I sent in my submission, but what else do I bring?

First, bring an open mind, big heart, and a thick skin - you will be critiquing and having your work critiqued.

Second, note that Pebble Beach is Coastal California at its finest.  Foggy mornings, sunny afternoons, and cool nights mean layers!  The school is landscaped and has sidewalks, but if you’re going on any excursions bring comfortable walking shoes.  Carry a light sweater for morning and evening, and a sunhat and sunscreen for the afternoons.  A water bottle or travel mug is advised for workshop or excursion hydration and / or caffeination.  Evening talks and receptions are classy casual - dress up or down as much as you want.  

We’ll will provide an extra notebook and pen with your check in materials. Please don’t leave them at home!  Also be sure to bring your printed and annotated copies of the pieces your fellow workshoppers sent out.  You’ll be jumping right in on day one.

You will be sharing a dorm bathroom and shower with a few others in your hallway. Dorm floors are same sex. We will have some extra bathroom items for sale at the book fair (shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste etc), but the bathrooms only come with soap.

Olympic-sized pool is open to attendees in the afternoons, so pack your bathing suit and flip flops!

Don’t forget your phone charger and your extra socks!

Can I do my laundry while at the conference?

If you can find the time!  Each building has a couple of washers and dryers inside, no coins necessary.  However, you must bring your own laundry detergent. We will have some small boxes of detergent for sale at the book fair.

Will there be a fridge in my room or available for my use?

No, this is dorm living! But there will be a shared mini fridge, sink, microwave, and cupboards available for your use in your dorm lounge area.  Embrace the summer camp vibe, but please tell us if you have special needs.

Are linens provided?

Yes - you will see a flat sheet, top sheet, pillow, pillowcase, light blanket, and one towel on your bunk when you check in.  If you require more comfortable pillows, warmer blankets, or robes to get from dorm room to bathroom, please bring your own.

How will the Catamaran Conference workshops be run?

While the precise format will be up to your instructor, everyone will have read and marked up printed copies of their classmates’ pieces before check-in.  Your instructor may have exercises for you to do after or in class, but you will focus on commenting aloud on one another’s work.  Please be mindful that it is very easy to take critiques on your piece as criticism on you as a person.  Be polite but honest in your critiques;  we are here to help each other grow as writers, and a community!

I’ll be driving to the campus.  Where do I park?  How much does it cost?

Once you get to 17 Mile Drive, tell the gatehouse that you’re with the conference; they’ll let you in for free.  When you arrive at the Robert Louis Stevenson School, use the temporary parking to check in and unload.  We’ll give you a parking permit to display on your dashboard, and staff will direct you where to park for the duration of the conference.  The permit is complimentary and valid for the duration of the conference.  While you are welcome to come at go at your leisure, the excursions will be by bus, and parking is very tight.

How do I get in my room?  What if I lose my key?

You will receive an electronic keycard at check-in.  We recommend keeping on your lanyard / nametag, which the RLS School requests you wear at all times for security reasons.  If you lose your key, or it stops working, we can replace it, but keep in mind the cost for a replacement key is $10.

What is a typical conference day?

7 a.m: Coffee and snacks are available in the campus dining commons

8 a.m: Full breakfast is available in the campus dining commons.  Occasionally, announcements for the day are made at the end of breakfast.

8.30 a.m. to  5 p.m: Conference bookstore is open!  Here, you can up a copy of an instructor or lecturer’s book to be signed.

9.30 a.m. to 12 p.m: Small group workshops in your genre of choice.

12 p.m: Lunchtime

1 p.m. to 5 p.m: Lectures and craft talks—check your schedule for daily lineup

1 p.m. to 5 p.m: If not attending lectures or an excursion, this is free time.  Write, swim, walk through the woods to the beach, or take a nap in the sunshine.

1.30 p.m. gather for off-campus excursions - the bus will leave precisely at 2 p.m. to maximize time for everyone to enjoy the day’s literary fun!

2 p.m. to 5 p.m: Excursions. Check your schedule for that day’s field trip in Steinbeck country

5 p.m: Dinnertime

6.30 p.m: Hosted reception—check your schedule for daily location.  If you forgot to pick up the speaker’s book, choose one of our literary libations and sip while you browse the table we’ve brought from the conference bookstore.

7 p.m: Guest lecture, check your schedule for tonight’s edification

8.30 p.m: Aperitifs; sip on something while chatting with fellow conference goers about the talk - or schmooze with the speaker!

9 p.m: Is it your bedtime? Or is it time to stargaze on the beach, relax around a fire, or hang out in your building’s common room with your dorm mates?  Either way, be ready for breakfast tomorrow at 8 a.m!

Special diets:

We will do our best to accommodate you, but please tell up as soon as possible so we have time to arrange this for you!  If you have special dietary needs let us know at sign up or by email at Nicola@catamaranliteraryreader.com so we can let the school know.  

There is a full vegetarian option at every meal, and also a salad bar available at lunch and dinner.

There is also a mini refrigerator on your dorm floor where you may keep personal food items.


A note on mobility issues: please let us know if you would prefer not to navigate stairs to your room. Most of the dormitories have and workshops will be held in places with stairs.  While there are elevators in the workshop building, we can place you in a ground-level dorm room if given due notice.

I haven’t stayed in a dorm in years - what should I expect?

Dorm rooms sleep up to one or two people.  Your room comes with one bed, chair, desk, dresser, and linen set per person.  The lighting overhead might not be the best for evening reading and writing, so feel free to bring a small reading light. Bathrooms are shared by hall and floor, with toilet stalls, shower stalls, and sinks.  Men and women's restrooms are on single sex, different floors. As mentioned above, please bring flip flops for the showers.  They are well-kept and regularly disinfected, but you can’t undecide to not bring your flip flops.

Meals are in the cafeteria, and while you are welcome to take a cookie or piece of fruit from the dining hall, there are no fridges in the rooms.

Your room will only be accessible by keycard, so please do not lose your key, prop your door open, or share your key.

Roommates?  Co-ed dormitories?  What are you talking about?

This is a conference; we invite you to confer at all times!  If you feel you cannot have a roommate, let us know at sign up.  Please be advised there is a price difference between singles and doubles.

If you and a friend are signing up together and would like to room together, please write their name in the special requests at sign up, and have them write yours.  We’ll do our best to pair you up.

The shower and toilet stalls are private and lockable or occupation is clear. 

I want to bring my partner / child / parent / childhood best friend, but they don’t want to attend the conference.

Your registration only covers one person.  You can add a person to your room for $150 per day. Please let us know ahead of time so we can arrange accurate housing for you in a shared room with two single beds. You will pay for your guest upon check in, and they will be issued a guest pass. Your guest may attend the afternoon and evening lectures, but not the workshops.

It’s a courtesy to our lecturers, staff, and interns, who have put this conference together and expect to only need materials for the amount of people who paid.  It’s a courtesy to your fellow conference goers, who must also abide by the same rules.  Finally, it’s a requirement from RLS School.  They must charge per head, among other decisions, for security, liability, and insurance reasons.  We really must insist that anyone on property at any time has a badge and a pass.

I’m going to a conference and want to loosen up a little.  Can I drink my cocktails and smoke my cigarettes on property?

Alcohol - yes, sort of.  You are free to enjoy your beverage in your room, dorm common room, or anywhere Catamaran staff has set up a reception area.  Please do not carry your beverage about on your walk - liability for the RLS school strikes again! Smoking only in some non-restricted areas.  Please note that families do live on campus year round, most of property is either beautifully landscaped or a forest. There are some ashtrays in areas that are safe to smoke.  If you’re unsure, please ask a Catamaran staff member.

What’s the weather like?

Coastal California is celebrated for its mild climate.  August is the perfect time to visit Pebble Beach.  Mornings will be foggy, lifting around lunchtime and warming up to a breezy 80s Fahrenheit.  Evenings cool down and sweaters are a necessity.  The perfect outfit will be easily layered, with sandals or cotton socks, a water bottle, and a sunhat for those wary of too much sun.