The mission of Madcap Retreats is to provide a yearly, rotating calendar of workshops and retreats that won't break a writer's bank. We work with writers at all stages of their careers, from aspiring to long published, and since we don't operate from a single geographical location, we are able to offer events in many regions of the United States. Our primary goal is to make attending retreats and workshops aggressively affordable, diverse, and as accessible as possible.

Madcap Retreats is piloted by Natalie C. Parker, young adult author and professional event coordinator. Natalie has coordinated dozens of writing retreats with the number of participants ranging from 8 to 56. From selecting a location and house to planning meals, she knows how to make the experience of attending retreats a seamless and productive one.



Madcap Steering Committee

Dhonielle Clayton

Dhonielle is the co-author of Tiny Pretty Things (with Sona Charaipotra) and of a forthcoming fantasy series The Belles. She's a middle school librarian in New York City, and co-founder of CAKE Literary, a creative kitchen whipping up decadent -- and decidedly diverse -- literary confections for middle grade, young adult, and women's fiction readers. She is also VP of Librarian Services for We Need Diverse Books™, and co-chair of the inaugural 2016 Walter Award for YA fiction.


Tessa Gratton

Tessa has wanted to be a paleontologist or a wizard since she was seven. After traveling the world with her military family, she acquired a BA (and the important parts of an MA) in Gender Studies, then settled down in Kansas to tell stories about monsters, magic, and kissing. She's the author of The Blood Journals Series and Gods of New Asgard Series, co-author of YA writing books The Curiosities and The Anatomy of Curiosity, as well as dozens of short stories available in anthologies and on merryfates.com. Her current projects include Season 2 of "Tremontaine" at Serial Box Publishing and The Queens of Innis Lear coming in 2018 from Tor.

Justina Ireland

Justina enjoys dark chocolate, dark humor, and is not too proud to admit that she's still afraid of the dark. She lives with her husband, kid, and dog in Pennsylvania. She is the author of Vengeance Bound and Promise of Shadows, both currently available from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Her essay "Me, Some Random Guy, and the Army of Darkness" is forthcoming in The V-Word, an anthology of personal essays by women about having sex for the first time, published by Beyond Words (Simon & Schuster).

Julie Murphy

Julie Murphy is the #1 New York Times bestselling young adult author of Dumplin' and Side Effects May Vary. She lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cats who tolerate her. When she's not writing, she can be found reading, traveling, or watching movies so bad they're good. Her debut contemporary young adult novel, Side Effects May Vary, is out from Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins and has been well-received by Kirkus, School Library Journal, VOYA, Booklist, Seventeen Magazine, and Teen Vogue. Dumplin', Julie's sophomore novel has received glowing reviews including three stars from Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, and Booklist. Film rights have been optioned by Disney.


Natalie C. Parker

Natalie is the author of Beware the Wild and Behold the Bones (due out from HarperTeen February 23, 2016), as well as the editor of the forthcoming young adult anthology, Triangles: The Points of Love. She is the founder of Madcap Retreats and has been designing workshops and retreats for several years. In her not-so-spare time, she works as a grant coordinator for the University of Kansas, where she runs writing workshops for tribal college students in STEM disciplines.