Currently sold out, but slots may open. Ask to be put on waiting list!

Designed exclusively for graduates of the Breakout Novel Intensive workshop, the Graduate Learning Retreat provides a week to push deep into the heart of your writing. 

Make substantial leaps in both your understanding of craft and the development of your work-in-progress! 

What are you waiting for? 

Sign-up today and don't miss out on this amazing opportunity!

Double Tree Suites in Tampa, Florida 

Double Tree Suites in Tampa, Florida 


"Some of my favorite times at BONI workshops are the serendipitous ones, at meals or over a beer. 
I learn a lot then about individual writers' journeys.  I've often wished this could be built in to the busy BONI week, but until now I haven't known how.

It's with some pleasure, then, that the staff and I can offer BONI graduates a more informal and yet even MORE intensive experience, a retreat at which we can write, talk, critique and work on issues specific to individual student's manuscripts.

So, come hang with us as we focus on your manuscript and drill down on the lessons we've all learned at BONI.
See you there!"

-- Don Maass


Strictly limited to no more than eighteen students, the BONI GRADUATE LEARNING RETREAT offers:

  • Private room and bath in an inviting environment, offering beautiful natural surroundings.

  • Three meals a day, plus wine, snacks, etc.

  • Two twenty-minute one-on-ones during the week with Donald and all staff members* to ensure writer’s progress and to assign individual challenges to help each writer succeed in moving ahead in his/her work.

  • POST-WORKSHOP follow-ups with Don (query), Lorin and Brenda (first five pages).

  • Midweek "query clinics," led by staff, to help you get a handle on your query/pitch and to bring the true heart and soul of your novel to the surface in the most powerful way.

  • Critique sessions, with rotating staff members, in which students will workshop a total of four scenes.

  • An advanced morning course that will deepen your novel’s emotional content as well as build on, and provide a richer understanding of, BONI principles via lively discussion, writing prompts, and the study of (contemporary) novels.

  • Several hours of writing time each day, plus work on specialized assignments from each staff member, geared specifically toward your work.




8:00 AM – 9:00 AM: Breakfast

10 AM – 12:30 PM: Advanced class with Don, staff, and guest authors.

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM: Lunch

2:00 PM – 6:00 PM: One-on-ones/writing time (Thursday: Query Clinic)

6:00 PM – 7:15 PM: Dinner

7:15 PM – 9:30 PM: Staff-moderated critique groups

* For the one-on-one sessions, students will be invited to submit selections from any part of their novels, rather than be limited to first pages, which may have already been thoroughly critiqued.



  • A non-refundable deposit of $500 USD is needed immediately to hold your place as spots are extremely limited!
  • A second payment will be due by June 3rd with the balance due in full by August 10, 2016. See below for payment options.
  • Any cancellation received prior to September 10, 2016 will result in a fee of $150, which covers merchant account and other costs.

    ** Please note, any cancellation made within a month of the workshop is non-refundable, though we will try, if possible, to apply a portion up to 50% to a future workshop. Unfortunately, we can't guarantee being able to do so, as it's dependent upon our host venue.