Free Expressions Seminars and Literary Services

Personal Novel Crafting Retreats

In response to client demand, we’re thrilled to offer our acclaimed personalized workshops, geared toward helping writers shape their novels--from inspiration to completion.

While we won’t plot your book for you, we will guide you through the process of making the best, most dramatic choices for your characters. If you’re stuck, we’ll help you get unstuck. Over the course of an intensive weekend (or any three days of the week), we’ll give you the tools you need to succeed, whether your story is in its infancy or mired in revision limbo.

Whether held in a first class hotel in Tampa or in your own home, our Personal Novel Crafting Retreats will help you create a deep, complex, and potent work of fiction, with psychologically rich characters, compelling settings, a sharp voice, and overall concepts, goals, and stakes meant to heighten your project’s commercial and artistic success.

Each workshop is personalized to suit your needs. The following descriptions are meant to provide a general sense of the work that we’ll do together. In every case, we’ll talk with you ahead of time and read portions of your work (if available) in order to come up with the best plan and tools to fit your specific situation.

WEEKEND SCHEDULE:

Friday:
3:00-4:00 PM: Arrive/settle in
4:00-6:00 PM: Overview/strategy meeting
6:00-8:00 PM: Dinner (included)/Story Development Work
8:00 PM—on: Homework/Unstructured Time

Saturday:
Breakfast on own (generally included at hotel)
9:30 AM-1:00 PM: Story Development Work
1:00 PM-2:00 PM: Lunch (included)
2:00 PM-6:30 PM: Free Time/Writing/Dinner on own
6:30 PM–9:00 PM: Story Development Work
9:00 PM—on: Homework/Unstructured Time

Sunday:
Breakfast on own (generally included at hotel)
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Story Development Work
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Wrap up and assignments/Check out
1:00 PM—on: Lunch on own/leave for home

PERSONAL NOVEL CRAFTING RETREAT PRICING: $1975 for Friday–Sunday schedule, includes retreat, two night’s lodging, dinner Friday, breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday, breakfast on Sunday (generally included with hotel).

ADD A DAY: Option to fly in Thursday or out Monday and make Friday or Sunday a full day: additional $850.00

ADD A FRIEND: $1000 each. No more than three participants, total.

Want a few more hours to enjoy the area, relax in the hotel, or, best of all, WRITE? Just let us know, and we’ll adjust the schedule accordingly.

AT-HOME NOVEL CRAFTING WEEKEND

Want the same intensive story development workshop without the travel?  With sufficient advance notice, Lorin and/or Brenda will come to you.

Best of all, we’ll take care of our own travel and all lodging arrangements. You just need to organize your materials, clear your calendar, and prepare for a productive weekend.

AT-HOME STORY DEVELOPMENT WEEKEND PRICING: $2500 includes travel, meals, and lodging for Friday-Sunday.

ADD A DAY: Option to make Friday or Sunday a full day: additional $850.00

ADD A FRIEND: $1000 each. No more than three participants, total.

As always, we’re adaptable to your needs. Call or write, and we’ll come up with a comprehensive, personalized plan for you.

TESTIMONIALS FOR THE NOVEL CRAFTING RETREATS

Lorin is absolutely brilliant!

I would not have thought it possible over the course of a couple days for anyone to come in and help me corral the misshapen mess I had gotten myself into with my novel in progress. But Lorin not only helped me do just that, she also got me excited and pumped up about it, too.

We got so much done on character development, strengthening themes and subplots, as well as the main plot, developing pay-offs and much more. I walked away from that weekend positively stoked, armed with refreshed ideas, a to do list of scenes and edits, and a time frame in which to accomplish certain things.

You’ll find her an enthusiastic partner and true believer in your project, willing and able to offer loads of fresh ideas, insights, and encouragement along the way.”

-- Sammi Soutar

I’ll skip to the bottom line first: Lorin ‘s story development weekend proved to be THE BEST thing I’ve ever done for my writing.“

Talk about a champion! Lorin met me “brimming with ideas” on that first day. But not ideas that would reflect what Lorin would do if this were HER novel. No, these were carefully thought out suggestions to honor the story I am trying to tell.

Over the course of the weekend (She did give me some time to sleep!), Lorin and I actually plotted out a new approach to the front story. I came away with a new plan and new energy to put my butt in the chair and tell the story I feel chosen to tell. The truth is I could have languished in my own abilities, as I’ve done in the past. But the stakes are too high now to continue that way.

I have a second bottom line: Lorin has a client for life.”

-- Brenda McClain

When I signed up to have a One-on-One weekend with Lorin, I had no idea that what she offered was so much more than manuscript revision.  She knew my story, my characters, and the heart of my story with such  clarity and depth that as we uncovered what was lacking I trusted her guidance.  And isn't that what we, as writers seek?

With Lorin's intellect, love of story, and professional integrity, run don't walk to sign up.  What she willteach you will go with you beyond your current manuscript; you will become a better writer, no doubt about it!”

-- Jo Cooper