The Guided Writing Retreat


The Guided Writing Retreat

October 26-28, 2017

South Charlotte, North Carolina


Whether you are a writer who is just getting started, working hard to get published, or a pro trying to meet a deadline, there’s one thing you struggle to find: time to write.  

Finding uninterrupted time to craft words that matter is harder now than ever before.  

You are not alone and it’s not your fault.  

Introducing the Guided Writing Retreat:

A three day getaway to help you develop a writing life by crafting the perfect writing day. 

A unique writing experience 

The Guided Writing Retreat is unlike any other workshop, designed to give you both the writing time you need and the direction you crave.  

We’ll start together on Thursday night with teaching sessions designed to help you prepare for your perfect writing day, including instruction on how to craft your ideal writing schedule, preempt the inevitable distractions, establish a quirky system of rewards, write in bursts and sprints, and share practical tips to help you gain clarity and best utilize your writing day.  

With the custom Writing Day Guide Book in hand, Friday morning begins according to your plan. Simulating a day in your own life as a writer, you and the other Guided Writing Retreat participants will be free to choose your writing spot from our curated list of locations in the south Charlotte region at cafés, libraries, parks, and hotel lobbies.  

Spend the morning practicing your writing habit, implementing the skills and tips you learned on Thursday night, follow your writing day plan, and discover the professional writer inside of you. 

New Session Added: Editor and Agent Panel Discussion During this session on Friday afternoon, a few of our favorite editors and agents will field your real life questions to help you navigate the publishing journey, decide on your next right step, and answer those ungoogleable questions you have about the writing and publication process. These panelists will also attend our live event at the barn so you'll have a chance to meet them without the pressure of having to pitch something to them. Let’s be people together!  


Friday evening hope*writer members will gather at the Nester's white barn, a perfect way to celebrate progress and share the struggles you faced head on during your writing day. You'll have an opportunity to relax and connect with other writing retreat attendees and share what worked for you.  

Saturday morning we’ll gather back at the church to reflect on the writing day experience and create an action plan for developing the writing life in the midst of our everyday overwhelm.  

The Guided Writing Retreat is designed to help you finally find time to write, improve your writing process, learn important strategies for writing, and connect with other like-minded writers determined to share their message in the midst of the busyness of life. 

We can’t wait to give you:

  • Uninterrupted time to write
  • Experience facing and dealing with the challenges that are keeping you from writing
  • Writing Day Guide Book designed especially for you by the hope*writer co-founders
  • Ideas for designing a writing life that works for you from now on
  • Connection with like-minded writers

Led by the hope*writers

The Guided Writing Retreat is presented by the hope*writers, a four person team of published authors determined to see you succeed by giving you hope, sharing their successes and struggles, and guiding you towards crafting your ideal writing life.

Nice to meet you!

We know you have message to share and an audience to serve. 

But maybe you feel stuck. The Internet creates a false urgency, convincing us that if our writing goals aren’t accomplished yesternow then they don’t count. Everything feels short-term, right-now, and immediate. 

This is your chance to take the time you need to uncover the vision that’s been growing within you for your writing. It’s time to pull it out of the shadows and give it the attention it deserves. 

That’s no job to do alone. We’re here to help! 

We’ve created the Guided Writing Retreat as a practical, action-oriented setting. No more writing in circles. We want to help you move forward in the direction meant for you with confidence, purpose, and hope.

Join us for the Guided Writing Retreat:

A three day getaway to help you develop a writing life by crafting the perfect writing day. 


The Guided Writing Retreat starts where most conferences leave off.

We help you DO THE WORK.

Bring your bullet journal, your laptop, or your vintage spiral notebook because you’ll be taking notes and writing words that matter. 

We skip all the extra stuff.

  • no vendor tables to sell you trinkets and clothing.
  • no nonprofit missions to get you to support another cause.
  • no keynote speeches that will bring you to tears but leave you without practical next steps.

Guided Writing Retreat Schedule


  • (optional) 1 pm - 4 pm Optional Pretreat Workshops
  • 4 pm - 6 pm Hotel Check-in and Dinner with a hope*writer friend
  • 6 pm - How to Create the Perfect Writing Day
  • 7 pm - Write Out Your Personal Writing Day Plan
  • 8 pm - Dismissal to Hotels  


The Perfect Writing Day 7 am - 1 pm 

Morning Wake up on your own, set your writing intent, choose your writing spot (from our curated list), establish quirky rewards + write without editing 

Noon Break for lunch (On your own or meet up with a friend.)  

  • 1 pm - Meet-up and reflection
  • 2 pm - Editor and Agent Panel Discussion
  • 4 pm - End the day and celebrate progress
  • 5 pm - Dinner with new friends
  • 7 pm - Reception at the White Barn for hope*writer members  


  • 9 am - Surprising Insights from our Writing Day Experience 
  • 10 am - Tips and Strategies to Design a Writing Life
  • 11 am - Q&A + Final Thoughts
  • 12 pm - Group Photos and Dismissal  

Reception at The White Barn

Members of the hope*writers community who attend the hope*writers workshop are invited to a special reception hosted by Myquillyn and Chad Smith at The White Barn on their property, located 40 minutes from Southbrook Church, in the farming community of Midland.  

After a long day of writing what you need is an evening filled with music, bonfire conversations, and cupcakes.

This is a special time for hope*writers to relax in a cozy environment and make deeper connections as crickets chirp in the background. There'll be no awkward games or forced washing of feet -- it’s simply a time to slow down, laugh, listen and connect. Introverts need not dread this gathering.  

Not a member of hope*writers yet? No worries! You can join when we open up enrollment in the fall, so you won’t miss this special time together.  

Special Offer: Pre-retreat Workshops

Looking for more instruction or just want to go deeper? 

Join us at 1 pm Thursday October 26 (before the main Guided Writing Retreat) for one of our optional interactive workshops.  

Led by each of the Hope*writers founders dedicated to helping you improve your skills in a specific area, these optional Pretreat workshops happen during the day before the Guided Writing Retreat begins.  

These workshops have limited space and will sell out quickly.  

They're only available to attendees of the Guided Writing Retreat.  

Here are the currently available pretreat workshops:  

Pretreat Option 1: How to get published, even with a tiny platform

Emily P. Freeman

More than anything, you want to share your message, connect with a reader, and be fully yourself as a whole-hearted writer. But they say you need to build a platform and that makes you want to crawl under a table, binge on Netflix, and burn your laptop. The truth is you don’t have to choose between being a soulful writer and a savvy platform builder.

Led by Wall Street Journal best-selling author Emily P. Freeman, you’ll learn how to finally make peace between your creative soul and your inner marketing moxie. Bring your questions, your objections, and your creative writing affections and take your next right step toward publication no matter the size of your current platform.  

(additional $97)

Pretreat Option 2: How to find and love your calling as a writer 

Gary (Dad) Morland

A safe, encouraging conversation with your Hope*writer Dad, radio morning show co-host for 30 years and author of A Family Shaped by Grace.  

Struggling with whether the writing life is really for you? Not sure about your message or your audience? Think maybe it's too late for you to get a book published? There’s a lot of anxiety, doubt, and comparing in the writing life, right? Let’s talk about it and walk through a series of questions and conversations to help you discover your writing calling, develop your personalized tag line, and recognize the unique ways God has designed and called you.  

(additional $97)

Pretreat Option 3: How to find inspiration for your writing that doesn't include mood boards or pinterest 

Myquillyn "Nester" Smith

Writing can drain the creative part of your brain, and it's vital to know how to refill your creativity. Learn how to be inspired in your work by paying attention to opposites, incorporating the five senses and looking for beauty. 

Join Myquillyn, The Nester, author and one of Christianity Today’s top 20 creatives, at her white barn for an intimate small group, hands-on workshop

You'll create some DIYs to take with you and this slow, relaxing time will set the stage for a great writing retreat. Dress code: yoga pants. This workshop is limited to 20 attendees and is priced a bit higher than other pretreats to help offset the cost of the materials.

(additional $147)

Guided Writing Retreat Location

The Guided Writing Retreat is graciously hosted by Southbrook Church, located at 5607 Monroe-Weddington Rd, Weddington, NC 28104.

Take action now

Click here to choose your customized ticket for the Guided a Writing Retreat.  

This is your opportunity to finally find time to write, craft a writing life that fits your schedule, and develop the habits of a published writer. Click to select your ticket and we’ll see you in October!  

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I have to be a member of hope*writers to attend the Guided Writing Retreat?  

The Guided Writing Retreat is open to anyone! Of course we’d love to have you join our community at, but it isn’t a prerequisite for attending the retreat. However, we will have a special members only gathering at The Nester’s White Barn for current hope*writers on Friday night, so if you want to attend that, you’ll need to be a member.  

2. How do I join hope*writers?  

We’re so glad you asked! Visit to learn more.  

3. Oh, hey! I’m a hope*writer local to Charlotte but I can’t make it to the workshop. Can I still come The Nester’s White Barn on Friday night?  

Hello fellow hope*writer! Unfortunately, the reception at the White Barn is only for hope*writers attending the workshop. I know!  

4. Will y’all read my writing and give me feedback and braid my hair?  

While this will be a hands-on retreat, it’s not necessarily our hands on your writing (or your hair). Instead, we are creating space for you to gather with like-minded writers, create your personalized writing day plan, and providing time to put it into practice.  

5. Are my meals included?  

Meals are not included. In an effort to keep the price of the retreat as low as possible, meals, lodging, and transportation are not included.  

6. What is the difference between a retreat and a conference?  

We love conferences. They have great speakers, inspirational talks, and free stuff. But it’s easy to leave a conference without tangible action steps, so we decided to host a retreat instead. If you are searching for practical steps to move forward in your writing career, the Guided Writing Retreat is for you.  

7. Tell me more about the location.  

The Guided Writing Retreat is graciously hosted by Southbrook Church in Wesley Chapel, North Carolina, located at 5607 Monroe-Weddington Rd, Weddington, NC 28104. There will be tables and chairs, restroom facilities, and presentations. We will have light refreshments, water, and coffee, but if you have any dietary restrictions, we recommend that you bring your own refreshments.  

8. Tell me more about the cost  

The regular price is $297.  

9. What about cancellations and refunds?  

Once you purchase your ticket, we won’t be able to offer a refund. If you purchase a ticket and something changes, we will gladly transfer your registration to someone else for no fee until October 1. Purchases and registrations are final so make sure you check your calendar and your budget before purchasing. Again, there are no refunds, but you can offer your ticket to someone else.  

10. Vendors, advertisers, and exhibitors  

There are a number of organizations we support and love but we want to focus on a retreat that helps you move forward in your writing career without distractions. There will be no swag bags with trinkets, what nots, wherefores, coupons, or advertisements.  

11. Lodging and travel  

The Guided Writing Retreat will be located at Southbrook Church in Wesley Chapel. This is about a 40 minute drive from the Charlotte international airport. We are not responsible for your transportation to and from the retreat.  

You might consider flying to Charlotte, booking a hotel in the area, and renting a car. Others might choose to find a local friend and carpool. Anyway you get here is fine. We can’t wait to see you. The workshop will not take place at a hotel, so there is no discounted room rate available.  

12. Are there scholarships available?  

We don’t have scholarships available. The Guided Writing Retreat is for writers who are ready to take their writing career to the next level. You might not be at that point yet, and that’s okay!  

13. Carpool, roommates, share travel?  

There are several related threads happening right now in the hope*writers private Facebook group. To get access, you need to be a member of hope*writers.  

14. Are you accepting speaker applications?  

Thank you so much for your interest. We will not be accepting any speaker applications for this retreat.  

15. What about childcare?  

Sorry, no childcare is available. Please leave your kids at home. Seriously. But we still love you and your kids! We just don’t want to meet them at the workshop.  

16. I'm just getting started. Is this for me?  

We’re so glad you’re here! Basically the Guided Writing Retreat is for you if you: 

  • Want to come
  • Want guidance, direction, and clarity on how to develop a regular writing habit
  • Are ready to invest both time and money to focus on planning and growing your writing career  

17. Can I bring my spouse or friend to The White Barn?

The White Barn event is just for members of hope*writers who attended the Guided Writing Retreat. If your spouse travelled with you, they are welcome to attend as well. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate kids, friends, sisters, moms. (Unless they are Tina Fey. She is always welcome.) 

18. Have a question we haven’t answered?  

Click here to email our support team or call us at 704-810-1267 leave a voicemail. Our support team will get back to you as soon as we can.  

Join us for the Guided Writing Retreat:

A three day getaway to help you develop a writing life by crafting the perfect writing day.