Annual writers’ retreat set for Blue Lake

Published 1:11 am Tuesday, March 5, 2019

For writers looking for motivation and encouragement, the annual Blue Lake Christian Writers Retreat is right around the corner.

Director Marilyn Turk said that though the name says the retreat is for Christian writers, any writer is welcome.

“The name is just letting the writers know that we are going to be addressing our writing as a calling,” Turk said. “We do have general sessions each evening and morning and during those general sessions we will have 15 to 20 minutes of praise and worship. We want to get that out there so people aren’t caught off guard. I had an author tell me one time, ‘Good writing, is good writing,’ so whether you’re writing for the Christian market or not, we are just looking for clean writers. Clean meaning no foul language, erotica or things like that.”

Turk said that every single writer, no matter the experience level, needs motivation.

“Writers always need to be in a learning mode,” Turk said. “We always need to be learning, developing and improving. That is what this retreat does.”

The retreat is only called a retreat because of the location and the size, Turk said.

“This is more of a writers’ conference,” Turk said. “It is the same type of teaching that you would get from going to a larger writers’ conference, just on a smaller scale.”

Turk said that the diversity of the writing skills makes the retreat enjoyable.

“There was a lady that came who was a New York Times best selling author, who had already written 70 novels,” Turk said. “She writes all of the time, so she came for more of a retreat and for the motivation and encouragement. So, you have the beginner writer who needs a little direction and then you have the experienced writers who need to know how they can do it a little better and be encouraged to keep doing it.”

She said that the camaraderie and networking of the event make it important for aspiring writers.

“The camaraderie, or the Christian word for that is fellowship, and the business word for that is networking, is a huge part of this retreat,” Turk said. “I started going to these types of conferences probably in 2004, and these are very important because writing can be so solitary experience. When you go to something like this, you find out that there are a lot of other weird people out there just like you. You find out that you think alike, that you have a lot of the same things in common and you meet people that have a connection with you that only writers understand.”

So far, 85 people have signed up for the retreat, with registration still on going.

Turk said that they are a little ahead of last year’s registration numbers, but she hopes to get people from outside of the area.

“A lot of the people that came last year are coming this year as well,” Turk said. “Hopefully we will get some new people though. We still have room.”

New things added to this year’s workshop are a preconference proposal workshop, where Kim Vogel Sawyer and Connie Stevens take the attendant step by step through all the parts of a book proposal. Steve Duke will take professional headshots for attendees. The cost for a headshot is $20.

The retreat will be held from March 27-30.

The last day to register for a cabin is March 12. Registration fees range from $90 for one-day “commuter” attendees to $495 for registration, a single room and meals. More details are available at