPorte, Paul Williams, Anita Moorjani, Leeza Gibbons, Elizabeth Lesser, Patricia Cornwell, and the fabulous Mary Karr reveal how their thoughts, prayers, & rituals deliver. 

Can I get an amen? 


#BeautifulWritersBook #WritingMemoir #Excerpt #BestsellingAuthorAdvice #WritingTips
#BeautifulWritersPodcast 🎧

😂 Love her! How do your favorite authors like Anne Lamott tune in? If you’re struggling to write something awe-inspiring, is it solely up to you? Surely, a writer can’t be penalized if their snoozy muse is asleep on the job! And if divine inspiration is real, it begs the question: How can we mere mortals gain favor from the gods? 🙏

Libraries are filled with books written by authors who beseeched the heavens and their muse to give them inspiration, protection, and compensation. There isn’t a writer alive who doesn’t want their creative endeavors to carry on when the honeymoon phase inevitably ends. That’s when many of us bow our heads (or, in #MaryKarr’s case, hit her knees, say a lot of swear words, and shoot her middle finger at the light bulb while saying, “Why do you want me to do this if it’s this damn hard?”).😜

Chapter 8 of #BeautifulWriters (Dancing with the Muse: Coaxing and Cultivating Creativity) contains awe-inspiring tips for how the greats collaborate with their higher power to craft their best work. Read as Van Jones, Steven Pressfield, Marianne Williamson, Elizabeth Gilbert, Danielle LaPorte, Paul Williams, Anita Moorjani, Leeza Gibbons, Elizabeth Lesser, Patricia Cornwell, and the fabulous Mary Karr reveal how their thoughts, prayers, & rituals deliver.

Can I get an amen?

#BeautifulWritersBook #WritingMemoir #Excerpt #BestsellingAuthorAdvice #WritingTips
#BeautifulWritersPodcast 🎧
... See MoreSee Less

5 days ago
Feeling very Tinker Bell. ✨✨✨✨ (I love surprises, like finding my pup and me shadowing us on a late-night potty run.) 🐾✨ We’ve lived here four years and I’ve never noticed a shadow on our fence before! Lol. 🧐

#tinkerbell #shadowphotography

Feeling very Tinker Bell. ✨✨✨✨ (I love surprises, like finding my pup and me shadowing us on a late-night potty run.) 🐾✨ We’ve lived here four years and I’ve never noticed a shadow on our fence before! Lol. 🧐

#tinkerbell #shadowphotography
... See MoreSee Less

2 weeks ago

6 CommentsComment on Facebook

Very cool

Even your shadow is beautiful!😘❤️


Cool 😎 pic

I don’t think Tinker Bell was that sexy!

That's pretty amazing!!

View more comments

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This