Carolinas 2023 Fall Retreat

Friday Intensives 9:30 am - 11:30 am

During registration you will have the chance to add on one of the following Friday Morning Intensives. Intensives automatically include lunch on Friday, with the option to add breakfast on Friday. Please arrive by 8 am for breakfast or between 9 am – 9:30 am on Friday, Nov 3rd for the 9:30 am intensive start time.

Alternatively, you’ll have the option to arrive at 6 pm on Thursday, Nov 2nd. This option automatically includes dinner on Thursday, Thursday night accommodations, and breakfast on Friday.

You do not have to select the intensive that matches your Track. Each Intensive is limited to ten participants and designed to give narrowed focus to a particular topic. Please note the prerequisites for each Intensive.


If your preferred intensive is filled and unavailable for selection, you may submit your name to Erica Wood,, to be placed on a wait list.

Career Building Intensive with Alison Weiss

When Your Publishing Career Falls Apart - There are many factors at play in a stalled career: agents drop clients and/or exhibit other red flags, editors leave, publishers close, bad reviews, books under-perform, publishers decline additional projects, pub dates get pushed, books get canceled (sometimes mid-series).  Or maybe you're simply stuck. How do you refresh? Or break out to something new? How do you dig back to find the joy? We will examine all of these and consider ways to pick back up, pivot, and use negative experiences to propel us to what could be the next great thing.

Prerequisite: For early-career attendees seeking traditional publishing.

Creative Writing Intensive with Ann Rose

I’ve completed my manuscript, now what? We’ll examine synopsis, query letter, pitch, The Call

Prerequisite: For novelists with a completed manuscript ready to find an agent. Please bring a draft of your synopsis and query letter. Relevant to GN/MG/YA.

Author-Illustrator Intensive with Jen Keenan

An Introduction to Children's Illustration - We will spend time exploring what an AD looks for in a portfolio, visual character building, illustration style, how to start a PB dummy and what is needed to pitch a dummy to a publisher. Intensive will include a character sketching small-group workshop.

Prerequisite: Come up with a character you would like to visually explore. Bring a sketchbook, chosen art supplies and/or tablet.

For more advanced students: Bring samples from your current dummy or characters-in-progress to continue development based on things we cover in this session.

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