The CBB Writers' Retreat

July 12-16, 2024

Picture five days of reading, writing, and recharging... here:

Front Exterior

Front Door

Main Sitting Area

Dining Table

Kitchen

View from the Kitchen

The Two Deck Areas

View from Upper Deck

One of the Queen Bedrooms

Join us in the mountains of Washington State for an amazing long weekend of writing, comradery, and growth!

Only eleven writers can attend—don't wait to register!

Save my spot!

The 2024 Craft Better Books Retreat Includes...

Room, Board, & Transportation to/from SEA-TAC Airport


 Once you arrive, you don’t have to worry about anything but writing. Oh, and choosing which snack you want to eat while you write on one of the decks, taking in that gorgeous mountain view.

Opportunities to Grow Your Craft


Part of being a writer is continuing to learn more about the craft of writing and how to handle the challenges that come your way in the writing journey. To that end, we've booked two amazing virtual speakers, Andrew will lead a workshop, and Katie will run a live edit session! (More details on each of these below!)

Community


Writing can be lonely, but it doesn't have to be. Meet other writers—some for the first time, others for the first time in person—and grow your network/community.

Dedicated Writing Time


Been craving an uninterrupted block of time to work on your book? We've set aside dedicated time each day for you to have just that.

Support For Your Writing Journey


We couldn't leave out coaching time! Each writer will have the opportunity to take part in three 2-hour group coaching sessions led by Katie or Andrew. In these sessions we'll discuss anything about the writing life, brainstorm how to get past particular blocks or places you're stuck, and field any other questions you have!

Opportunities to Fill Your Creative Cup


As creatives ourselves, we understand how crucial it is to recharge. After all, it's hard (impossible!) to be creative when our cups are empty. That's why we'll have a variety of optional activities available. These include solo AND communal options so that extroverts and introverts alike can feel refreshed!

Writing Craft Book & Discussion


A complimentary physical copy of Your First Fifteen Pages by literary agent Sandra O'Donnell, to read in preparation for a discussion led by Katie on those crucial first pages of a novel.

Additional Surprise Goodies...


To learn more about these, you'll just have to come to the retreat! ;)

"The CBB retreat exceeded all expectations I had going in. I haven't been this excited about my story since I wrote the first draft! We started each day with a presentation or workshop, then transitioned into private writing time and/or one-on-one coaching. The evenings felt like hanging out with good college friends, playing board games, eating good food, chatting, and laughing. Am I looking forward to next year? YES!"

— P. E. Robinson, Speculative Fiction Writer —

Retreat Schedule

Click each date to see the schedule for that day; all times are in PDT.

I wanna be there!

Opportunities to Fill Your Creative Cup

A retreat is an amazing opportunities for you to get away from all the day-to-day responsibilities and demands on your time. Our schedule sets aside intentional time to fill your cup—in whatever way that happens best for you. The following mix of activities will be available.

Time in Nature

We selected Cle Elum as our destination because of its location in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. Our venue is on a secluded 5-acre lot surrounded by forest with beautiful views of the mountains!

This can be a communal or solo activity.

Reading

As always, reading is a great way to fill your creative cup! We'll bring a selection of books from our personal library that you're welcome to enjoy during the retreat. And you're encouraged to bring a book or two from your own TBR pile!

This is a solo activity.

Soak in the Hot Tub

That's right, there's a private 6-person hot tub for our use! Take a break from writing to clear your head with the view while letting that hot water melt your tension away.

This can be a communal or solo activity.

Board Games

We'll bring some favorites from our collection of board games! Some are classics (e.g., Scrabble, Rummikub) and some are... less universal (*cough*more nerdy*cough*), such as The Big Book of Madness (pictured) and Call to Adventure.

This is a communal activity.

Role-Playing Game One-Shot

Did you know Andrew is an experienced GM? He'll be prepared to run at least one one-shot campaign of any easy-to-play table top role-playing game (genre TBD).

This is a communal activity, and will be suitable for those experienced with TTRPGs as well as those who are new to the experience.

Opportunities to Grow Your Craft

We are SO excited to bring you amazing craft classes and group coaching opportunities as part of the retreat!
Click on an item below to read its full description.

"Seamlessly Weaving in Backstory"

Tiffany Yates Martin

90-minute virtual presentation, plus about 20 minutes of Q&A.

Your characters don’t just spring to life fully formed at the beginning of your story. Ideally, if you’ve developed them fully, they are “real,” three-dimensional people with complex backstories and experiences that have shaped who they are at your story’s “point A,” and inform the journey they take in your manuscript. Yet how can you fluidly weave all that depth and complexity into your story without stalling pace and story momentum by getting bogged down in info dumps, flashbacks, or just too much exposition? In this workshop, learn practical techniques for developing and revealing who your characters were and are without slowing down the story of where they’re going.


Tiffany Yates Martin has spent nearly thirty years as an editor in the publishing industry, working with major publishers and New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling and award-winning authors as well as indie and newer writers. She is the founder of FoxPrint Editorial and author of Intuitive Editing: A Creative and Practical Guide to Revising Your Writing. She is a regular contributor to writers’ outlets like Writer’s Digest, Jane Friedman, and Writer Unboxed, and a frequent presenter and keynote speaker for writers’ organizations around the country. Under her pen name, Phoebe Fox, she is the author of six novels. Visit her at www.foxprinteditorial.com.

"The Writer in the Arena: How to Stop Playing Small in Your Writing Life"

Jennie Nash

45-minute virtual presentation, plus about 15 minutes of Q&A

In order to write a good book, you need to study structure and scene, character and craft, but none of that will matter if you don't also make a critical mindset shift. You have to move from idea into action, and from action into authority, and the vast majority of writers never do it. They hold back. They hedge their bets. They play small in their writing life. In this presentation, I'll share five ways to step into the bright spotlight and take the stage in your own arena.


Jennie Nash is the founder and CEO of Author Accelerator, a company on a mission to lead the emerging book coaching industry with rigorous training, high standards for certification, and ongoing support for coaches while they build their businesses. Author Accelerator has certified more than 200 book coaches in fiction and nonfiction, and in March 2024, they launched a certification program in memoir. Jennie's own book coaching clients have landed top New York agents and six-figure book deals with traditional publishing houses such as Penguin, Scribner, Simon & Schuster, and Hachette, and won dozens of national indie book awards. Client KJ Dell’Antonia’s novel, The Chicken Sisters, was an instant The New York Times bestseller and Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick. Client Jenn Lim’s business book, Beyond Happiness, was a The Wall Street Journal bestseller. Jennie is the author of 12 books in 3 genres, including Blueprint for a Book: Build Your Novel from the Inside Out. Visit her at authoraccelerator.com and jennienash.com.

Live Edit Session with Katie

This session is intentionally scheduled directly after Tiffany Yates Martin's presentation, "Seamlessly Weaving in Backstory." Katie will guide us as a group in applying Tiffany's backstory techniques to at least one retreat writer's pages.

Workshop with Andrew

A workshop led by Andrew, topic TBD. Once we are closer to the retreat date, Andrew will send out a survey with several topic options for everyone to vote on. Example topics: magic systems; creating fantasy religions; tips and tricks for planning a series.

Writing Craft Book Club Discussion

A complimentary physical copy of Your First Fifteen Pages by literary agent Sandra O'Donnell, sent to you in advance of the retreat. During the retreat, Katie will lead a discussion of the book, answer any questions about the concepts, and also share some examples of first pages for the group to analyze together.

Group Coaching

Each writer will have the opportunity to take part in three 2-hour group coaching sessions led by Katie or Andrew. In these sessions we'll discuss anything about the writing life, brainstorm how to get past particular blocks or places you're stuck, and field any other questions you have!

Frequently Asked Questions

Meet Our Coaches

Well, hello there! We're Andrew and Katie Wall, the husband-and-wife team behind Craft Better Books.

Katie is a writer, book coach, and lover of stories, words, and grammar (yes, really!). She has over a decade of experience working with writers and is certified through the Author Accelerator Book Coaching Program. She is known for her meticulous eye for revision and undying enthusiasm for brilliant plot twists.

Andrew is a book coach and World-Building Consultant. He loves reading, anime, Dungeons and Dragons, and nerding out with writers over their books. If you like piña colada, getting caught in the rain, and developing complex fantasy worlds that transport readers to another dimension, you two are going to get along just fine.

Don't miss out on this year's retreat!

Register now!

If this year's dates don't work for you, sign up here for First Dibs* on a spot at our 2025 retreat!

*Members of our writing community, the Sodality of Storytellers, technically get the very first dibs. However, those who sign up on this First Dibs list are the next folks we open registration to—before the rest of our email list or social media followers.