The Official YWW Retreat

July 29 – August 2, 2024 | Lake Junaluska, NC

The Schedule

Monday, July 29th

3:00 PM – Registration Opens | Shackford Auditorium

4:30 PM – Orientation | Shackford Auditorium

5:30 PM – Dinner | York Main Dining Hall

7:00 PM – Opening Session with Brett Harris

9:00 PM – Free Time

10:00 PM – Retreat Closes (attendees return to their rooms)

Tuesday – Thursday, July 30th – August 1st

9:00 AM – General Session | Shackford Auditorium

10:45 AM – Breakout Sessions

  • Sprinting Session | Shackford Auditorium
  • Critique Session with Bryan Davis | Wilson Complex 1
  • Parent Session | Wilson Complex 7

12:00 PM – Lunch | York Main Dining Room

1:00 PM – Free Time

2:00 PM – Activity | Shackford Auditorium

  • Tuesday: General Session
  • Wednesday: Group Brainstorming Exercise
  • Thursday: Book Fair

4:00 PM – General Session | Shackford Auditorium

5:30 PM – Dinner | York Main Dining Room

7:00 PM – Activity | Shackford Auditorium

  • Tuesday: Ceili Dance
  • Wednesday: Cosplay & Story Day
  • Thursday: Game Night

10:00 PM – Retreat Closes

Friday, August 2nd

8:00 AM – Cleanup & Checkout

9:00 AM – Group Photo | Location TBD

9:30 AM – Wrap-Up Activity | Shackford Auditorium

11 AM – Free Time

12:00 – Go Home!


Will Meals Be Provided?

Yes! Lunch & dinner are included in the costs of registration (you will need to bring your own breakfast). Please indicate in the registration form if you have any food allergies or dietary restrictions.

What's the Address of the Retreat Venue?

The venue address is 91 North Lakeshore Drive; Lake Junaluska, NC 28745.

The closest airport is the Asheville Regional Airport, which is about 30 minutes away. The second-closest airport would be the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, which is about 2.5 hours away.

Do My Parents Need to Come?

Any student younger than thirteen must be accompanied by an adult. For students thirteen and older, parents are not required to attend, but we’d welcome them to still come–and we have special sessions for attending parents. We do recommend that all minors have a legal adult staying in the on-site housing options with them.

What Can Parents Do at the Retreat?

We’d love to help you better support your young writer through our general sessions and through special parent sessions. Click here to learn more about our options for parents at the retreat.

Can My Parent or Sibling Attend Without Registering?

Anyone spending time at the retreat center must register and have a ticket.

Can Non-YDubbers Come?

All current students in the Young Writers Workshop are welcome to the retreat. If you’re a former YDubber or the sibling of a YDubber and are younger than 26, you’re also welcome to attend. If you’ve never been in the Workshop, but are the friend of a current student and would like to attend, please fill out this form to get permission prior to signing up.

How Do I Find Roommates?

Gathering roommates is not only an amazing way to trim down the cost of on-site lodging, but it also adds to the experience. To find roommates, we recommend posting in the YWW Retreat Roommate Matchup space on the YWWC. You can also reach out individually to your friends to see if they’d like to share a room.

I Heard That I Can Practice Pitching My Novel at the Retreat?

We do have a limited number of slots for students to practice pitching a novel to Talia Messina at the retreat. Any student who has completed at least the first draft of a 40,000+ novel can claim a spot. Because there are limited slots, attendees are not guaranteed an opportunity to pitch; slots will go on a first-come/first-serve basis.

UPDATE: As of April 1st, all appointments with Talia Messina are full. Please email Josiah DeGraaf ([email protected]) if you’d like to be on a waitlist in case of a cancellation.

Is There a Dress Code?

While we don’t have an official dress code, we do ask that you dress in a God-honoring manner. The general attire will be summer dresses/t-shirts and jeans.

Do You Give Refunds?

If something comes up and you’re not able to attend, you’re eligible for a 50% refund until April 27th. After April 27th, we will no longer be able to issue refunds for conference charges. Please email [email protected] to request a refund.

Who Can I Contact with Additional Questions?

You can email our Retreat Manager, Samantha Hopper, at [email protected].

Learn from Professional Writers

A team of YWW instructors and special guests can’t wait to pour into you over this five-day writing retreat.

Brett Harris

Brett Harris

Co-Founder of YWW

Author of Do Hard Things & Start Here

Kara Swanson

Kara Swanson

YWW Instructor

Author of Dust and co-founder of the Author Conservatory

Bryan Davis

Bryan Davis

Guest Instructor

Author of Dragons in our Midst & The Astral Alliance

Talia Messina

Talia Messina

Guest Instructor

Acquisitions Editor for Tyndale Publishing

Josiah DeGraaf

Josiah DeGraaf

YWW Program Director

Author of Visions of Grandeur (and Other Stories)

Lauren Hildebrand

Lauren Hildebrand

YWW Instructor

Professional editor & author of The Weeping Knight

Candace Kade

Candace Kade

Guest Instructor

Author of Enhanced & Hybrid

Rachel Scheller

Rachel Scheller

YWW Community Manager

Author of Extension Squad

Our Retreat Team

David Matsumoto

David Matsumoto

Events Coordinator

Sam Hopper

Sam Hopper

Retreat Manager

Marita Wilson

Marita Wilson

Retreat Emcee