Are you itching to get away and get into God’s creation? Have you felt led to write what God has done for your soul but you haven’t made the time to do so?
How does a writing retreat in the mountains sound? In the beauty of creation with 30-feet bluffs surrounding you, under a shaded pavilion, you will make space to:
- Invite the Holy Spirit into your writing through an abiding writing prayer so that He can direct what you write about
- Lay aside any common writer stressors like perfectionism, comparison, feeling inadequate, or procrastination
- Be led by a 20-year veteran managing editor who has coached scores of writers
- Bake a blueprint as you remember what He has done
- Record His blessings and His lessons
- Infuse your blueprint with a successful story structure to help you organize your ideas
- Start to develop a draft
- Consider your everyday and long-term faith legacy
- Master a motivated mindset so that you keep writing beyond the weekend
- Receive resources to refer to later for rewriting, editing, and publishing
When: October 2 @ 3 p.m–October 4 @ noon (see the full schedule near the end of this page)
Registration closes September 24!
Where: Camp Chet
The retreat will be held at the pavilion in Camp Chet, founded in 2017 to help people encounter God through outdoor experiences. This 650-acre sanctuary is private land on Whitwell Mountain, which is part of the Cumberland Plateau 45 minutes from Chattanooga in Southeast Tennessee.
Geographic features include a diverse combination of an average 30-feet high rock formations surrounding open spaces, numerous waterfalls, expansive downhill views of mountain grasses for miles in two directions—an unusual treat for a heavily-wooded mountainous area, miles and miles of hiking trails comprised both of forest paths and old wagon roads later used by coal miners, and so much more.
The Fry Pavilion (where the group teaching will be held)
The Fry Pavilion is surrounded by an average of 30-foot rock formation on three sides, several wonderful hammock sites, and an overlooking hiking trail along the rim of the bluff above.
Enclosed on one side, this 36-by-14-foot structure provides protection from the elements. The Fry Pavilion house two picnic tables, each of which sit eight; It is equipped with a smoker grill, lit with solar lights for use at night, and outfitted with two uber-comfortable hanging swings with both arm and feet rests.
Near the Fry Pavilion is a central firepit to enjoy. Also near the pavilion are four flat rocks about four to six feet, which are perfect for sitting and lying on. Smores sticks available for your fireside enjoyment.
How much does it cost:
$119 includes the writer’s retreat teaching, a juice and cheese welcome on Friday evening, all meals on Saturday, which includes a hot quiche and fruitl breakfast on Saturday, sandwiches with gluten-free bread as an option for lunch on Saturday, and chili, and a hot breakfast on Sunday.
Do you have a supportive loved one that wants to come along to hike and stay in the cabin but who will pass on the writing lessons? Do they want to eat with us? Click here for a Guest Food Only Ticket.
Accommodations: Only one cabin is left! The following rustic, off-the-grid cabin (priced separately) is available for the retreat, but show that they are blocked on Air BnB so that they only retreat guests may reserve it. If you would like to book it, please text Loral at 312-399-7918 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, and she will pass you on to the camp owner so that she can unblock it.
Please click the links and read the descriptions carefully.
ONE RV SITE FOR YOUR RV AND UNLIMITED TENT CAMPSITES ARE AVAILABLE FOR $25; TENTS AND HAMMOCKS ARE AVAILABLE FOR $10 (EACH) FOR THE RETREAT.
Nearest recommended motel: If staying in rustic cabins isn’t for you, the owners of Camp Chet also recommend the Quality Inn in Jasper, TN. The hotel is 40 minutes from the Camp. If you choose a hotel, you will need to meet at the meet and greet and we will need to coordinate your arrival time on Saturday as the entrance to the Camp stays locked and is a private road.
What to bring:
- If you would like to use a laptop, bring one that is fully-charged if possible (there is no electricity at the pavilion site or in the cabins). We will have access to a generator and a few charging bricks to recharge phones and iPadsthough. If you have a charging brick,you may bring one for your private use. Pen and paper is totally fine to write on though if you want to fully unplug.
- Long pants
- A thin, long-sleeved breathable shirt or light jacket (See the picture for an example—I’m wearing a paper thin windbreaker)
- Hiking shoes/boots are best for some of the exploration options. Tennis shoes if you don’t have them with longer socks that you can tuck pants into. There are also easier “road” trails for less rugged exploring. But flip flops wouldn’t be recommended except in cabins.
- A flashlight
- Bug spray
- A hat
- Portable chairs to enjoy the firepit
- Rain gear
- Drinking water, any desired snacks
- Small portable cooler for your cabin (there will also be a large shared cooler available in the pavilion
- A hammock if you have one—two are available for rent for $10 each per visitNote: there are no mirrors in the cabins. If you would like a mirror, please bring a compact or small handheld mirror with you..
- Registration, Cheese and Crackers Meet and Greet: 3 p.m.
- Caravan to the cabins: 4:30 p.m.
(People staying in the cabins must arrive prior to caravan time to ensure you get settled before dark)
- Settle in: 4:45-5:15
- Bring your own sack dinner in the pavilion, eat with the group: 5:15–6:00
- Introductions: What you hope to get out of the retreat
- Lesson One: 6:30–7:30
Lesson One Topics:
- Intro—Why Cowrite with the Holy Spirit?
- How do you get started—Abiding Writing: generating a written prayer to remove writing barriers
- Who are you and who do you want to impact? Consider your mission, begin to generate an audience profile
- What is your purpose and does it align with your book’s purpose? Developing your personal mission?
- What do you do next? Remembering Blessings and Lessons (start to gather “ingredients” together for your “blueprint”), Your Personal Mission, Your Book/Project Mission, Audience Profile
- Independent writing time: 7:30–8:30 (or longer if desired)
Breakfast (quiche, fruit, coffee, juice) and fellowship, 8–9 a.m. (½ hour fellowship; half hour of saying how it went last night ourselves)
Lesson Two: 9:00–10:00
Lesson two topics:
- Building a blueprint—adding more ingredients: personal examples, metaphors, and then starting to mix them the ingredients together: transitions, beginnings and endings
- Considering possible structures and genres
Independent writing time: 10:00–11:00
Lesson three: 11–12
Lesson three topics:
- Developing the draft: Zoom in on each part of your blueprint and start writing
- Considering the scene structure (where you have scenes or stories)
Lunch: 12:00– (sandwiches with gluten free bread, chips)
Independent writing time—1–2 p.m.
Come back together for sharing: 2–2:30
Optional Activities: More independent writing, guided hike around the property, nap if staying onsite, Optional RV tours : 2:30–4 p.m.
Lesson four, 4–5 p.m.
Lesson four topics: 4–5 p.m.
- Adding interest: better-not-longer descriptions, grabbing the reader from the start
- Polishing techniques
- Mastering the mindset to keep going
- Receiving resources for editing, publishing, and book marketing
Independent Writing time: 5–6
Come back together, next steps, commitments, 6–6:30
Report how the day went, each person talk about next steps in a group and get answers to any questions with the group
Worship (led by Seth) and campfire–7:30–8:30
8:30 Formal retreat teaching ends
- Hot Breakfast, 8 a.m.
- Church under the pavilion, 9 a.m.
- Check out at noon
- Feel free to stick around to explore and hike or chill and write in the afternoon