The Sophia Institute’s “Writing, Creativity, and Soul” retreat is giving aspiring authors the inside scoop on the novel-writing experience, how to get published, and how the process can transform you. At the retreat, writers can engage in conversation with authors Mary Alice Monroe, Josephine Humphreys, Debra Moffitt, Stephanie Hunt, Susan Finch Stevens, Susan Meyers, and Nina Bruhns about the writing experience and creative process.

The retreat begins on Fri. Sept. 14 with the session, “The Writer’s Life: Creativity, Soul and Survival,” a discussion between Monroe, Moffitt, and Humphreys about topics like keys for motivation, sources of inspiration, maintaining a healthy mind and body, overcoming rejection, and the muse vs. the writer. Questions from the audience are welcome and a book signing will follow. There will also be an optional two-hour class about preparing book proposals and developing platforms for an additional $40.

Sat. Sept. 15 will be a day full of interesting sessions that will help to explore the writer’s creative process and soul, starting with two morning sessions, “Structure and Soul of the Novel” and “How Writing Transforms the Novelist.” In the first session, Monroe will give a helpful overview of a novel’s structure by covering the concepts of scene and sequel, building scenes to climax, and delivering a solid resolution. The second, led by Humphreys, will explore how the writing process can change and transform you in both good and bad ways.

The lunch session, complete with a catered lunch, will include a presentation from Bruhns on how to get published. The afternoon sessions will focus on genre, with options including both fiction and nonfiction sessions with all different authors. “Elements of a Good Critique” will include a read-aloud portion in which writers will have the chance to have a chapter of their work (up to 20 pages long) critiqued by Monroe and Bruhns.

A “Big Conversation” at the end of the retreat will give everyone a chance to ask any final questions before the weekend comes to a close. After wrapping things up, writers will leave the retreat with new knowledge about the novel-writing world and possession of the tools to dive deeper into their own writing.

Tuition for the full workshop is $195 and includes all classes and the catered lunch on Saturday. For more information and to register, go to

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