Eat, Relax and Write: Murphy Writing Celebrates 30 Years
Galloway, N.J. – As a younger man, Peter Murphy found the best way for him to push through a troublesome verse or narrative was to hole up in a hotel room in Cape May, New Jersey. His writer friends were intrigued and convinced him to bring them along in 1994. And the rest was…poetry.
In the ensuing three decades, the Murphy Writing Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway has become one of the winter’s oldest and largest writers’ conferences in North America. Beginning and experienced writers receive craft discussion, writing prompts, writing time, feedback, motivation and inspiration.
“By spending the entire weekend writing, participants will make breakthroughs in their craft, and make more progress than they thought possible,” founder Peter Murphy said.
The Murphy Writing of Stockton University event gives writers a reprieve from their daily tasks in exchange for 15 hours of writing workshops, open mics, tutorials, writerly camaraderie and breakthroughs in their personal writing journeys.
For the annual retreat’s “pearl” anniversary, attendees didn’t just enjoy the workshops and networking opportunities that have made the retreat popular amongst the writing community; they also had the chance to meet new faculty members in the program, learn more about storytelling and the publishing process from fellow authors in new workshops, laugh at each other’s renditions of popular songs during karaoke and listen to stories of courage and resilience centered on the theme “liberation” during their second annual Story Slam program.
The weekend of connection and fun concluded with participants walking down a red carpet and attending the “Murphy” Awards on Sunday. Following the ceremony was a surprise for attendees: a (short) film showing that came out of a project by Stockton faculty member and faculty director for Murphy Writing, Emari DiGiorgio (’03) and her brother, Michael (’07) who teaches at Coastal Carolina University. His class was tasked to create short films inspired by poems, short stories and essays written by the faculty writers at the Winter Getaway, which can be viewed below.
According to DiGiorgio, the retreat has always been an interdisciplinary space for writers to feel both challenged and supported.
“The prompts and the writing process itself: that's the challenging part, but the whole vibe is meant to be supportive, whether it's when we're reading each other's work or just getting to know each other,” DiGiorgio said, emphasizing the nonhierarchical structure of the program. “At some conferences, faculty eat someplace else, but (at the retreat) everybody eats together. You could be working, see someone from a workshop who maybe you’ve idolized and you can go have breakfast with them.”
Caitlyn Cacciatore was one of 30 participants to receive a scholarship to attend. Cacciatore, who is currently a graduate student at City University of New York, emailed DiGiorgio to commend everyone involved in the retreat and called it “transcendental.”
“I was incredibly nervous about going here [sic] alone, but I very quickly found that I was anything but alone. The sense of community was almost a tangible presence in the air, and I wanted to thank you all for fostering such a safe space for writers to be vulnerable with one another and push creative boundaries,” Cacciatore wrote.
Murphy Donates $10,000 to Stockton Foundation
June 26, 2023
Galloway, N.J. — Peter Murphy knew he wanted to do something special for the 30th anniversary of the Annual Winter Poetry and Prose Getaway.
As he introduced the six scholarship recipients at this year’s event, it hit him.
“I would love to offer 30 scholarships for the 30th Annual Winter Poetry and Prose Getaway next January,” said the founder of Murphy Writing, an organization that offers in-person and online programs to help writers develop their craft. “So, I will match, up to $10,000, all donations made to our scholarship fund.”
— Story by Stacey Clapp
Murphy Writing Celebrates 25th Anniversary
November 8, 2018
Galloway, N.J. — The Murphy Writing program began 25 years ago in Peter Murphy’s living room.
On Nov. 7 it celebrated its 25th anniversary with a reception at Stockton University, the home of Murphy Writing for the last four years.
Murphy described the workshops as a community full of ordinary people, who are all different from each other.
“We run workshops for ordinary people and we create a community that supports each other,” he said. “That is why people keep coming back.”
— Story by Chelsea Doherty
– Story by Loukaia Taylor
– Photos by Grant McMillan, submitted by Emari DiGiorgio