Summer Camp for Grown-ups

My Week at Writing Camp

I just spent a full week at the Novel-in-Progress Bookcamp & Writing Retreat. It was awesome as usual. The 2024 bookcamp took place at Siena Retreat Center in Racine, Wisconsin, June 16th-22nd. The comfortable dormitory style facility featured cozy rooms with private baths, Wi-Fi, lakefront access, paths for walking and biking, plenty of nooks to curl up and write, all meals, and 24-hour beverage and continental breakfast service. And the wine flowed freely.

I admit, I didn’t avail myself of the outdoor activities because signs everywhere warned that it’s tick season; but I thoroughly enjoyed the writing nooks, and of course the wine.

This year’s camp guests included agents, editors, and award winning authors. Bookcampers received five days of instruction on writing craft and the writing business, and retreaters spent as much time as they wanted writing.

I spent the week writing in the dining room between meals. I couldn’t write in my room because the comfy recliner and the warm breezes kept lulling me to sleep. I got a lot of work done and I have three agents interested in my current work in progress (Woohoo!).

I did miss Tuesday’s activities because I had to go home for the day for my sister’s funeral. It was a joyous event. I came back to camp to hugs and condolences from the other campers.

There’s a lot to be said for the comraderie of other writers. I spent the week surrounded by people at different places on the path, but still on the same mission as me. We were all working to tell a good story and maybe one day be published. Yes, I’m already thrice published, but the journey of each story is different and there are no guarantees. Everybody had the same hopes, dreams, fears, and anxieties.

This was my fifth bookcamp experience, and my most productive. I’m already planning for next year.

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