Write Your Own Memoir - Retreats


Discover Your Extraordinary Self

 Retreats - Discover Your Extraordinary Self

Retreats - Discover Your Extraordinary Self

Join me for an immersive memoir writing retreat that will feed your soul and fill your pages with stories from your own extraordinary life. In five days, you’ll get in touch with your creative self, write, and talk about whatever comes up as you discover aspects of your own, extraordinary story. You’ll experience memoir magic as you find freedom and increase your sense of worth as you connect to your own life story and the stories of others in this confidential and intimate setting.

I am an intuitive teacher guided by the needs of my students, weaving my methods into our time together so that you are well-equipped for all aspects of your writing journey. I meet you right where you are, no matter your ability.

Not sure about all of this vulnerability? Click here to hear what other people say. Writing leads to personal growth while you are nestled near peaceful forests and surrounded by luxurious comforts to nurture both body and soul.

No writing experience is necessary to attend, and you are welcome to bring journals or other writings if you have them. All you need is a desire to know yourself better through writing. I promise you’ll have lots of laughs and memorable “aha” moments along the way.

The Extraordinary Self retreat can be taken by itself to give you a head start in writing your memoir with honesty in your unique voice, or as the first of a two-part retreat series designed to take you all the way to printing your memoir for yourself or publishing it to share with the world, all without having to leave the encouraging team of The Cheerful Word.

What you get:

  • Up to 8 extraordinary people gathered for five days in a fabulous setting. (2018-2019 bookings in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Hendersonville, North Carolina; The Radisson Blu Schwarzer Bock in Wiesbaden, Germany; Croatia, or Prague, Czech Republic.) All are carefully selected to immerse yourself in writing your memoir and pampering your mind, body, and spirit.
  • Lodging is included.
  • A delicious daily breakfast is included. Other healthy meals are available on-site or in the immediate area.
  • A morning of immersive writing and instruction with Sam. Sessions include creative exercises that explore aspects of memoir from unique perspectives. Additional writing prompts are available at any time throughout the retreat.
  • Honest and encouraging feedback is expected to and from each participant on shared stories, building your confidence as a writer.
  • Afternoons are yours to explore the area, write, or pamper yourself.
  •  One-on-one consults with Sam are available throughout the retreat.
  • Evening sessions offer another writing activity, an opportunity to talk about your writing life, get to know each other, and wind down from the day.
  • Invitation to participate in the community of Cheerful Memoir alumni who share their continued experiences with writing, publishing, and life as memoir writers. This community will receive regular, ongoing guidance from Sam on writing memoir, story development, editing, and publishing. And you'll be the first to learn about new courses offered.
  • A chance to be featured in The Cheerful Word newsletter.

Wiesbaden, Germany—Nov 24-28, 2018

Enjoy 5 days in a spa hotel built in 1486 and immerse yourself in writing your life stories and in the healing waters of natural hot springs. Between sessions, unwind in the thermal spa, sauna, or steam bath, swim in the pool or enjoy a massage or other spa treatment. The famous Twinkling Star Christmas Market opens while you're there!

6 seats left.

Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina—May, 2019

Finalizing the location in Hendersonville this week. Stay tuned!


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Discover Your Extraordinary Self

Wiesbaden, Germany. Immerse yourself in writing your life stories and in the healing waters.

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Through your leadership and guidance, thousands of valuable memories
will not simply vanish,  but will live on to inspire others for generations!
— Jan M.

Finish Your Extraordinary Book!

 Retreats - Finish Your Extraordinary Book!

Retreats - Finish Your Extraordinary Book!

This retreat is for Cheerful Word retreat and workshop alumni who are tired of hearing the words, “When are you going to finish that damn book?!” Are you done second-guessing, procrastinating, scrapping draft after draft of chapters that stupefy you? If so, join your fellow writers, set your heart on fire with inspiration, and let your fingers fly as you take the big step toward The End.

You’ve learned the joy and the craft of becoming a writer from the heart in the first retreat. Now learn how to write like an author, perhaps printing your book for family, or publishing for profit at the end. Discover advanced skills, such as how to keep readers engaged, how to cut content (ruthlessly), how to work with an editor, what “point of view” is, what a brand platform is, and lots more.

Most writers work alone, with no support, encouragement, or guidance to get them to the finish line. The quickest way for you to get there is to work among Cheerful Word graduates, where you will be surrounded by a team who gets you. Join us for five more days of immersive writing, critiquing, and progress toward your goal to finish your extraordinary book.

What you get:

  • Five days of immersive writing, coaching, and critiquing with up to six writers so you can make progress toward your goal of finishing your extraordinary book!
  • Manuscript review; required before attending. Details available when you contact us.
  • Lodging is included.
  • A delicious daily breakfast is included. Other healthy meals are available on-site and in the immediate area.
  • Techniques for giving and accepting a writing critique without fear or shame.
  • Coaching and encouragement. We’re all about helping you build your strengths and supporting your creativity as you continue to hone your writing voice.
  • Marketing Your Extraordinary Book. Whether or not you intend to sell your book for profit, this mini marketing course will help prepare you to speak confidently and use social media to inspire excitement around your memoir, boosting sales.
  •  One-on-one consults with Sam are available throughout the retreat.
  • Afternoons are yours to explore the area, write, or pamper yourself.
  • Evening sessions will offer one writing activity, an opportunity to talk about your writing and life, get to know each other, and wind down from the day.
  • Invitation to participate in the community of Cheerful Memoir alumni who share their continued experiences with writing, publishing, and life as memoir writers. This community will receive regular, ongoing guidance from Sam on writing memoir, story development, editing, publishing, and you'll be the first to learn about new courses offered.
  • A chance to be featured in The Cheerful Word newsletter.
  • An opportunity to apply for publication through The Cheerful Word publishing imprint.

Mariánské Lázne, Czech Republic—February, 2019

In between immersing yourself in the healing pools of this ancient spa town and taking yourself on long winter walks or cross-country skiing in pristine snowfalls, your fingers will be flying off the keyboard as you gain specific instruction and plenty of writing time to finally finish your book.

The specific week and cost will be posted for this location shortly. Normally crowded in summer months, you'll experience a writer's peace and quiet when the world-famous Colonnade is covered in snow. In winter, mostly locals visit this treasure hidden in the rolling hills of West Bohemia where the elite of Europe come to relax. Goethe, Bismark, Chopin, and Mark Twain are among those to give it glowing recommendations.