4 minute read


The Murder Creek Writing Retreat kicks off its debut event on Labor Day Weekend at the Historic Holley House Bed and Breakfast! Labor Day Weekend 2023



Check-in begins at 12:00 p.m. for participants.

6:00 p.m. BBQ on the porch of the Magnolia Room. Dinner will include pulled pork, tomato coleslaw, Miss Deborah’s famous baked beans, and Coca Cola cake.

7:00-?? Meet and Greet. Holly Shirley will get the fun started with open mic, jam session with local musicians, and some storytelling. Everyone participating in the workshop is encouraged to spin a yarn and let us get to know you better. BYOB


8:30 - 9:30 Breakfast in the dining room. On the Menu: Breakfast Casserole, Gouda grits, Biscuits, and Fresh Fruit.

10:00 - 11:00 Laine Lawson Craft- Magnify and Master Your Marketing Plan

11:30 - 12:30 Joe Formichella and Suzanne Hudson -The Pitfalls of Publishing and How to Avoid Them

1:00 Lunch in the dining room. On the Menu: Assorted Sandwiches, Soups, and Fruit.

2:00 - 3:00 Frye Gaillard and Bob Zellner - Writing Hard Truths and Why It’s Important

3:30 - 4:30 Mary Kay Culpepper - How Art/Creativity Inspires The Writing Process

5:00 - 6:00 Writing/ Free Time

6:00 Dinner on the Magnolia Room Porch. On the Menu: Low Country Boil, Salad with roasted pecans, feta, red onions, chickpeas, tomatoes, and balsamic dressing. Banana Pudding for dessert.

7:00 Live Music at Flannel and Floral across the street from Holley House, you may carry your own adult beverages.


8:30 - 9:30 Breakfast in the dining room. On the Menu: Banana Pancakes, Scrambled Eggs, Bacon or Sausage, and Fresh Fruit.

10:00 - 11:30 Lisa Kastner - Ask an Independent Publisher and Aimee Hardy - How to get the Most out of Working with Your Editor

12:00 Lunch “Traditional Sunday Dinner” in the dining room. On the Menu: Chicken and Dressing, Sweet Potato Casserole, Steamed Broccoli, Rolls, and Peach Cobbler for dessert.

1:00 - 2:00 Carolyn Haines- Why Having An Agent is Important and How To Find One

2:30 - 3:30 Jodi Cain Smith and Stacey Sheehan-Wilson - Working with Booksellers at Independent Bookstores - How to Book Events and What To Expect

4:00 - 5:00 Agent Panel (TBA)

5:30 - 6:00 Writing/Free Time

6:00 Dinner in the dining room. On the Menu: Homemade Vegetable Soup and Cornbread


8:30 - 9:30 Breakfast in the dining room.On the Menu:- Tomato gravy and biscuits, scrambled eggs, sausage or bacon, fruit.

10:00 -10:30 Mandy Haynes - Different Advertising Options and Publishing Opportunities in WELL READ Magazine.

10:30 - 11:00 Open discussion with hosts about the event. Let’s exchange ideas! What did you find most interesting, how will you use the information you received, what was the most beneficial to you and your WIP?

Participants can get lunch to go or stay and meet some of Brewton’s local young writers.

12:00 Lunch with Local Young Writers - Middle School and High School Writing Contest Entrants and Winners of the prizes will be announced. 5-6th grades, 7-8th grades, 9-12th grades. The City of Brewton is sponsoring $500 in prize money for our young authors and local merchants will be sponsoring prizes for them as well.

1:00 - 4:00 Writing Workshop for Young Writers

All-Inclusive Retreat Rates will range from $995 to $1495 per participant based upon accommodations.

The first annual Murder Creek Writing Retreat is open for submissions. Space is limited and the retreat is open to writers who have a work in progress. 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 and agents are looking for and how to submit your work, the pros and cons of self-publishing and indie publishing v. traditional publishing, how and where to find audio book 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.