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november, 2024
Novel Writing Intensive Retreat

with critically acclaimed authors Steven James and Robert Dugoni



​If you're ready for intensive instruction to improve your writing, and if you're serious about taking your manuscript to the next level, award-winning novelists Steven James and Robert Dugoni invite you to join them for a time of in-depth teaching, growth, and encouragement.

Your instructors



Steven James is the critically acclaimed author of nineteen novels and dozens of nonfiction books. He has served for many years as a contributing editor to Writer’s Digest Magazine, and his three books on the craft of writing and storytelling were all recipients of Storytelling World Awards (Story Trumps StructureTroubleshooting Your NovelThe Art of the Tale).

Steven’s books have won or been shortlisted for more than a dozen national and international awards, and his articles and stories have appeared in more than eighty publications including The New York Times. 

Steven earned a Master’s Degree in Storytelling from ETSU in 1997. He has taught writing and storytelling principles at events spanning the globe, appearing more than two thousand times on five continents. He is a regular keynote speaker and workshop teacher at premier writing conferences and retreats throughout North America. 

In 2010, Steven developed the Novel Writing Intensive retreats to provide a concentrated time of study and feedback for fiction writers of all levels. 

He lives in Tennessee in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. When he's not writing or speaking, you’ll find him hiking, playing basketball, or downing mugs of gourmet coffee. 


Visit his official website at

Follow him on social media @readstevenjames.

Subscribe to his weekly podcast The Story Blender.



Robert Dugoni is the New York Times and #1 Amazon bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite police series, which has sold more than 11 million books worldwide. 


Along with the Charles Jenkins espionage series and the David Sloane legal thriller series, Robert is the author of The Keera Duggan legal series and the William Shoemacher historical series set in 1933 Seattle. Several of his stand-alone novels include The 7th Canon, Damage Control, The World Played Chess, and The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell—a literary novel that was named Suspense Magazine’s 2018 Book of the Year. Robert’s narration of Sam Hell won an AudioFile Earphones Award. Robert's 2004 book The Cyanide Canary was named a Washington PostBest Book of the Year. Many of his novels have also been optioned for movies and television series. 


Robert is the recipient of the Nancy Pearl Award for Fiction and the Friends of Mystery Spotted Owl Award for Best Novel Set in the Pacific Northwest. He is also a two-time finalist for the International Thriller Award, the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, the Silver Falchion Award for mystery, and the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award.

Robert's books have been translated into more than thirty languages. 

Visit his website at










NWI 2022


Group 1: November 7 - 10, 2024
Group 2 : November 11 - 14, 2024 


Historic eureka inn
jonesborough, tennessee

TENtative schedule

day 1

3:30-5:15pm: Check-in
5:30: Introductions
6:00: Dinner
6:45: Orientation 
7:15: Seminar 1 
8:30: TBD

day 2

7:30-8:15: Breakfast
8:30: Seminar 2 
9:45: Critique & Discussion Session 1
11:00: Seminar 3 
12:00: Lunch/personal Time
1:00: One-on-ones
1:45:  Critique & Discussion Session 2
3:00: Seminar 4 
4:15: Critique & Discussion Session 3
5:30: Dinner
6:45: Critique & Discussion Session 4
8:00: TBD

day 3

7:30-8:15: Breakfast
8:30: Critique & Discussion Session 5
9:45: Seminar 5
11:00: Critique & Discussion Session 6
12:00: Lunch/personal time
2:00: One-on-ones

4:15: Seminar 6 
5:30: Dinner
6:30: Seminar 7
7:30: Q&A/book table

8:30: TBD

day 4

8:00: Breakfast and awards
9:00: Seminar 8 
10:00: Closing remarks/goodbyes
11:00: Pack and check out


"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

  • Who can sign up?
    Aspiring or published novelists and short-story writers of any level are invited to register.
  • What type of manuscripts are accepted?
    All genres of fiction except what we would consider erotica. (A note to NWI alumni: we cannot accept previously submitted manuscripts.)
  • How many spots are available?
    There are only 12 spots available for each group, so register soon. There will be a waiting list in case someone cancels.
  • How much does it cost?
    The retreat fee is $2250, payable by check or money order. We also accept Venmo and PayPal, but we request you reimburse us for any service fees. The cost includes 14 teaching sessions, a critique of the first 50 pages of your manuscript, lodging for three nights, seven meals (we will eat out once), refreshments, handouts, and more. It does NOT include any travel expenses (however, we will provide a shuttle from the TRI-Cities Airport).
  • What does the price include?
    - Professional critique of up to the first 50 pages of your manuscript - 8 hours of classroom instruction - 6 hours of interactive teaching and discussion using manuscript evaluations - Private consultation time with Steven James or Robert Dugoni - Extensive seminar notes, writing activities, and self-editing tips - Copies of all participants' submissions with detailed critique notes - 100-point Novel Writing Checklist - Lodging for three nights - 7 meals (we will eat out one meal) - Refreshments
  • How do I register?
    Contact Pam Johnson at and she will email you a registration form (include which dates you want to attend), which contains all pertinent information about the conference. Fill out the form and return it to her via email ASAP to hold your spot. The non-refundable $500 registration deposit is due within a week of registering. The mailing address to send the deposit is on the registration form. (Or you may pay via PayPal or Venmo, but you will need to refund us any service fees.)
  • What is the venue and lodging?
    Our event will be held at the Historic Eureka Inn located in Jonesborough, TN. They have nine private rooms. We have also reserved a spacious three-bedroom house less than a mile away (a pleasant walk or short drive through town).
  • I still have questions. Whom should I contact?
    The conference director is Pam Johnson and her email is She will be able to answer any conference-related questions you might have.
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