My Top 4 Favorite Writing Retreats And Conferences

There are so many fantastic retreats and conferences for writers each year, it is so difficult to choose. I haven’t been to nearly as many as I would like, but well there is that little thing called money all of us writers are rolling in.

Conferences and Writing Retreats have a slightly different focus, but both can be powerful to your career as an author. The trick is finding the best for where you are at right now in your journey and what you can afford.

Let’s start with Retreats. A retreat is focused intensely on craft and often is a smaller group of writers getting together. For the newer author this may be a bit less intimidating than a conference and a dash more economical.

A few of my favorite retreats and conferences:

Deep Thinker’s Retreat – This amazing retreat takes place in Florida every year with Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck. It is designed to help writers with their craft in a small group setting of 10-20 people. This retreat will work on craft at an advanced level, so you should have at least attended a few other writer’s workshops before attending Deep Thinkers.

Great Lakes Get Away – If you are looking for a writing retreat with a group of 15-30 other writers at a great price($150 for members), this is a great opportunity for you. It takes place in Duluth, MN every July. This year’s retreat is July 20-22 featuring guest speaker Colleen Coble. The focus of this retreat is writing craft and writing community.

Story Crafters  A great retreat for the newer and experienced writer with Susan May Warren in Otsego, Mn every October. The focus of this retreat is to come with an idea and leave with a story, giving lots of time for story structure and plotting. Learn to write a powerful scene and build characters your readers will love. 

National American Christian Fiction Writers Conference-  This annual conference is designed for all levels of writing experience and includes opportunities to pitch your manuscript to agents and editors. Be prepared for a larger conference with attendance above 800 people and tons of networking opportunities. This year’s conference is in Dallas, TX September 20-23.  The Keynote speaker this year is Michael Hyatt.

I have heard lots of great things about other conferences that I haven’t had the pleasure to attend…author’s budget and all. Let’s share our insight here today.

What other great retreats and conferences have you been too? 


About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

14 thoughts on “My Top 4 Favorite Writing Retreats And Conferences

  1. Are you going to the ACFW this year? I’m thinking about going to a retreat in Ridgefield, NC in the mountains in October with my hubby. The area looks fantastic.

  2. bethkvogt says:

    I’ve attended all of Susan May Warren’s My Book Therapy Retreats: StoryCrafters, Deep Thinkers (my “go-to” retreat every year), and the first Pitch Retreat, which now happens the day before ACFW. I also attend ACFW — well, I have 3 or 4 years running now. And I just went to my first Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference — and it lived up to its wonderful reputation.

  3. I love Deep Thinkers and because of them, my writing is sooooo much better. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference is a good conference as is ACFW…one a lot of people don’t know about is the Southern Christian Writers Conference ( It’s only a $100 and housing is cheap in the area.

  4. dtopliff says:

    Write to Publish in Wheaton, Illinois (Chicago suburb) each late May or early June is also an outstanding conf. at reasonable cost w/ many agents & editors there, lots of opportunities to meet them. I attended once, made important contacts, & when time permits will go again.

  5. I went to WTP this month and I agree with Dee, it’s a great one to attend. Wonderful people, editors, writers, and agents. I like their format. I bought several CD’s from the classes I couldn’t attend–because I was attending others. The instructors were awesome teachers. My head is still swimming with all the publishing opportunities I found there.

  6. Michelle Lim says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Michelle!

  7. Not sure if I’m going to the ACFW. Big bucks there and back. Can I justify the expense? I’m still thinking about it. Are you already registered?

  8. I’ve had Deep Thinkers on my mind but haven’t attended other conferences. With me it’s always about the perfume and how it affects this already weakened immune system. I must pick and choose very carefully. Would I be over my head if I had a completed first draft? (I feel best and strongest near the ocean. Yay!!)

  9. (It’s also about the money.)

    • Michelle Lim says:

      If you go through and read Susan May Warren’s Inside Out and apply it to your manuscript, you should be ready to go for Deep Thinkers. It is by far the best craft training I have ever had!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s