Testimonials (in-person retreats)

"Intensive is not a strong enough word for how deep this one goes. Two of our best contemporary novelists cover the landscape of the craft and give the most personal attention possible to this small group experience. Best investment I’ve made so far in my writing life." — Patricia Bowen, GA

"Nothing replaces the benefit of passionate teachers who love nurturing writers, storytelling, and breaking 'the rules.' Steven James and Robert Dugoni share in-depth writing techniques and emphasize kind yet thoughtful critiques of each attendee's writing. If you're serious about improving your writing and your novel, attend the next Novel Writing Intensive. I'd do it again." — Barbara Brutt, PA

“Two master story tellers generously shared their wealth of knowledge and skills that elevated my writing to the next level. A positive, encouraging, and enlightening experience.” — Deb Merino, TN

"Steve and Bob are gifted instructors with a true passion for teaching. It comes through in every lesson and every critique. It was mind blowing how much I learned. I left encouraged, excited to dive back into my novel, and with friendships that will continue into the future. NWI is truly something special." — Stacy Woodson, VA

"This three day retreat was so full of information for newbie and experienced writers taught by two masters on the top of the field. I’ve been to four writers conferences and nothing came close to this Intensive. So much useful, tangible information scattered with humor and compassion. This conference can cost ten times more and still be a steal. I will forever be grateful for this experience, I feel honored to have spent time learning from both Bob and Steven. " — Shira Shiloah, TN

"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, TX

"This has been the most beneficial intensive I have ever attended. One-on-one training from extremely talented authors has changed my writing skills for the rest of my career."  —Don Brobst, M.D.; AL

"This intensive exceeded my high expectations. Excellent instruction, collaboration, and intellectual exchange."  

—Dennis Ricci, CA

"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, TX

"Attending the Novel Intensive Workshop was a remarkable experience. I felt the sum of the experience crystallized my understanding of how to craft my novel into excellence."  —Edson Knapp, TN

"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, TX

"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, TX

"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, PA

"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, NJ

"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, PA

"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, TX

"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, CA

"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, NY

"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, TX

"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.; WI