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The first annual Murder Creek Writing Retreat will open for submissions on March 15, 2023 through June 1, 2023.

Space is limited and the retreat is open to writers who have a work in progress. Submission applications will require you to send your first chapter so get those pages ready!

A website with information and application links will be live later this month. We will also be announcing our lineup of speakers throughout March, so stay tuned to our Facebook page Murder Creek Writing Retreat | Facebook

If you have questions, feel free to email the organizers at info@murdercreekwritingretreat.com

Writers who participate in the Murder Creek Writing Retreat will congregate in Brewton, Alabama located on the southern border of Alabama just north of the Florida Panhandle. Brewton was known in past times as the richest little town in the South and has been voted one of the 100 best small towns in America. It’s a well known fact that there’s something special (some say it’s magic) about the state of Alabama when it comes to the number of well-known authors within its borders. I’ve been told that there have been studies on the subject - is it something in the air, in the soil? As far as I know, no one’s figured out a scientific reason for it, so I’m going with magic. Creativity breeds creativity and Brewton is the birthplace of many creative types including two of my personal favorites - author Suzanne Hudson and singer/songwriter/storyteller Grayson Capps as well as home to William Golden of the Oak Ridge Boys, singer/songwriter Hank Locklin, and author and screenwriter, Michael McDowell who’s been described by author Stephen King as "the finest writer of paperback originals in America today."T

This retreat, organized by Holly Hart Shirley and Mandy Haynes and sponsored in part by WELL READ Magazine and the city of Brewton, is geared toward writers of all backgrounds who have a work in progress.

No matter your writing experience, you’ll leave the Murder Creek Writing Retreat with important information including the craft of writing different genres, what publishers are looking for and how to submit your work, the pros and cons of self-publishing v. traditional publishing, how and where to find audiobook narrators, and lots of techniques and tips about the art of storytelling that are beneficial to authors of all genres and will help strengthen our voice on the page.

Retreat Dates:

September 1st - 4th All interested participants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible due to the limited space available.

Retreat Rates will range from $995 to $1495 per participant based upon accommodations. Cost of the retreat includes the following:

Daily breakfast, dinner, snacks, and three nights at the historic Holley House Bed and Breakfast.

Two days of in-person workshops as well as a few virtual classes led by some of the most entertaining and well-established authors and people in the publishing business. (List of facilitators TBA)

Swag bags from The Holley House and WELL READ filled with unique gifts and treats from local businesses.

Group activities include:

Friday night meet and greet barbeque, a moonshine tasting from the Murder Creek Distillery, storytelling session, a low country boil, and a concert put on by local musicians. We will also have time set aside at the end of Saturday and Sunday for participant’s to have informal critique sessions and readings.


The historic Holley House Bed and Breakfast will accommodate fourteen authors. With three living areas, a dining room, an event room with ten tables and ample places to plug in computers and chargers, high speed wireless internet throughout the house, eight porches, and a chapel to clear your head, the 15,000 square foot historic Bed and Breakfast will be your home away from home while you learn from award winning authors, workshop with your peers, put words on the pages, and revise your manuscript.

Eight suites have queen or king beds and private baths, while the two upstairs suites with multiple bedrooms have shared baths with access to a kitchen and two large living areas. Every room in the 5 star bed and breakfast has luxurious beds and comfortable robes to spoil you while you work on your manuscript.

Deborah George, Inn Keeper of Holley House, will provide home cooked meals (including her famous chicken and dumplings) plus plenty of snacks for attendees.

The application process for the Murder Creek Writing Retreat will open on March 1st.

We are so excited about this event and the Holley House can’t wait to open their home and hearts to everyone this fall.