Testimonials

"The most comprehensive, instructive, and inspiring writing event I’ve ever attended. I left armed with dozens of new ideas and tools to help take my writing to the next level." —Todd Allen


"Too much fun to be called a conference, too much learning to be just a retreat, the Novel Writing Intensive was a great investment for my writing career with two humble but brilliant instructors. What a blast!" —Luke J. Scott


"If you want to take a year’s worth of classes on how to improve your writing—go to this retreat instead. It is more use-it-right-now guidance than any college class, critique group, or writer’s conference. Go. Now." —Kelly Lane


"Bob and Steve teach storytelling principles, not adherence to rules. Four great days of fun, learning, hard work, and making friends—I can’t recommend this workshop highly enough!" —Janice C. Johnson


"This weekend at NWI was a game changer for me. One of those rare moments when you have an experience and while you’re in it you just know that you’ll look back one day and say, “That weekend, attending NWI and learning with Steve and Bob, THAT’S where things changed for me. That’s when my book started to come alive.” You’ll never regret this workshop—it’s unlike any other I’ve been to, and any other that will ever exist." —Tessa Shaffer


"Bob and Steve are a great team. Together they cover all aspects of how to develop great writing. And they make it fun". —Frank Karlinski

"Very professionally done writer’s workshop full of anecdotes, fun, solid information, and tons of good times. Bob Dugoni and Steven James are masters of the Novel Writing Workshop series. Thank you so much!!" —Tom O’Donnell, III


"As a serious writer, I believe in investing in myself. The Novel Writing Intensive retreat gave me as much information in a few days as a short course in college. I left feeling that I’d gotten a bargain. I highly recommend this course." —Brenda Clark Thomas

"Not only did Robert and Steven give me the tools to fix my novel, they pushed the right buttons to reignite my imagination. I came away with so many new ideas for my manuscript." —Mark Patton

"Novel Intensive is what it says: intense working in a secluded setting with other writers sets the tone. With positive instruction, positive feedback, and nonjudgmental direction, it helps encourage writers to move forward with the tools to get published." —Julie Salzano


"This workshop fulfilled all of the promises it advertised. Hearing Steven and Robert critique my and other writers’ pages, provided great insight for my writing experience. Plus, the fellowship of writers is about the closest thing to heaven on earth." —Lyndie Blevins


"Learned more practical, focused teaching in four days than I did in two years of creative writing graduate school. Supportive, accessible faculty who not only have reached the top of their fields but also light the way for others."  —H.R. Weiner, M.D., M.F.A., Wisconsin

"This intensive exceeded my high expectations. Excellent instruction, collaboration, and intellectual exchange."  —Dennis Ricci, California

"The openness and commitment to teaching, along with the intensive classes and critiques, 
has left me with tools that I couldn't find anywhere else. It is the inciting incident to my writing career!"
—Rita Alterio, British Columbia

"The value and completeness of the information exceeded every desire I had for the weekend."
—Donna Joppie, Texas

"It was an awesome intensive that leaves me wanting to dig further into my story."
—Devin Berglund, Minnesota

"Steven James and Robert Dugoni are exceptional writers with the skills and drive necessary to teach writing: humor, tact, knowledge and experience."  —Charlotte Morganti, British Columbia

"This has been the most beneficial intensive I have ever attended. Training from extremely talented authors 
Steven James and Robert Dugoni has changed my writing skills for the rest of my career."
—Donald Brobst, Alabama

"(The Novel Writing Intensive) is one of the best investments I have ever made in my writing career. 
I came home with better skills and new enthusiasm for my writing."   —Henry McLaughlin

"I have attended a lot of conferences and retreats, and the James/Dugoni Intensive Retreat was one of the best by far. The seminars, critiques, handouts, and consultations gave a tremendous amount of valuable information  applicable for all genres to help plan, create, and edit a novel"   —Marie Blast

"Attending the Novel Intensive Workshop was a remarkable experience. The lectures provided a very practical and intense review of the process of writing a novel. I felt the sum of the experience crystallized my understanding of how to craft my novel into excellence."   —Edson Knapp, Tennessee

 "The Novel Writing Intensive was just that, intense. Steven James and Robert Dugoni are masters of their craft and share their knowledge and styles in a way that is exciting and motivating. I looked at my writing with a whole new perspective after this retreat."   — Thomas Mohan 

"I walked away with the dynamics of how to tell a story versus how to sell a book."  —Cory Clubb, Illinois

"The retreat was an incredibly inspirational and motivating experience full of excellent, practical advice
I can't wait to incorporate into my novel."   —Joel Hollingsworth, Tennessee

"The conference had a powerful, transforming effect on my writing and thinking."   —Paul Rodriguez, Georgia

"It was one of those seminal events you experience periodically in life that can change everything that happens afterward and was what I had been looking for years to find."  —William Meisheid, Maryland

"I'm glad Steven tells the truth about what will and won't work."  —Janine Mendenhall, North Carolina

"What I learned is the ability to breathe life into the words, characters and story. I learned more about writing in these 3 1/2 days than I had in years of writers' groups and classes."  —D. Steven Roberts, Florida

"This workshop catapulted me light years beyond what I've learned in other conferences."
—Joni Vance, Georgia

"Steven gave us the perfect mix of constructive criticism, positive encouragement, and practical teaching."
—Carl Dennison, North Carolina

"(Steven) changed the way I saw my story, my charaters and my craft. I'm not just a better writing; I'm a better storyteller."  —Dan Levy, Nebraska