The SRL Blue Ridge Mountains Writers Retreat!

 

cane creek exteriorEnjoy a 4day/3night ALL INCLUSIVE Writers Getaway in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia!

March 31–April 3, 2017 (Reserve below, or call 678-661-7080 to reserve by phone) sold out!

Spend a long weekend in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains in North Georgia with a select number of like-minded writers, poets and creative people at a writers creativity retreat hosted by best-selling author and humor columnist Hollis Gillespie. Hiking trails, meditation, relaxation, mindfulness, stress-reduction and creative focus are just a few of the creative  revelries that await you! We’ll put you up in a gorgeous, giant lakeside cabin, serve you three home-cooked meals every day, mimosas and bloody marys every morning, happy hour every evening, and conduct writing and publishing workshops throughout each day.

That’s right, the price includes all meals, drinks and a nightly fireside happy hour featuring a specialty cocktail of the evening crafted by our very own chef/ bartender!

Each morning we’ll commune in the rustic kitchen and dining area over fresh orange juice, champagne and croissants to discuss the cane creek lakeviewcreative process, targeting your genre (memoir, novel, young-adult, cookbook, etc.), manuscript formatting and the latest in publishing and literary-agent acquisition.  In the afternoons you are free to write, hike along the nature trails, meditate lakeside,
commune with the lovely environs, relax or go antiquing in the Blue Ridge village square. Return after sunset for wine tastings, appetizers and a lovely homemade meal! Below is the information on rates and accommodations (and following that is the itinerary of writing workshops for each day).

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The Deluxe Flannery O’Conner King Suite (sleeps 2): Sold out!

cane creek master kingcane creek firepitLovely upstairs master suite with a king bed and full private bath. Suite opens onto the upstairs deck with panoramic mountain view. Rate for entire retreat, 4 days/3 nights, daily writing workshops, daily breakfasts, lunches, wine tastings, gourmet dinners: $1150 per person based double occupancy.
Click HERE to reserve Flannery O’Conner Suite. Sold out!
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The Premium William Faulkner Queen Suite (sleeps 2): Sold out!

cane creek queen uppercane creek dockUpstairs bedroom with queen-sized bed and private bathroom with access to the lovely upper deck with majestic mountain scenery. Rate for entire retreat, 4 days/3 nights, daily writing workshops, daily breakfasts, daily wine tastings, and gourmet meals: $1100 per person based double occupancy.
CLICK HERE to reserve the William Faulkner suite,
Or call 678-661-7080 to reserve by phone. Sold out!

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The Fannie Flagg Double Suite (sleeps 2): Sold out!

cane creek full uppercane creek deck swingFeaturing sweet smelling natural cedar walls, this suite has a full bed, access to a private bath and direct access to a deck overlooking the majestic mountain views! Rate for entire retreat, 4 days/3 nights, daily writing workshops, daily breakfasts, daily wine tastings, gourmet meals: $1050 per person based double occupancy.
CLICK HERE to reserve the Fannie Flagg suite
Or call 678-661-7080 to reserve by phone. Sold out!

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The Pat Conroy Queen Suite (sleeps 2): Sold Out!

cane creek queen lowercane creek deckUpper level double-bed suite with designated private bathroom and access to upper deck overseeing the breathtaking mountain view! Rate for entire retreat, 4 days/3 nights, daily writing, daily breakfasts, lunches, wine tastings, gourmet dinners: $1100 per person based on double occupancy
Click HERE to reserve the Pat Conroy Suite. Sold out!
Or call 678-661-7080 to reserve by phone. (Does not include travel to/from and/or within Blue Ridge, GA.)

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Arrival Day Itinerary:

Check-in is at 4pm on the first day, though guests are free to arrive any time after that. Appetizers and a featured specialty cocktail will be available upon arrival.

7:00pm: Dinnertime (attendees are encouraged to email dietary restrictions to shockingreallife@gmail.com) Afterward will be an initial forum discussing the book-writing goals of each attendee.

Saturday Itinerary:

7am: Coffee is served, along with pastries from the local bakery.

8–9am: Breakfast

9am–1pm: 

  • Introductory discussion with Hollis Gillespie, topics to include finding an agent and publisher for your manuscript, determining the genre of your book, breaking down doors and ass-kicking writing techniques.
  • Initial individual assessment of attendees’ manuscripts and ideas for manuscripts. Here is your chance to work on the preliminary format, working title and points of an elevator pitch for your manuscript or manuscript idea. Anytime you pitch to an agent, you need to sum up your book in one sentence. It’s harder than it sounds, and believe it or not it often falls to this precise sentence to make or break an agent’s decision to take you on as a client.
  • Writing exercises. Material assessment. Homework distribution. (Yep. Homework, though we don’t make you sit in a corner if you don’t turn it in the next day.) (It’s fun homework, though, so you will want to do it.)

1pm: Lunch

After lunch, take the rest of the afternoon to write, hike, read, relax, meditate or go to any of surrounding charming villages around Blue Ridge to sight see and shop for antiques.

5:30pm: Appetizers and happy hour

6:30pm: Dinner

After dinner, feel free to sit by the fire, watch a movie with the group, play board games and further discuss your manuscript goals with your new-found creative support group.

Sunday Itinerary:

7am: Coffee is served! And artisan baked goods from the local bakery.

8–9m: Breakfast

9–1pm: 

  • Workshop on the preliminary format, working title and points of an elevator pitch for your manuscript or manuscript idea. Anytime you pitch to an agent, you need to sum up your book in one sentence. It’s harder than it sounds, and believe it or not it often falls to this precise sentence to make or break an agent’s decision to take you on as a client.
  • Writing exercises. Material assessment. Practice pitch letters. Instruction on how to write a perfect pitch letter. Hands-on instruction on how to find a literary agent for your material. 
  • Treatment of sample pages. How to treat and format your sample material for submission to a literary agent or publisher. How to avoid rookie mistakes and assure your pitch gets to the hands of your targeted agent.

1pm: Lunch

After lunch, take the rest of the afternoon to write, hike, read, relax, meditate or go to any of surrounding charming villages around Blue Ridge to sight see and shop for antiques.

5:30pm: Appetizers and happy hour

6:30pm: Dinner

After dinner, feel free to sit by the fire, watch a movie with the group, play board games and further discuss your manuscript goals with your new-found creative support group.

Last Day Itinerary:

7am: Coffee is served! Along with bites from the local bakery.

8–9am: Breakfast

10am: Check out.

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About the host:

Jay Leno, Hollis Gillespie Hollis Gillespie is an award-winning humor and travel columnist, and her column appears every month on Atlanta magazine’s back page. She is also a best-selling author, NPR commentator, professional speaker, and guest on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno (“A very funny lady,” says Leno.) Her work has been optioned by Sony Pictures and Paramount, and she has collaborated with Hollywood hard hitters like Mitch Hurwitz, the creator of Arrested Development, Eric and Kim Tannenbaum, producers of Two and a Half Men, Amy Palladino, creator of Gilmore Girls, Bill Haber (Rizzoli and Isles) and Sheri Elwood (Call Me Fitz). (George Clooney has also kissed her twice. Twice!) Hollis herself has been featured on scores of TV shows and news programs and runs Shocking Real Life Learning Center, the largest writing school in Atlanta, which offers workshops on book writing, blogging and social media. Her first novel, titled The Unaccompanied Minor, was released to much acclaim in 2014. Her second novel, We Will be Crashing Shortly, is due out in 2015. These days she gets most of her exercise running to catch flights.
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Shocking Real Life success stories:

Christal’s book is now available

 

Christal Presley, author of 30 Days with my Father, became a best-seller after taking this workshop. She’s been featured on NPR, Atlanta Journal Constitution and others news outlets. Click here to see her on Fox News.

“[Hollis Gillespie’s] writing class is where my life was TOTALLY and COMPLETELY changed forever!”
Christal Presley

 

Lisa Baron’s book is now available

Lisa Baron, author of Life of the Party; a Political Press Tart Tells All, became an Amazon best-seller after taking this class. Recently she sold her film rights to NBC! Click here to see her feature in Atlantamagazine.

“I had two things working for me that I believe made the difference: determination and Hollis Gillespie’s kick-ass work shop! The workshop gave me the confidence I needed to continue following my dream of becoming a published author. She was key to helping me fine tune my proposal and her personal involvement in my journey has been invaluable.” Lisa Baron

 

Rachael Brownell on the Today Show

Rachael Brownell, author of Mommy Doesn’t Drink Here Anymore, became a best-selling author after taking this class. She has been featured on the Today Show, Good Morning America and NPR

“I wanted to THANK YOU, Hollis, for your workshop. It played a crucial role in being able to complete and submit a successful book proposal.”
Rachael Brownell

This is a retreat for people serious about publishing a book (which is not to say you have to take yourself too seriously) — that said, (seriously) we are not in the business of hyping pipe dreams. The last thing we want to put you through is a litany of anemic sessions in which people sit around and bloviate about the difficulties of getting a book deal. The Shocking Real-Life Writer Retreats are active workshops devoted to your book, your idea for your book, formatting your book, writing your book, getting an agent for your book, selling your book to a publisher. If you have an idea for a book — and especially if you have been sitting on your idea for a book — you owe it to yourself to enroll in a Shocking Real life writers retreat.

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