Events Calendar

Capturing the Muse: A One-Day Retreat for Writers

Our creative endeavors are so important to us—and so time-consuming! But if we don’t make time to write, it just won’t happen. Your creative practices need your time and attention in order for them to flourish.

Give yourself the gift of a day of work: a quiet day in a bucolic setting, surrounded by a small group of other writers.  Join an Open Book one-day writing retreat and focus on your important creative work!

DATE: Sunday June 26

TIME: 9am – 5:30pm

LOCATION: The Manor House at Whitpain Farm, Blue Bell, PA, 19422


Open Book one-day writing retreats take place at the Manor House at Whitpain Farm in Blue Bell, PA. This beautifully-restored colonial farm house sits on the edge of acres of green space, surrounded by trees, a brook, and a wide, sunny vista. We will occupy the entire first floor and have full use of the home’s numerous rooms, from the 1704 Room with its original colonial stone fireplace, to the modern and expansive kitchen and butler’s pantry. There is plentiful space for writing at individual tables in the various rooms.

The retreat begins at 9am and closes at 5:30pm. We intersperse quiet, private writing time with creative breaks throughout the day.

The format of the retreat is as follows:

We begin with “Convocation,” a warm up which includes goal-setting and brief writing exercises. We then move to our first extended period of quiet writing. At our next group workshop we focus on “Problem Solving,” looking at any literary bumps and how to overcome them, as well as reaffirming our writing goals for the day. The afternoon group workshop is “Energy,” a break designed to refresh and ready us for the final writing stint of the day. We close with a wine & cheese and sharing of our work.

Lynn Rosen
Lynn runs Open Book’s extensive program of classes, workshops, and events for writers and readers, and is the co-owner of Open Book Bookstore, located in Elkins Park, PA. Lynn is a long-time book publishing industry professional with many years of experience as an editor, literary agent, author, and teacher. Most recently, she was Editorial Director of Book Business magazine, and Director of Graduate Publishing Programs at Rosemont College. She has served as Editorial Director at Peter Pauper Press, as Senior Editor at Running Press and, earlier in her career, as an Editor in the trade division of Ballantine Books. In 1991, Lynn launched Leap First, an independent literary agency, which she ran until 1999. She is the author of Elements of the Table: A Simple Guide for Hosts and Guests (Clarkson Potter). Lynn graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with an Honors degree in English, and holds a Masters in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

We’ll need sustenance to support our creativity, and delicious food will be provided throughout the day. At registration you will be greeted by an array of breakfast snacks, fruit, coffee, tea, juice, and water. A buffet lunch of healthful food will be provided with selections that include vegetarian and gluten-free options. Snacks are available throughout the afternoon and we will close the day with a wine & cheese gathering.

COST: $150



9am – 9:30am
Arrive, register, settle in. Select your table.
Coffee/tea/water/fruit/snacks provided and available all day.
Pop-up bookstore available to browse (all day).

9:30am – 10:15am
Begin with a moment of silence to dedicate ourselves to the writing to be done that day.
Introduce ourselves to each other.
Do some quick short writing exercises to warm up.
Goal setting: what do you hope to accomplish today? Share with the group and set realistic goals for the day.

10:15am – 11:45am
Quiet, private writing time in your space.

During the quiet writing time, the kitchen will be available for breaks and quiet conversation. We will have coffee, tea and snacks available. Lynn Rosen will preside over this space and will provide troubleshooting guidance, brainstorming activities, and a listening ear to talk over literary stumbling blocks.

11:45am – 12:15
Problem Solving
We will gather for a mid-day assessment to discuss how our writing is going. Are we making progress toward our goals? Do they need to be adjusted? Does anyone have any challenges they would like to talk through or get advice on? To close this break, Lynn will share writing tips and advice from well-known favorite writers to inspire us.

12:15 – The lunch buffet opens
12:15 – 1:00: Lunch
During the lunch break, you will have the option of taking your food back to your table to continue to work, or breaking bread and sharing conversation with your fellow writers. Those who wish to converse will sit in one room so that those who wish to write will not be disturbed.

1:00 – 2:30
Back to work: more quiet writing time.

2:30 – 3
Energy Break
We’ll take a breather to refresh ourselves. We’ll do some simple movement and breathing exercises to get the blood flowing again and rev up some endorphins. And then we’ll stimulate our brains by reading some literary excerpts aloud to each other, using the beauty of the spoken word to stimulate and inspire our writing.

3 – 4:30
The Home Stretch: our final period of concentrated quiet writing.

4:30 – 5:30
Unwinding with Wine and Readings
We’ll relax, celebrate, and those who wish to will read aloud to the group something they wrote that day. We’ll close by setting some more goals for ongoing writing to keep our work going and maintain the momentum of the day.


NOTE: All tickets are non-refundable.

Dinner with an Author with Robin Black

Our popular “Dinner with an Author” is back! Join us for dinner and a conversation with author Robin Black about her novel Life Drawing, her new book, and about the writing life.

DATE: Wednesday, June 15
TIME: 7pm to 9pm
LOCATION: Park Plates Restaurant, Elkins Park, PA

Robin Black

Robin Black

Dinner with an Author will take place in the private dining room of Park Plates Restaurant. Our guest of honor will be author Robin Black, who will join us for dinner and a discussion of her novel Life Drawing. She will also tell us about her new book Crash Course: Essays From Where Writing And Life Collide and about the writing life in general. During the discussion, we will enjoy a delicious 3-course meal from Park Plates. The menu is described below.
All guests are asked to read Life Drawing in advance so they can fully participate in the discussion. Attendance is limited to 14 guests.  Park Plates is BYOB.

Dinner: $60
Dinner plus one book: $75
Dinner plus two books: $90
Note: Attendees may select Robin’s novel, Life Drawing, which we will be discussing at the dinner. Attendees may also select Robin’s newest book, Crash Course: Essays from Where Writing and Life Collide. Or they may select both.



life drawing paperAugusta Edelman, Gus to her friends, is a painter, a wife, and not always the best judge of her own choices—one of which was bad enough that Gus and her husband, Owen, have fled their longtime city home and its reminders of troubling events. Now, three years into their secluded country life, Gus works daily on the marriage she nearly lost, discovers new inspiration for her art, and contemplates the mysteries of a childhood tragedy. But this quiet, healing rhythm is forever shattered one hot July day, when a stranger moves into the abandoned house next door, and crosses more boundaries than just those between their lands. This debut novel is a fierce, honest, and moving portrait of a woman grappling with her fate.

Robin Black’s story collection, If I loved you, I would tell you this, was a finalist for the

Crash Course

Crash Course

Frank O’Connor International Story Prize, and named a Best Book of 2010 by numerous publications.  Her novel, Life Drawing, was longlisted for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the Impac Dublin Literature Prize, and the Folio Prize. Her newest book is Crash Course: Essays From Where Writing And Life Collide. Robin lives in Philadelphia with her husband, and will begin teaching in the Rutgers-Camden MFA Program, Fall 2016.

First Course
Watercress and arugula salad with toasted pistachios, Manchego and a sherry vinaigrette
Anchovy hummus with zatar toasts

Main Course
Yogurt batter-fried chicken with honey curry glaze, feta orzo and fennel slaw Yogurt battered chicken
Rosemary salmon and Kalamata olive butter with roasted garlic, chickpea hash and warm watercress salad

Dessert Course
Cinnamon donuts with raspberry cream

*Vegetarian, gluten-free, and options for other dietary restrictions are available upon request

Sign up HERE.

NOTE: All tickets are non-refundable.

Literary Mindfulness Readers Retreat

zen rocksDATES: Sunday, June 5 to Tuesday, June 7, 2016
LOCATION: The Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, Stockbridge, MA


Join us on a journey to Kripalu, a yoga retreat in the beautiful Berkshire mountains of western Massachusetts. We will have three days and two nights of inspiration and rejuvenation as we exercise our bodies (yoga, kayaking, hiking, dance) and our minds in book discussions led by Lynn Rosen throughout the visit.

What We’ll Do There
On this trip, we will combine the pleasures of sharing and discussing literature with the physical and spiritual rewards of yoga and physical activity. And in between all our various activities, some with the group and some solo, we will feast on the delicious organic cuisine for which Kripalu is famous, and enjoy lush scenery: the lake, rolling hills and leafy green forests of the Berkshires.

Books and Yoga: Mind and Body
Yoga is a practice that incorporates body, mind, and spirit. Reading is a cerebral and intellectual practice, yet it also incorporates spiritual and emotional components. As to how it affects the body, surely you have read a book that has made you cry, or sent chills down your spine, or even made you jump for joy. And as we surely know, books can affect us in profound ways and sometimes change the course of our lives.

Reading Ahead
During the retreat, we will focus on the theme “States of Being.” We will begin by discussing a book octopusthat participants will read ahead of time: The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness. In this book, naturalist Sy Montgomery gets to know the octopus, a creature that, though it is invertebrate, has a brain, a personality and an array of amazing abilities. Montgomery brings us into a wondrous watery world where we learn to see things differently. (A copy of this book is included in your activity fee.)

Reading On-Site
At the event, Lynn will provide an additional selection of short readings on the same theme of consciousness and States of Being. Each reading will be integrated into enriching group discussions. We’ll look at excerpts from the works of a range of authors.

The daily agenda is included below.

The cost for this trip is payable in two parts. Part one is an activity fee of $250, payable through Open Book (see “How to Register” below). Part two is for room & board, the cost of which varies depending on the accommodations you select (see “Book Your Housing” below).

How to Register
You will register for the program by paying the activity fee through Open Book.
To sign up click HERE.

Book Your Housing
The Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health is housed in a former seminary and provides clean and simple accommodations. It offers a wide variety of levels of housing, both private and shared, ranging from about $150 per person for a dorm room with a shared bath to about $600 per person for a private room with a private bath and a lakeside view, and everything in between!

Once you have registered and paid your activity fee, call the main Kripalu reservations number: 866-200-5203. You will speak directly with a Kripalu representative, who will explain the options and guide you to the choice that is right for you. I have arranged for a group discount, so when you book your rooms you must tell the representative that you are part of the Open Book program on June 5 to 7.

Rooms must be reserved on or before May 22nd and all reservations are final and non-refundable as of that date.

Getting to Kripalu
Participants will need to provide their own transportation to Kripalu in Stockbridge, MA (the trip is just over four hours). I will be happy to connect attendees who wish to carpool.

Note: Kripalu has a full schedule of ongoing activities. This is the “R&R” program. We will have our own private Kripalu agenda which will at certain times enable you to partake of R&R activities. Our private sessions are noted in bold below.

6/5   Sunday

1:30pm             Arrival
2:00-3:30        Open R&R Session
4:15-6:15          Kripalu Yoga Classes (class times vary)
4:00                  Check -in
5:30-7:00        Dinner (Reserved table in dining hall for group)
7:00-7:30        Orientation with Guest Services
7:30-9:00        PRIVATE SESSION: Gentle Yoga Class

6/6 Monday

6:30-8:00        Kripalu Yoga Classes (class times vary)
7:00–8:30       Breakfast
9:00-10:30      PRIVATE SESSION: Literary Mindfulness
10:45-11:45      PRIVATE SESSION: Guided Hike
11:45-1:30        Lunch
12:00-1:00      Kripalu YogaDance or Vigorous Vinyasa Class
1:30–2:30       PRIVATE SESSION:
                         Literary Mindfulness Book Conversation
2:45-3:45        PRIVATE SESSION: Moving Mediation
4:15-6:15         Kripalu Yoga Classes (class times vary)
5:30-7:00        Dinner
7:30-8:30        Open R&R Session: Evening Event

6/7   Tuesday

6:30-8:00        Kripalu Yoga Classes (class times vary)
7:00–8:30       Breakfast
9:00-10:30      PRIVATE SESSION: Literary Mindfulness
10:45-11:45      PRIVATE SESSION: Kayaking (tentative)
12:00                Check out of Rooms
12:00-1:30       Lunch
12:00-1:00      Kripalu YogaDance or Vigorous Vinyasa Class
1:30-2:30        OPEN BOOK PRIVATE SESSION: Literary Mindfulness
                         Book Conversation and Closing Session
2:30pm            Departure

To sign up click HERE.

With questions please contact Lynn Rosen at or 215-360-5382.

NOTE: All tickets are non-refundable.

Dinner with a Book à la française: Julia Child’s MY LIFE IN FRANCE

julia child.1DATE: Wednesday, May 25
PLACE: Spring Mill Café, 164 Barren Hill Road, Conshohocken, PA 19428
Dinner + discussion: $65
Dinner + discussion + a copy of the book: $85
Sign up HERE.

As Julia Child said, “People who love to eat are always the best people.” Come join some of the best people as we convene at French restaurant Spring Mill Café for a conversation with Lynn Rosen about Julia Child’s memoir My Life in Francemy life in france USE THIS ONE and a dinner that will be très délicieux!

Julia Child went to France for the first time in 1948 with her husband Paul. There she discovered a love of all things French, particularly the cuisine. Much study, practice, and hard work went into her acquisition of her cooking mastery. Along the way, she and Paul (who were also a great love story) traveled through France, met a range of fascinating folk, and experienced life in post-war Europe.

My Life in France is a lively and loving remembrance of Child’s time in France. It is full of the zestful personality for which the world came to know Julia Child. And even more, it is the inspiring story of a woman who discovered what she was meant to do in life–and then did it!

Sign up HERE.

Soupe Parmentier
Salade Verte 

Choice of Entrée
Steak Frites
Trout Almandine
Julia’s Roast Chicken

Le Dessert
Mousse au Chocolat
Sorbet with Macaroons

spring mill cafe

 NOTE: All tickets are non-refundable.

Hot Off the Press Spring 2016

In thhot off pressis lively monthly book discussion class led by Lynn Rosen, participants read and discuss new literary fiction. Class conversations include a thorough and thoughtful analysis of the book as well as background information provided by Lynn about the author and the book’s path to publication. We talk serious book talk, but have a lot of laughs too!

Class will take place monthly on Tuesday evenings from 7pm to 8:30pm

Dates: April 5, May 3, May 31 ,June 28

Location: The Open Book Bookstore at 7900 High School Road, Elkins Park, PA 19027

Cost: $105

To sign up click HERE.

Class members also  receive discounts if they purchase their class books from the Open Book Bookstore.

Here are the book selections:

April 5

forty rooms.sqForty Rooms by Olga Grushin
Deals with issues of women’s identity and women’s choices with a unique literary conceit: it proposes that a modern woman will inhabit forty rooms in her lifetime. They form her biography, from childhood to death.

May 3
Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly PrentissTuesday nights.sq
Follows a critic, an artist, and a desirous, determined young woman as they find their way—and ultimately collide—amid the ever-evolving New York City art scene of the 1980’s.

May 31
The versions of us.sq
The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett
In one moment, two lives will be changed forever… and forever… and forever. A tale of possibilities and consequences rings across the shifting decades, from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, and on to the present, showing how even small choices can define the course of our lives.

June 28
Sweetbitter by Stephanie DanlerSweetbitter.sq
A debut about a year in the life of a young woman is set in the wild, alluring world of a famous downtown New York restaurant. This is a story about discovery, enchantment, and the power of what remains after disillusionment.

To sign up click HERE.

NOTE: All tickets are non-refundable.