Writers Retreat

The 2017 RMFW Writers Retreat

April 6-9, 2017
Franciscan Retreat Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado



RMFW is thrilled to announce our fifth annual writers retreat! Our 2017 location, the Franciscan Retreat Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is a peaceful, breathtaking setting in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies. You're sure to find inspiration in the natural beauty that will surround you. Come write with us!

 Special Guests



Susan Spann is the 2015 Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Writer of the Year and author of the Hiro Hattori novels, featuring ninja detective Hiro Hattori and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo. Her debut, CLAWS OF THE CAT (Minotaur, 2013), was a Library Journal Mystery Debut of the Month and a Silver Falchion finalist for Best First Novel. Her fourth mystery, THE NINJA’S DAUGHTER, releases from Seventh Street Books in August 2016. Susan is also a publishing attorney; she founded and curates the #PubLaw Twitter hashtag, where she provides authors with publishing-related legal and business information. www.SusanSpann.com.


Anita Mumm
Anita Mumm is a freelance novel editor based in Denver. Before starting Mumm’s the Word Editing & Critique Services, she worked in submissions and foreign rights at Nelson Literary Agency. Her editing clients include traditionally published and indie authors at all levels of experience, from international bestsellers to first time novelists. In addition to her editing projects, she frequently teaches classes and workshops about writing and publishing, both online and in person. For more information about Anita and her work, visit www.anitamumm.com.


Since Suzie2009, Susan Brooks has served on RMFW's board as hospitality chair, conference chair, contest co-chair, and retreat chair. She holds a master's degree in publishing from George Washington University and has several years' editorial experience. She has worked as a developmental editor, managing editor, and project manager, and currently serves as Editor in Chief at Literary Wanderlust, a small traditional press located in Denver. Susan's main focus is women's fiction, romance, erotica, historical fiction, and interesting non-fiction projects. You can follow her as @oosuzieq on Twitter and read her weekly blog The Writer's Bag of Tricks.




Thursday, April 6

1:00 PM - Check-In | Francis Place

6:00 PM - Dinner | Guest Dining Room

7:00 PM - Meet and Greet | Bonzal Room

Friday, April 7

8:00 AM - Breakfast | Guest Dining Room

9:00 AM - How Social is Your Media? | Susan Spann | Mt Cedar | Savvy authors need to maximize social media time and exposure (while minimizing wasted efforts) and to identify which sites and techniques are most likely to help a writing career. Come explore advanced social media techniques, hone your skills, and learn to maximize benefits without getting lost in the social media

10:00 AM - Round Table Critiques | Mt Cedar |with Susan Spann, Anita Mumm, and Susan Brooks | Writing Time

12:00 Noon - Lunch | Guest Dining Room

1:00 PM - First Pages | Anita Mumm | Mt Cedar | You pages need punch to catch the readers' eye. Anita focuses on polishing the beginning of our novel to make your readers turn the page.

6:00 PM - Dinner | Guest Dining Room

7:00 PM - Author Readings | Bonzal Room

Saturday, April 8

8:00 AM - Breakfast | Guest Dining Room

9:00 AM - From Coal to Diamonds: Editing Your Manuscript From Initial Draft to Final Polish | Susan Spann | Mt Cedar | Knowing what to focus on in each draft of a manuscript makes the editing process simpler and also improves your writing skills. Whether you’re a published pro or working on your first manuscript, this unique approach to editing will make you more confident, skilled, and efficient at editing your work from start to finish.

10:00 AM - Writing Time

12:00 Noon - Lunch | Guest Dining Room

1:00 PM - Blue Pencil Cafe | Mt Cedar | with Susan Spann, Anita Mumm, and Susan Brooks | Writing Time

6:00 PM - Dinner | Guest Dining Room

7:00 PM - Author Readings | Bonzal Room

Sunday, April 9

8:00 AM - Breakfast | Guest Dining Room

9:00 AM - Managing the Legal Side of a Writing Career | Susan Spann | Mt Cedar |From contracts to copyrights, taxes, and even business plans, this session will help you treat your writing as a business and learn how to protect your work and your legal rights. As an added bonus, Susan Spann will answer attendees’ individual legal questions during this session (and outside it, as time permits).

10:00 AM - Writing Time / Check Out

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 2016 retreat are:

  • $389  |  Single attendee rate. Three nights with a room to yourself, plus meals.
  • $299  |  "Bring a Buddy" rate. Three nights sharing a room with two twin beds, plus meals. *contact retreat@rmfw.org if you do not have a buddy and would like to be assigned a buddy. There is no guarantee someone will be available. If no buddy is available you will be charged the single attendee rate. 
  • $60 |  "Days Only" rate for writers who want to make their own lodging arrangements or drive home at night. This covers one day of the retreat plus meals for that day. You may select one or more days.

What's included in the cost of registration?

  • Three nights' lodging in one of the Franciscan Retreat Center's comfortable rooms. Additional nights are available if you would like to extend your stay. Contact the FRC to check availability.
  • All meals (Thursday dinner through Sunday breakfast).
  • Access to  FRC's vast grounds and all their guest amenities, including massage therapy, native trails, a labyrinth and peace park.
  • Minutes-away access to Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods, Cave of the Winds, Cripple Creek, Glen Eyrie Castle, The Olympic Complex, and Pikes Peak Cog Railway.
  • After-dinner author readings.
  • The opportunity to meet and spend time with other writers.
  • The opportunity to relax and draw inspiration from the gorgeous mountain views and relaxed setting.
  • The opportunity to spend time focusing solely on being a writer.

Writing Time

We ask kindly that all attendees be courteous and refrain from talking in the common room during quiet writing time.

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 around the retreat center or join others for an impromptu hike on the nearby trails.
  • 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.
  • Snacks.
  • Water bottle and coffee cup (FRC has cups, however they are small).
  • Wine if you are inclined.

How many people can come?

We will max out at 30 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 other person. We will be staying in Marion Hall, which has two floors of rooms. Bathrooms may be shared. Please note that the retreat center sits among an active convent. The rooms are simple yet comfortable. There is no television, but WiFi is available free of charge.

The retreat center has a guest dining room with a wide choice of meals to choose from, including gluten free and vegetarian meals. Meals are included in your registration fee. Please notify Susan Brooks at retreat@rmfw.org with dietary restriction information upon registration.

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 $60 per day and includes meals.

Please email your questions to Retreat Chair Susan Brooks at retreat@rmfw.org. We look forward to hosting you in Colorado Springs in 2017!

Deer 2016 Retreat Deer 2 Marian Hall