Nebraska-Based Series of Novel-Writing Retreats

Fremont, Neb.–Nebraska children’s author N. L. Sharp is hosting a series of writing retreats entitled “Novel Secrets: A Novel Retreat in 3 Acts” at the St. Benedict Retreat Center in Schuyler, Nebraska.

Unique in the world of writing retreats, the intent of this series of three retreats it to help writers move from the first inklings of an idea toward a publishable novel in twelve intensive months.

Presenters for the series of retreats are published authors Elaine Marie Alphin and Darcy Pattison, Simon & Schuster editor Alexandra Penfold, and Writers House literary agent Rebecca Sherman. The retreats are designed for maximum participation and advance preparation for each retreat is required. Brief lectures are followed by time to work on individual projects, then reinforced by group discussions.

The first retreat, scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 25 to Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007, will be led by Elaine Marie Alphin and will focus on brainstorming techniques to get the writer started with the plotting, character development, and pacing of the novel.

The second retreat, scheduled for Friday, April 4 to Sunday, April 6, 2008, will be led by Darcy Pattison. The goal of this retreat is that every writer leave with strategies and tools for revising and strengthening the novel.

The final retreat is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 24 to Sunday, Oct. 26, 2008, and will be led by Alexandra Penfold, an editor at Simon & Schuster, and Rebecca Sherman, a senior agent at Writers House Literary Agency.

The focus for this retreat will be marketing strategies and submission secrets, and each participant will have a one-on-one critique session with either the editor or the agent. Time will also be spent discussing the process of letting go of this novel and starting again with a new project.

Complete descriptions of all retreats can be found at, along with registration details. For additional information or questions, contact Nancy Sharp Wagner.