Attending a writer's retreat will sharpen your writing skills and give you a chance to network with some of the people in the business. It's one of the most beneficial things you can do to give your writing a kick in the bindings too! With the state of today's economy its not an easy thing to do, but it's an investment in your future that's well worth it. My writing has improved exponentially from the retreat I attended in the past and this year I hope to move it to a whole new level yet again. For those of you who can't attend one stay tuned because I'll give you a play by play of the one I'm attending this year so you can benefit from my experience.
For those of you who can manage to attend one I highly recommend doing so. I'd love to say there are a lot of great retreats out there, but honestly I've been looking and coming up pretty empty handed. If you know of any please leave me a comment so I can check them out. That said, what should you look for in a retreat? Normally published authors are the teachers. I look for retreats that have authors I've heard of or that I can easily verify. If they're New York Times Bestsellers all the better because then its obvious they know how to write and sell books.
With a good retreat so hard to find which one am I attending? The Hawaii Writer's Retreat-formerly known as the Maui Writer's Retreat. Yeah it's a long way away but oh so worth it. The faculty is brimming with New York Times bestsellers and they run a great retreat. The classes are small, less than ten students with a teacher in most cases, and the instruction is top notch.
How is a retreat different than a conference? A retreat is all about hands on learning with an instructor who reviews your work and suggests changes. A conference is about meeting people in the industry and pitching your book idea to them. So why go to a retreat instead, or first? Because there is always room for improvement and if you're having trouble impressing an agent there's probably a reason why. Attending the retreat will help you discover that reason and fix the problem.
Check back at the end of August because I'll be blogging about my experience there! For those who want to check it out here's a link: https://www.hawaiiwriters.org/retreat.php