If you’ve experienced the magic of a master storyteller, you know the power a well-crafted story wields upon your mind and heart. To mature as a writer is to flourish in the art of storytelling, wouldn’t you say?

The craft of storytelling enriches all genres and all readers. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, your readers remember the feeling your words evoke. Your crafted stories invite readers into another world—glowing or shrouded, hushed or raging, stories show the way.

If you desire to grow in the art and craft of writing stories, join us for the Storytellers Virtual Writers Retreat where eleven authors and writing coaches teach you to cultivate the magic in your writing life.

Our FREE virtual retreat is designed to release the power of story into your hands. Ready to add this skill to your writer’s toolbox? Let’s go.

No Travel
A virtual retreat is held online, not in a cold conference hall. The sessions come straight to you anywhere in the world.  No airport. No driving. No hotel.
No additional expenses. 100% convenience.
Expert Speakers
The retreat features 11 seasoned writing coaches who provide the skills aspiring and working authors need to 
find success in their writing journey, from birthing the idea to publishing a book.
Affordable Access
Most writer's retreats are hundreds or thousands of dollars, but not this one. We offer two affordable viewing options including live QnA and lifetime access to all retreat replays. 
LIVE Streaming
The conference will be streamed LIVE the entire weekend. Our writing coaches provide expert instruction and 
real-time answers to your questions.
"I'm thrilled to be a part of the FlourishWriters community where I can make connections with other Christian writers and share in our collective wisdom."
-Michelle, FlourishWriter
Put the magic in your writing with personal instruction from eleven writing coaches who teach you to flourish in the art of storytelling.
Lynn Cowell: Author, Speaker
Lynn Cowell is part of the Proverbs 31 Ministries’ speaker and writing team. As the author of several books, written for women of all ages, her newest book is Loved & Cherished: 100 Devotionals for Girls. Lynn calls home North Carolina, where she and her husband, Greg and the occasional backyard deer are adjusting to life as “just us”. Along with their three adult children, the Cowells love hiking, rafting, and anything combining chocolate and peanut butter.
Stephanie Alton: Literary Agent, Writing Coach
Stephanie Alton is a literary agent with The Blythe Daniel Agency, Inc. and director of the agency’s blog network, BlogAbout. She is also the founder of a new network for creatives that launched in January 2019 called My Influence Circle. Stephanie specializes in creating custom launch teams, blog campaigns, and webinars with industry pros through the BlogAbout Blogger Network. Several of the books she has collaborated on have been in the top 10 on the New York Times Best Seller List and rated #1 on Amazon. She engages with publishers, authors, podcasters, ministries, and creative businesses to offer compelling and trendy material to the bloggers she works with.
Bonnie Gray: Author, Storyteller, Podcaster
Bonnie Gray is a passionate storyteller and author who loves empowering women to flourish in emotional wellness and find their true worth as God’s beloved daughters. Her newest memoir Sweet Like Jasmine: Finding Identity in a Culture of Loneliness became a Amazon #1 New Release. Having healed from anxiety, Bonnie loves pastries, hiking, meeting friends over coffee, and encouraging women as podcast host of Breathe: The Stress-Less Podcast. As soul care guide and inspirational speaker featured by Christianity Today and Relevant Magazine, she’s guided thousands to detox stress and find their inner spark again. 
Annette Whipple: Children's Author, Writing Coach
Annette Whipple celebrates curiosity and inspires a sense of wonder while exciting readers about science and history. She's the author of ten fact-filled children's books including The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion: A Chapter-by-Chapter Guide (Chicago Review Press) and The Truth About series (Reycraft Books) including Whooo Knew? , The Truth About Owls, and Scurry! The Truth About Spiders. 
Courtnaye Richard: Author, Speaker, Blogger
Courtnaye Richard is the founder of Inside Out Media Group, LLC—a faith-based PR, Marketing & Mentorship Agency. In her 15 years of experience, she has worked with platforms such as PBS, CBN, & TCT Networks, as well as local television and print publications. Courtnaye is also the founder of Inside Out with Courtnaye, a ministry that helps women grow in their walk with Christ from the heart and equips them to fulfill their God-given purpose. Courtnaye is also an author and contributing writer for ibelieve.com, Women’s Ministry Tools, YouVersion, and is a speaker of a host of women’s conferences including Entrusted Women and She Speaks. Her blog, Inside Out with Courtnaye reaches thousands of women across the globe and was listed as the Top 50 Christian Women Bloggers Every Woman Must Follow.
Allen Arnold: Author, Speaker
Allen Arnold is an author, speaker, and Executive Producer of Content for Wild at Heart (the ministry founded by New York Times bestselling author John Eldredge). His passion is awakening people's hearts to actively pursue their dreams and creativity with God. As a former Fiction Publisher, Allen oversaw the launch of more than 500 novels-and has mentored and presented to thousands of creatives. He is the author of three acclaimed books: The Story of With, Chaos Can't, and his latest release, Waves of Creativity. He loves blue oceans, black coffee, hot salsa, and big ideas. 
Shawn Smucker: Award-Winning Novelist
Shawn Smucker is the award-winning author of Light from Distant Stars and These Nameless Things, the young adult novels The Day the Angels Fell and The Edge of Over There, and the memoir Once We Were Strangers. He lives with his wife and six children in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Crystal Stine: Author, Blogger
Crystal Stine is the author of Holy Hustle, Quieting the Shout of Should, and the Holy Hustle Planner. She has connected with over 175,000 people through her YouVersion reading plans and reaches over half a million women through her work with Love God Greatly.  Crystal lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and daughter.
Tiffany Bluhm: Author, Speaker, Podcast Host
Tiffany Bluhm is the author of Prey Tell: Why We Silence Women Who Tell the Truth and How Everyone Can Speak Up. She is a sought after speaker, writer, and podcast co-host of the popular podcast Why Tho, a show answering the existential and nonsensical questions we ask ourselves, with author and speaker, Ashley Abercrombie. She speaks at conferences and events, and her work has been featured in World Vision Magazine, Publisher's Weekly, Sojourners, Red Letter Christians, the YouVersion Bible app, Jenny McCarthy Show, and more. As a minority, immigrant woman with a interracial family, she is passionate about women's equality, justice, and dignity.
Valerie Coleman: Author, Award-Winning Publisher
Best-selling author and award-winning publisher, Valerie J. Lewis Coleman serves professional speakers and experts to magnify and monetize their message by publishing quality books. With over fifteen years of experience in the book business, she helps aspiring authors navigate the mysterious labyrinth of self-publishing to leverage their expertise and make money.
Sarah Sundin: Best-Selling Novelist
Sarah Sundin is a bestselling author of World War II novels, including When Twilight Breaks and Until Leaves Fall in Paris (coming February 2022). Her novel The Land Beneath Us was a 2020 Christy Award finalist, The Sky Above Us received the 2020 Carol Award, and The Sea Before Us received the 2019 Reader's Choice Award from Faith, Hope, and Love. A mother of three adult children, Sarah lives in California and teaches Sunday school and Bible studies. She serves as co-director of the West Coast Christian Writers Conference and enjoys speaking for church, community, and writers' groups. 

All times listed Eastern (New York)

10:00 AM 
Why You Can Write for Tweens & Teens
You see the need. You feel the nudge. Yet still, there is the inner voice
saying: you can’t. I want to tell you, with the power of the Holy Spirit,
you can! In our time together, Lynn will empower you with the direction and tools to get you started in raising up Christ-followers in the next generation.
This presentation with Lynn Cowell will cover who should and should not write for this sector of the market, what messages are needed now more than ever, how to write and be heard when you’re much older then your young audience, and where to begin when you have so much to say.
11:00 AM 
The Power of a Testimony
One of the most impactful ways for people to hear about how God is moving today is through your story. But two common things tend to happen when writers set out to traditionally publish their story with the hopes of encouraging or helping someone else. One, they get caught up with the fear of the what if's and never end up writing. Game over before they start. Or two, they attempt a memoir but really just summarize their story assuming the reader will take away a million things just by hearing x,y,z happened. In The Power of a Testimony with Stephanie Alton, we will talk about how to blend interesting pieces of your story with teachings and Scriptures to inspire readers. We will also look at ways to overcome the fear, an editing trick that will help keep your chapters consistent, and how to be sure you have clear takeaway points.
1:00 PM
Writing Stories of Faith That Matter 
You’re here because you want to make an impact in God’s Kingdom to bless others with your words. You want to feel the joy of passing on your stories of faith, because your life matters, your story matters, because what you went through is the encouragement someone else needs! As a writer who suffered anxiety, Bonnie Gray shares tools she’s used to publish three books and pitfalls to avoid (so you don’t stop), walking you through safely to tell your story. You’ll learn tips to push you forward, help you take an idea and make it real for readers, so you’ll write the stories God walked through with you. You’ll gain confidence and clarity to succeed as a faith writer.
2:00 PM 
Mentor Texts: Readers Make the Best Writers
Readers make the best writers, and the best writers study others' work. In this workshop, children's author Annette Whipple shows how published authors use mentor texts. Want to get into your favorite magazine? Study back issues—they're mentor texts. Writers study texts to add humor, craft opening lines, or show emotion to books. Others study structure, page turns, or cliffhanger chapter endings. Mentor texts help writers identify and address manuscript problems to make their manuscripts marketable. This workshop highlights the books and methods kidlit authors use to get their own books published.
3:00 PM 
Behind-the-Scenes Life of a Writer & Speaker
Are you a writer or speaker? Whether you're a beginner or experienced writer or speaker, preparation and personal care are essential. That’s right! So, if you’re a blogger or an author, it’s important to take time to write a life-changing blog post or book, but it’s also okay to celebrate with a delicious dessert once the post or book is released. If you’re a speaker, it takes time to craft a compelling message, but it’s also okay to stay an extra day after you’ve spoken for a spa day. Talk about balance! In this session with Courtnaye Richard, you will learn what it looks like to become a stronger writer and more successful speaker through personal devotional systems, strategies for writing or speaking opportunities, social media growth, email list building, time management tips, recreational ideas, and more! It’s time to go behind the scenes of the life of a writer and speaker.
7:00 PM 
Private Author Experience with Bonnie Gray
The Private Author Experience is an opportunity to engage live in a coaching session designed to clarify your vision and unlock new possibilities for you as a communicator. We offer a Private Author Experience with a working writer who has released a new book within 6 months of our retreat. This author shares hot-off-the-press lessons they learned in the writing and publishing process. During the live experience, they provide instruction, live Q&A, and practical how-to guidance to  keep you from wasting time in your writing journey. We want to energize your writing life and remove the barriers you face. 

All times listed Eastern (New York)

10:00 AM
Deep and Simple Writing
Mr. Rogers once said, "I feel so strongly that deep and simple is far more essential than shallow and complex." We all want to write stories, but the best ones have a depth that is not easily dissected. In this presentation Shawn Smucker  will discuss how to add depth to your life and to your writing, placing us on a path to creating stories that resonate with the reader.
11:00 AM
From Me to We: Using Your Story to Create Community
What if we could tell our stories on social media in a way that shifted the attention from "me" to "we"? In this session with Crystal Stine, we'll talk about how we can tell our story with purpose and intention, with a few simple swaps to help your community feel connected, encouraged, and inspired—while keeping things simple and fun. If you're tired of feeling like every social media post has to be perfectly curated, selling something, or wondering why your posts aren't connecting with your audience, this is the perfect session for you. We'll take something you are an expert in—your story!—and discover how to use it to drive your dreams forward, connect with your community, and invite engagement. It's your story—let's tell it well!
1:00 PM
Leapfrog Your Success: How to Publish a Bestselling Children's Book
Whether you’re struggling to finish your children’s book, tired of fighting with illustrators, or want to avoid the pitfalls of publishing, Leapfrog Your Success: How to Publish a Bestselling Children's Book from Valerie Coleman is for you.  This presentation will dive into an overview of these topics: Show and Tell— Showing an illustrator how to tell your story is challenging. Master how to transfer what’s in your mind to your illustrator by designing a detailed illustration list. Seek-n-Find—having to seek-n-find the perfect illustrator can be downright frustrating. If you don’t understand the components of an illustration agreement, you can get tagged with delays, overpayments, and lawsuits. If you want children to enjoy your well-illustrated book, this game plan is for you. Red Light, Green Light—Illustrations, Editing, Printing. How much is too much to publish your children’s book? Use this stop-and-go strategy to develop your budget and master strategies to reduce your costs so you don’t lose your shirt.
2:00 PM
Identifying New Endings to the Broken Storylines of Our Lives
From the time we're little girls, we long to be loved and accepted—from the playground to the lunchroom to the places where we live and work as grown women. We do our best to prove we're lovable and to avoid being left all alone. But in truth it's impossible to walk through life without experiencing the pain and loneliness of betrayal, shame, guilt, loss, judgment, or rejection. These wounds can shape our views of ourselves, others, and God and even make us question if we are worthy of love and acceptance. Whether old or new, our heartache can convince us there's no one who understands or cares. Yet Jesus tells us a different story. Find healing from our deepest hurts as we experience the unfailing companionship of Jesus—the Rescuer and Redeemer of broken lives and wounded heart—in this presentation from Tiffany Bluhm

All times listed Eastern (New York)

11:00 AM
Waves of Creativity
The Creator of galaxies, oceans, wildflowers, and stallions made you creative. He gave you an imagination. Eyes to see what has never been. A voice to speak things into existence. The reason isn't so we'll get busy doing things for him. But so we'll pursue the very things we love with him. That is true creativity. And this is your invitation to experience it as never before. Allen Arnold—noted creativity author, coach, and speaker—has helped thousands with his teachings on co-creating with God. This session brings together his central insights on topics such as Imagination, Opposition, Questions, Wonder, and Expectancy. The insights, like waves, will wash over you, refresh you, and stir you to greater creativity. Your art wants to grow deeper, wilder, truer. It's just waiting for you to go first. The goal isn't to get somewhere fast. But to become more fully you along the way. Discover how in this session!
12:00 PM
The Super Synopsis—From Dread to "Done!"
Few things inspire more dread in the heart of a novelist than the word "synopsis." We can write a novel faster than a speeding bullet, craft themes more powerful than a locomotive, and leap plot holes in a single bound—but the synopsis is our kryptonite. However, editors and agents and writing contests require them for a reason, so we need to learn to write them—and write them well. In this workshop with Sarah Sundin we'll explore some tricks to bring the synopsis villain to his knees—and convert him into an ally in your quest for truth, justice, and a publishing contract.
2:00 PM
Private Author Experience with Allen Arnold
The Private Author Experience is an opportunity to engage live in a coaching session designed to clarify your vision and unlock new possibilities for you as a communicator. We offer a Private Author Experience with a working writer who has released a new book within 6 months of our retreat. This author shares hot-off-the-press lessons they learned in the writing and publishing process. During the live experience, they provide instruction, live Q&A, and practical how-to guidance to keep you from wasting time in your writing journey. We want to energize your writing life and remove the barriers you face. 
Mindy Kiker and Jennifer Kochert, co-founders of FlourishGathering and FlourishWriters, are passionate to help women grow in God’s Word. They have authored and published Bible Studies and devotionals, workshops, online conferences and training courses. Jenny and Mindy are guides who help birth stories from the heart to the page. We mentor writers who flourish.
Can I have lifetime access to the presentations?
Yes, lifetime access to the retreat presentations, including an additional Bonus resource is available with an All-Access Pass. You will be prompted with more information about the All-Access Pass after your register.
Can I watch the conference on any device?
The videos are designed to function on all computers and mobile devices. If you are unable to view the content on one device, try another. Between computers, phones and tablets, something should work. If you are unsuccessful after giving it your best shot, you are welcome to email us at info@flourishgathering.com.
What if I can't attend live on August 5th-August 7th, 2021?
If you are not able to attend live, we suggest that you purchase the All-Access Pass option. 
Where do I find the live presentations? 
When you register for the retreat, you'll receive instructions on how to access the LIVE presentations. 
Who is FlourishWriters?
We are an online ministry whose mission is to equip women to grow in their passion for God’s Word and write their God Stories. You can find us at flourishgathering.com and flourishwriters.com. If you wish to contact us, we answer emails at info@flourishgathering.com.
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