June 7 – June 12, 2020

Advanced Fiction Writing


June 7 – June 12, 2020
with Ginny Yttrup & Kathi Lipp

Prices vary depending on accommodations. Click register below for room type and pricing. Scroll down for the full schedule of this retreat.

Your Writers in Residence

Ginny L. Yttrup

Ginny L. Yttrup

Author and Writing Coach

Ginny is the author of seven novels, including her Christy Award winning novel, Words, which is loosely based on her own childhood experiences. After writing Words, Ginny created the Fictionalize program for writers interested in writing portions of their own story as fiction.

As a writing coach at Words For Writers, she is passionate about helping both fiction and nonfiction writers discover and put words to the messages their lives have written. She enjoys teaching at writers conferences and speaking at women’s events and retreats.

Kathi Lipp

Kathi Lipp

Author, Speaker, Podcaster

Kathi is the author of 17 books including best selling The Husband Project and the life changing Clutter Free. She has been named Best of Broadcast three separate times at Focus on the Family.

Kathi will share from her deep knowledge of working with agents and editors to help you position your personal story to connect with audiences.


Sunday, June 7

4:00-5:00 pm Arrival & Check-in / Meet & Greet

5:00pm-6:30pm Workshop 1: The Elements of Great Fiction –Ginny

An overview of the elements that take a novel from good to great, including an exploration of a few recent best-sellers. This session will introduce the elements we’ll explore in more depth during the week: hooks, plots and themes, characters, craft, and publishing.

6:30-7:30pm Dinner Buffet

7:30pm Fire Conversations

Come sit by the fire and get to know your instructors and fellow retreat participants.

8:30 pm Program over for the evening.

Red House experience has taught us that everyone is exhausted the first two nights (travel and elevation have a lot to do with it). So, fall asleep under the stars and wake up under the trees, ready for an amazing next day.

Monday, June 8

7-8 am Breakfast

We will have one featured dish at each breakfast, or you can choose from fresh fruit, Greek Yogurt, and other delicious breakfast foods. 

8 am Devotion and prayer

On Sunday night, we ask for volunteers for each morning’s devotion. WE would love to hear from you.

8:30-12 pm Writing and Assignments 

12-1 pm Lunch

Lunch everyday will be a soup and salad bar with loads of choices!

1-2 pm  Workshop 2: Creating Art: Themes, Metaphors, and Imagery –Ginny 

Artistic elements in fiction aren’t reserved for literary fiction. You can create an artful novel when you understand and create a support system for your story by weaving in a theme and using metaphors and imagery that both show and support your theme. Creating these elements, whatever your genre, will ensure you’ve created a novel that will leave a lasting impression on your reader.

2-4 pm  Fearless Feedback

4-5 pm Workshop 3: Build a Platform Publishers will Love in 30 Minutes a Day –Kathi 

If you want to get past the slush pile of any publisher, the sure-fire way to do that is to have a platform that acquisition editors can’t ignore.

Kathi will share her daily routine to not just creating, but growing a platform that is so winsome publishers will take a second look at your proposal. In this workshop, you will leave with a step-by-step daily plan to build your platform in three key areas:

  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Social Media   

Learn how to create great content that your audience will love, as well as the strategy to sharing it well. In addition to this plan, you will learn the social media platforms that are best for you to shine in, and the ones you can ignore, guilt-free.

A great platform isn’t built by accident, and it’s not built overnight, but it is possible with focus, consistency, and love for your audience.

5-6 pm Break

6-7 pm Dinner

7-8:30 pm Ice Cream Sundaes and Fireside Chat

Tuesday, June 9

7-8 am Breakfast

8 am Devotion and prayer

8:30-12 pm Writing and Assignments

12-1 pm Lunch

1-2 pm  Workshop 4: How to Hook ‘Em –Ginny 

Regardless of the genre you’re writing, the hook you craft is one of the most important elements of your novel. A strong hook will pique a reader’s interest from the cover copy, through the opening chapters, and onward. We’ll look at intriguing hooks, how to create them, how to use them, and how to set the hook to keep the reader turning pages.

2-4 pm  Fearless Feedback

4 – 6:30 pm Wine Tasting at Too Good Winery

6:30-7:30 pm Dinner

7:30-9 pm Popcorn and Movies

Wednesday, June 10

7-8 am Breakfast

8 am Devotion and prayer

8:30-12 pm Writing and Assignments

12-1 pm Lunch

1-2 pm  Workshop 5: The Plot Thickens –Ginny 

The plot, structure, theme, arc, and pacing of your story all work together to create a solid and engaging novel. As the author, building this framework may seem like the hard work of writing, but instead, it is often at this point that your creativity will soar. We’ll consider plot devices and compelling arcs, and how they support your story.

2-4 pm  Fearless Feedback

4–5 pm  Workshop 6: Build A Platform Publishers will Love in 30 Minutes a Day Part 2 –Kathi

5-5:30 pm Break

5:30-7:30 Dinner at Gold Vine Bistro in Somerset, CA

7:30-9 pm Code Words Tournament

Thursday, June 11

7-8 am Breakfast

8 am Devotion and prayer

8:30-12 pm Writing and Assignments

12-1 pm Lunch

1-2 pm  Workshop 7: Character is Everything –Ginny 

Mention Scout, Atticus, Scarlett, or even Katniss and most readers will know exactly who you’re speaking of and they’ll have an impression of the character that’s remained with them long after reading the stories those characters brought to life. How do you develop memorable and relatable characters? We’ll look at methods to create characters who are not only memorable, but who become almost real. We’ll also consider how our characters relate to one another in authentic ways.

2-4 pm  Fearless Feedback

4–5 pm  Workshop 8: How to Launch a Book Without Losing Your Soul –Kathi

The idea of selling a book can make some creatives cringe. But htere is a way to sell your book and serve your audience at the same time. Kathi will share her secrets to selling books without feeling smarmy so that you can enjoy a win (for yourself) win (for your reader) win (for your publisher).

5-6 pm Break

6-7 pm Raclette Dinner

Raclette is a dish commonly found in parts of Switzerland, featuring raclette cheese, potatoes, meats, pickled onions, and pickles. This communal meal is one we share at every Red House Retreat.

7-8:30 pm  S’mores and Sing Along

Friday, June 12

7-8 am Breakfast

8-8:30 Devotions and Schedule

8:30-9 am Pack Up

9-10 am  Workshop 9: Every Word Matters –Ginny 

Writing a novel without honing your craft is like building an airplane without wings. During this session, Ginny will cover some of the most common craft issues she encounters as a writing coach. She’ll also offer a checklist of self-editing prompts to help you make certain your manuscript is ready for review by agents, editors, or if you’re self-publishing, ready for your readers.

10-10:30 am What’s Your Go Home Plan? –Ginny and Kathi

10:30 am Goodbyes/Group Picture

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