Writers Retreat

The 2015 RMFW Writers Retreat

March 11-15, 2015
YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park, Colorado

As of February 23, we have only two (2) days-only spots left. All rooms in the retreat cabin are full. Also, if you are attending the retreat and wish to submit pages for agent Shannon Hassan's critique workshop, you must submit your pages to Angie by Saturday, February 28. Questions? Please email retreat@rmfw.org.

RMFW is thrilled to announce our third annual writers retreat! Our 2015 location, one of the brand-new eight-bedroom retreat cabins at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado, is nestled in the heart of some of the world's most majestic mountains. You're sure to find inspiration in the natural beauty that will surround you. Come write with us!

How many people can come?

We will max out at 16 registrants, or we will close registration when all the bedrooms have been booked, whichever happens first. It depends on how many registrants want to stay in their own room or share a room with one or two other people. We will be staying in one of the YMCA's gorgeous, brand-new eight-bedroom retreat cabins! They are stunning, just like the the natural beauty that surrounds them. The cabin has seven bedrooms that each have two queen beds and a private bathroom; in addition, the cabin has one bedroom with three twin beds and a private bathroom. The cabin has a full kitchen for those who want to prepare their own meals, and the YMCA has a cafeteria, restaurant, and small general store for those who don't. I anticipate we'll have at least a couple group meals in the cabin, depending on how many people want to pitch in!

Can I come to the retreat during the day, but make my own lodging arrangements separate from the retreat cabin?

Yes! The cost for the "days-only" option is a flat fee of $85. This covers all days of the retreat; no prorated option is available for people who want to attend fewer than all days of the retreat.

Special Guests

The following guests will be attending the 2015 retreat to present workshops:

  • Shannon Hassan, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
  • Anita Mumm, Mumm's the Word Editorial Services
  • Marco DiFierreira, master yoga instructor


Wednesday, March 11
3:00 pm - Check-In, dinner on your own, writing time
8:00 pm - Fireside Chat: Meet and Greet

Thursday, March 12
9:00 am-12:00 pm - First-Pages & Query Letter Workshop with Shannon Hassan*
12:00 pm-8:00 pm -  Meals on your own, quiet writing time
8:00 pm - Fireside Chat: Nikki Baird (RMFW's anthology editor and editor at Electric Spec) will give us an insider's perspective of the slush pile.

Friday, March 13
Morning through 4:00 pm - Meals on your own, quiet writing time
4:00 pm-6:00 pm - World-Building workshop with editor Anita Mumm of Mumm's the Word Editorial Services
6:00 pm-8:00 pm - Group dinner in the retreat cabin (Pasta Night!), included in the cost of your registration.
8:00 pm - Fireside Open-Mic Reading

Saturday, March 14
9:00 am-10:00 am - Yoga for Writers with Marco DiFerreira (optional)
10:00 am-8:00 pm - Dinner on your own, quiet writing time
8:00 pm - Fireside Chat: “Closing Ceremonies”

Sunday, March 15
9:00 am - Clean out the kitchen!
10:00 am - Check-Out

Will there still be a retreat in September, after the Colorado Gold Conference?

Sadly, no. Moving forward, the retreat will likely be every late winter or early spring, opposite the conference.

What's new for the March 2015 retreat?

  • A new location!
  • More programming! At least two agent/editor workshops, plus additional classes and critique workshop opportunities.

How much does it cost to attend the retreat?

RMFW does not aim to make money on the retreat; we aim to break even. We divide the total costs (location rental plus speaker fees) by the target number of attendees to give you the most affordable experience possible. The costs to attend the 2015 retreat are:

  • $607  |  Four nights in a double-queen room with a private bathroom ($151.75 per night).
  • $346  |  "Bring a Buddy" rate. Four nights sharing a double-queen room and private bathroom ($115.33 per night, per person).
  • $259  |  "Bring Two Buddies" rate (per person). Four nights sharing a three-twin-bed room and private bathroom ($86.33 per night, per person). Note. The retreat cabin only has one of these rooms, so the "bring two buddies rate" is limited to the first group of three to register for it.
  • $85  |  "Days Only" rate for writers who want to make their own lodging arrangements or drive home at night. This covers all days of the retreat; no prorated option is available for people who want to attend fewer than all days of the retreat.

What's included in the cost of registration?

  • Four nights' lodging in one of the YMCA of the Rockies' new eight-bedroom retreat cabins, complete with kitchen, fireplace, and large common area.
  • Access to the YMCA's vast grounds and all their guest amenities, including restaurants, shops, and (depending on the weather) indoor swimming, outdoor ice skating, snowshoeing, mountain biking, fishing, rock climbing, and more.
  • Minutes-away access to the town of Estes Park, the historic Stanley Hotel, and the majestic Rocky Mountain National Park.
  • Extensive library of writing books and resources in the common area.
  • Optional workshop with Shannon Hassan of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
  • Optional workshop with Anita Mumm of Mumm's the Word Editorial Services (formerly of Nelson Literary Agency)
  • Optional Yoga for Writers session with master yoga instructor Marco DiFerreira
  • Fireside chats about writing and the publishing industry with your hostess and fellow retreaters.
  • After-dinner open-mic readings.
  • The opportunity to meet and spend time with with other writers.
  • The opportunity to relax and draw inspiration from the gorgeous mountain-town setting of the Rocky Mountains and Estes Park, Colorado.
  • The opportunity to spend four days (Wednesday afternoon through Sunday morning) focusing solely on just being a writer.

Quiet Writing Time

We will ask kindly that all attendees be courteous and remember that there is no talking in the common room during quiet writing time. Exceptions to quiet time will be during group meal times and the agent/editor workshops and other classes.

What To Bring

  • Layers. Colorado weather in the spring can be 80 degrees and sunny, or it can be snowy and cold, so plan to layer your clothing accordingly.
  • Walking shoes or hiking boots. Whatever the weather, you’ll want to be prepared to take breaks from your writing to walk through downtown Estes Park or join others for an impromptu hike on the nearby trails.
  • Yoga clothes and mat (or comfy clothes and a blanket) for the optional Yoga for Writers session with Marco DiFerreira.
  • Laptop, notebook, pens, pencils, story bibles, storyboards, sticky notes, index cards...whatever you need to make progress on your current work.
  • Headphones.
  • A cushion or lumbar-support device, if you have a hard time sitting for a long time.
  • Power cord, extension cord, and/or power strip.
  • Dictionary, thesaurus, etc. RMFW will make a small library of writing resources available for your reference.

Please email your questions to Retreat Chair Angie Hodapp at retreat@rmfw.org. We look forward to hosting you in Estes Park in 2015!