Treats, Retreats and Conferences by Cher’ley

This Blog by Cher’ley Grogg

Official crest of The Salvation Army.

As we were preparing to leave for a Women of The Salvation Army Spiritual Retreat, some of the folks we were traveling with debated if we needed the trailer that was attached to the back of the bus. It was only partially filled, but I said, “Yes, we need it!” Going down not so much, but coming back we’d have all the items I knew I’d buy while we were there, and I filled up one corner on the return trip.

The Retreat was a blast. We got to spend the weekend with 19 of our closest friends, ate like Queens and were treated like Princesses. We stayed in air-conditioned cabins with our group and studied the Book of Esther from the Bible. Since it is a light-hearted retreat, every year the organizers bring in a comedian who understands women.  I look forward to this retreat every year.

In a couple of weeks, I will be going to Ripley, WV to The West Virginia

Cover of "THE SHY WRITER: An Introvert's ...

Writer’s Conference. I love it too. I prefer staying in the group quarters. I enjoy meeting new people and seeing my old friends. My biggest dilemma is what classes to sign up for. There are always a couple that I want to experience that are held at the same time. This year we have 21 presenters and two agents attending. One of the presenters that you may have heard of is C. Hope Clark, she  is  the editor of, chosen by Writer’s Digest for its 101 Best Websites for Writers for the past 12 years. Her newsletters reach 35,000 readers each week. Her nonfiction books designed to aid the introverted writer include The Shy Writer and The Shy Writer Reborn.

I will see some of my Facebook friends at this conference. Many I already know, but some of us will be meeting each other for the first time.

My main reason for going to my first writer’s conference was to meet the

Sue Grafton at Bouchercon 2009 in Indianapolis...

featured speaker, Sue Grafton (The author of the ABC mystery series A is for Alibi ). I loved her books and thought it a perfect opportunity to meet her and I am so glad I did. She is lovely and gracious. I went back to Massachusetts several times to attend the Crime Bake Conference. The trip is a long way for me to travel, but the people are so friendly and make me feel right at home.

I didn’t have a novel finished at the time of my first Writer’s Conference. If you are a little nervous about going to your first conference, I suggest you get to know some of the other folk who will be attending. I got on all my email lists & groups I belonged to and said, “Are you going to _________? I’ll be there.” Now, I still do that, but I also get on Facebook and the Conference site and say, “I’m going to __________. Are you going to be there?” That way you are more comfortable when you get there.

C. Hope Clark says, “New writers might fear attending a conference. Seasoned writers may think they don’t need to go to conferences anymore. But I would like to argue that every writer should dare to attend one conference per year.” She talks about the following opportunities:

What kinds of career-building opportunities happen at a writers conference?

1) A published writer meets another published writer and learns more about selling foreign or film rights.

2) A struggling writer meets one with more experience who has a fantastic blog and offers an opportunity to guest post.

3) You analyze the way author tables are decorated and develop some great ideas for a new banner.

4) You study business cards and bookmarks handed out and see why yours aren’t cutting the mustard.

5) You hear about new magazines seeking freelancers and decide to pitch a few

The Bone Collector

A new conference I’m going to this year, affectionately known as the C3–Creatures, Crimes & Creativity literary conference who’s purpose is to gather readers and writers of mystery, suspense, thriller, horror, sci-fi, fantasy and steam punk. It will be held in September and you guessed it… The main reason I’m attending is to meet Jeffery Deavers, he’s written many books among the one that was made into a movie, “The Bone Collector”. I love his style of writing.

I won’t be attending the Crime Bake Conference this year because it is held in November and I have a Great Grandbaby due around that time.

I will be attending another Salvation Army Spiritual Retreat at the end of August and a family reunion in September.

Did I mention, that I always sell a lot of Novels at these Retreats and Conferences? I would go anyway, but this is an added Treat.

  • How about you, do you plan on attending any Treats, Retreats or Conferences this year? Please share why you go to these? What is your favorite and what is your least favorite part of the experience?
  • Check out the related articles below by our authors. 

Cher’ley’s Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores. 

Stamp Out Murder”.

The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk” This is an especially good book for your Tween Children and Grandchildren.

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32 thoughts on “Treats, Retreats and Conferences by Cher’ley

  1. Love the connections that are the result of conferences. To be with other like minded people, especially those who are gracious and giving, is a gift beyond measure. Loved the post.


  2. Great post Cherley and now I can’t wait to go to a Writer’s Conference. I haven’t had the opportunity as yet but I’m looking forward to it. I agree about retreats though. I’ve been to many of those for one thing or another and always come home rejuvenated. Thanks!


    1. There should be a state writing conference that is a little smaller and cheaper. I enjoy them just as much as the larger ones. You will love a Writer’s Conference. Just make connections a head of time. Cher’ley


  3. Enjoyed reading the post. With how you and your husband drive the semi all over the country, that trip to Mass. for the writers’ conference has to be a cakewalk for you. Lol.


    1. It is so different driving in a car compared to driving a truck. In a truck, 40 miles means we’re there, in a car 40 miles means, there’s a long ways yet to go. LOL. We are looking forward the conference. Del is going with me as a guest. Cher’ley


  4. Great post, Cher’ley! I recently returned from the Colorado Christian Writers Conference (which was/is a WONDERFUL event!), and the Wyoming Writers Conference takes place June 7 – 9. I’m fortunate to be able to attend 3 conferences this year, the other is called Get Published, and it’s a one-day event in Bozeman, MT. I learn so much at these events and often make great connections and find wonderful encouragement. I’d like to go to a retreat one day as well, but I’m blessed to “retreat” to my cabin only 20 minutes away! To which I’m heading very shortly. Thanks for the great reminders about conferences and retreats — have a lovely weekend!


  5. My retreat is going home. We live on the River, but I have phone and internet. I put a link to your blog about your conference experience. If each one of us were to go to the same conference we’d all bring home something different. I could tell you had a great time. I love spiritual retreats. I always learn so much there too. Cher’ley


  6. As always, a great blog post! You mentioned all the best reasons to attend these conferences. Of course many of them have agents on hand who you can pitch to (like the C3 Con) but I must admit the biggest reason I attend is the glorious feeling of being surrounded by writers and sometimes the readers who love them. The best treat is meeting the authors (like you!) who I’ve knew back when they were just fans.


    1. Austin, you’re so right. I am really excited to meet you. I have been a fan for years and you were one of the people who encouraged me to hold fast to my writing goals. I love your books. I haven’t had a chance to read the newest ones, but I’m looking forward to them. Cher’ley


  7. Haven’t done a retreat, but I do enjoy SMALL writers’ conferences. It can be hard to connect, and even get into workshops at the big ones. Whenever I go, I always make sure to volunteer for something. It’s a great way to meet people and learn about how things work. I’m going to try the Emerald City conference this year.


  8. I have learned many writing skills at writer’s conferences and been inspired to keep writing. Thanks for the great blog, Cherley.


  9. I’m President of WyoPoets, Wyoming’s affiliate of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, and last month, I attended our annual workshop in Casper where Katherine Coals presented an interesting program on writing found poems using phrases and sentences from other sources. I love our workshops because I usually get a lot of great poem ideas. I’ll be attending the Wyoming Writers conference in Laramie next month, and I’m a little disappointed because there will only be one poetry session, but I hope to become re-acquainted with other writers I’ve met there over the past ten years or so, and maybe I’ll gain some writing inspiration. Who knows?


    1. The conference I’m going to next month has a bunch of poetry. I thought, my goodness, it’s almost all poetry. LOL I do a lot of poetry and have had a lot of it published and I do enjoy writing, reading, and learning about poetry. Cher’ley


  10. Retreats are an unknown quantity for me. I have seen a few advertised around a hundred miles from me and wouldn’t discount going sometime. it’s great that you had a fantastic and profitable time.


  11. This was a church retreat at The Salvation Army Camp. So it was geared to please us and it did. I loved it. Met some new friends and saw some old ones. I hope you get a chance to experience one.


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