About

What is the Bookcamp & Writing Retreat?

Now in its fourth year, the Novel-In-Progress Bookcamp & Writing Retreat offers two concurrent residential writing programs: the full Bookcamp and also a Writing Retreat. Registration fees include room, board, and program expenses.

Either program offers an intense, 6-day, 6-night, full-immersion guided experience, a stimulating literary experience shared with a group of serious writers in all fiction genres who are working on their works-in-progress (a novel, a memoir, a creative nonfiction book).

Space is limited, and there is a discount to register early.

Registration is open for both the Bookcamp and the Writing Retreat; space is limited. We encourage you to apply early. New this year, a $250 scholarship is offered to a selected Bookcamp registrant. Details below.

The Bookcamp

The Bookcamp includes classes, one-on-one consultations with staff, group critique sessions, presentations and publishing discussions, and coaching on pitches and query letters. Core staff for the 2017 program includes SJ Rozan, award-winning novelist and international writing instructor; Philip Martin, award-winning publisher, book editor, and writing coach; Lisa Lickel, award-winning novelist, editor, and writing coach; Red Sofa Literary agency; and additional presenters.

The Writing Retreat

The retreat welcomes you to six days of personal writing time in a tranquil yet stimulating writing-focused setting surrounded by writers, editors, and literary agents. Held at a 100-acre rural Wisconsin retreat center with comfortable accommodations, cozy indoor settings to work, and outdoor trails and sitting areas. The Writing Retreat provides advice, encouragement, and motivational incentives to prompt daily writing. Mentored by Lisa Lickel, an author/editor, Retreat registrants can access certain Bookcamp activities and all social events. Additional Bookcamp activities can be attended on an a la carte fee basis.

The Location

The next Bookcamp will be held May 7 to 13, 2017, at the Cedar Valley Center & Spa (www.cedarvalleycenter.org), which is 35 miles northwest of Milwaukee and near West Bend, Wisconsin, and about 2 hours from Chicago. It can easily be reached from State Highway 41.

Who Can Apply

The Bookcamp & Writing Retreat are open to writers working in any genre intent on preparing a long-form work-in-progress for publication ready to receive honest and forthright advice on their work. Space is limited; an application process is required.

A completed manuscript is not necessary, and the NIP staff will work with a writer at any stage of the creative process from initial novel idea development to polished first draft. Discounts are available to members of the Chicago Writers Association and the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild.

The single registration fee covers all expenses: room, board, instructional classes and materials, one-on-one sessions, and customized advice from published professionals. (However, any spa services are optional on your own dime and time!)

The Novel-In-Progress Bookcamp is sponsored by the Chicago Writers Association (CWA). It was launched in 2014 with the help of the Wisconsin Writers Association. The 2017 event will be the 4th year of the program.

To Apply to the Bookcamp or Writing Retreat

For details, visit the To Apply page on our website.

We can accommodate about 20 registrants at Cedar Valley. Because of the space limit, we have an application screening process.

Lodging accommodations are limited. Single rooms can only be guaranteed for the first 13 registrants. Shared double rooms are available and encouraged. Apply early. NIP Bookcamp registrants will receive lodging preference if necessary.

To reserve a space on the Bookcamp roster now before submitting your application package, send in a $100 deposit, which is fully refundable. That will put you on the waiting list for a room assignment pending acceptance of your application.

Optional Add-On: Manuscript Evaluation

Registrants in either the Bookcamp or the Writing Retreat who have a nearly completed first draft can receive a manuscript evaluation by author and book editor Lisa Lickel for a separate fee of $175 for up to 80,000 words. This will be a critique on the novel as a whole and not an edit. Only a limited number of manuscripts can be evaluated. Deadline to submit is April 1. Contact NIP director Dave Rank for further information.