The Official YWW Retreat

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

Meet your friends. Meet your instructors. Get motivated to write more.

You’re Not the Only Serious Young Writer Out There

But when you feel like you are, it’s hard to find the motivation to keep writing.

At the Young Writers Workshop, we’ve connected you with hundreds of similar-minded writers.

But online relationships can only go so far.

How much further could you get if you spent a week with your instructors & writing friends?

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

…And Connect with Other YDubbers

In addition to learning from professional writers, what if, for a full week, you could…

  • Practice your writing through fun competitions with fellow writers?
  • Do writing sprints with each other?
  • Give each other in-person feedback on your writing?
  • Forge stronger relationships with each other?

We want to get you charged up and motivated to take your writing to the next level.

The Schedule

Monday, July 29th

3:00 PM – Registration Opens

4:30 PM – Orientation

5:30 PM – Dinner

7:00 PM – Opening Session

9:00 PM – Activity

10:00 PM – Retreat Closes

Tuesday – Thursday, July 30th – August 1st

9:00 AM – General Session

10:45 AM – Breakout Sessions (Sprinting Session, Critique Session with Bryan Davis, and Parent Session)

12:00 PM – Lunch

1:00 PM – Free Time

2:00 PM – Activity

4:00 PM – General Session

5:30 PM – Dinner

7:00 PM – Activity (Tuesday: Ceili Dance, Wednesday: Cosplay & Story Day, Thursday: Campfire & Games)

10:00 PM – Retreat Closes

Friday, August 2nd

10:00 AM – Wrap-Up Activity

12:00 – Go Home!

How to Register


1. Register for the Conference

UPDATE: Registration closed June 30th

2. Choose a Room

Shared Rooms as Low as $80/person

3. Mark Your Calendar!

We can’t wait to see you there.

Every Writer Needs a Mountaintop Experience

The writing journey can sometimes feel monotonous. 

That’s why having “peak experiences” where you can refuel your writing well are so important.

Next summer, we want to pour into you as writers, rekindle your inspiration, and leave you itching to take your writing craft to the next level.

Whether you’re a hobby or career writer, your words matter.

What could this experience do for your writing life?


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].

Our Retreat Team

David Matsumoto

David Matsumoto

Events Coordinator

Sam Hopper

Sam Hopper

Retreat Manager

Marita Wilson

Marita Wilson

Retreat Emcee