Writing Retreat 2022: Virtual Writing Staycation

Join us this July for a virtual writing retreat! Enjoy a staycation to focus on your writing and learn from our hosts, Leigh Hull and Ley Esses.

We are holding our first ever digital writing retreat July 12 – 16, 2022. It’ll be five days of learning high-impact, effective strategies to compose great stories, with plenty of time to simply write! Writing Roots hosts Ley Esses and Leigh Hull will be giving in-depth looks into the fundamentals of creating a great story.

Each day includes opportunities to ask questions, apply the techniques you’ve learned in a collaborative storytelling environment, and of course, writing blitzes to double-down and continue your work in progress.

We’ve attended retreats before. We’ve attended conferences. The biggest grievances we’ve had is the cost and lack of time to actually write. Therefore, this event is not only spaced out with plenty of time to work on your story and ask your questions, but it’s entirely free! This event has been designed around getting writing done.

Morning Writing Blitzes

Join us every morning at 10 a.m. PDT for an organized blitz on our Discord server. If you’re in the Redding, CA area, join us in-person! Just contact the hosts on Discord for directions

Afternoon Lessons with Ley and Leigh

Starting at 1 p.m. PDT, hosts Leigh and Ley will begin streaming lessons. Each one will last approximately 45 minutes, with two lessons daily. These will be interactive sessions, so feel free to ask as many questions as you’d like. Afterwards, we’ll post the videos of each session on our website. You can join the Facebook events below, where we’ll post the necessary links to join. We are also hosting a Q&A session Saturday so you can ask any question you need to help develop and write your book.

Tuesday’s Lessons

Wednesday’s Lessons

Thursday’s Lessons

Friday’s Lessons

Evening Gaming Sessions

Join us every evening at 6 p.m. for an interactive storytelling experience using the world of Dungeons & Dragons! You can bring a character if you have one, or join us the first night to build one. We’ll be using D&D 5e, starting characters at level five. Then each night after, we will spend a few hours exploring worlds and enjoying collaborative gaming!

Before the Writing Retreat

Get July 12 – 16 off from work.

Even though this is a digital retreat, the events will be taking place during the day. We want this to be a staycation retreat where you take time to yourself to focus on accomplishing and empowering your dreams as a writer. Find a quiet place to focus, let your family and friends know you’ll be busy, and make this a retreat you can be proud of!

Join our Discord server!

The community is already growing at a rapid pace. We want to use the server as a place to discuss our works in progress, give help and encouragement, and make it a friendly writing community. It will also be the location of many of our retreat events. We’ll hold blitzes in the #writing-blitz channel with the help of Sprinto bot, stream our afternoon lesson sessions, and discuss any questions or problems you have regarding your own stories.

Write down your questions.

If there’s something you’re struggling with, or a hyperspecific question that our hosts can’t cover in an episode, now is your opportunity to ask. Write them down and bring them to us during the retreat or any time on Discord.

Join Roll20 and join the Writing Retreat Game!

This is where we will host our evening game sessions. Familiarize yourself with the layout and character sheets. If you need help, find a D&D nerd or ask us on Discord. We’ll gladly help you access resources. You can also find Critical Roll on YouTube to get an idea of how the game is played. Our setting will be homebrewed, but we’ll be using 5e (the Fifth Edition of D&D) to build characters. If you’re new to tabletop gaming, don’t be scared away! It’s supposed to be a collaborative effort, so we’ll be there to help everyone.

Bring your work in progress.

If all you have is an empty notebook and a fraction of an idea, that’s enough! If you’re working on the fifth draft of a decade-long project, bring it! The whole point of this retreat is to write, no matter where you are in your journey.

Peruse the reading list.

If you’re really enthusiastic about this, Leigh and Ley will be referencing several books to illustrate their topics. The following books are a few of those. Reading these is not a requirement, but it may help avoid spoilers if any of these are on your TBR pile.

  • Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
  • The Martian by Andy Weir
  • He Who Fights With Monsters by Shirtaloon
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Scwhab
  • The Line Between by Tosca Lee
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Scythe by Neal Shusterman
  • Only A Monster by Vanessa Len
  • Bad Luck & Trouble by Lee Child
  • Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson