The Nitty Gritty of the Pneuma Autumn Retreat


Originally posted by sweet-cider



Thursday October 19th – Monday October 23rd 2017


Honesdale, PA at the Highlights Retreat Center (Check out this cute map)…Just in time to see those deliciously gorgeous fall colors!


Pneuma Creative founder and creativity coach / author Heather Demetrios will be leading the retreat with fabulous YA author and manuscript doctor Ingrid Sundberg. You’ll be hanging out with us and up to twenty of your new best friends: your Pneuma sisters-in-arms (ladies only retreat), word warriors who are with you on this crazy, beautiful, maddening, wonderful journey of living your life as a writer.

Cost: $1216*

*You only have to pay a $200 deposit now (refundable). The rest is due 6 weeks before the retreat. Make sure to sign up ASAP, as cabins are going and I can’t guarantee the space without a deposit!


Pneuma Creative Writing Retreat 1
See those cabins? One of them could be yours!

More about the center:

The campus consists of the Founders’ farmhouse, 21 cabins, a lodge, and a 5,200-square-foot Retreat Center known as the Barn at Boyds Mills, 10 miles from Honesdale, Pennsylvania.

The Barn has several relaxed classroom-like areas, a Great Hall, an outdoor fireplace and a giant kitchen. There is space for meetings, meals and just hanging out. The Lodge contains eight private rooms with private baths, and a great room for getting together with others, or just relaxing.

This intimate and inspiring setting in the Pocono Mountains features serene walking trails; a 1,300-acre forest; a creek that runs to the nearby Delaware; crisp, clean days; and night skies blanketed with stars.

Here’s what you can expect when you arrive:

  • A cozy, private place to stay,  with a writing table and other amenities, including hot beverage center  and round the clock snacks (Note: there are 13 private cabins left for our use and a farmhouse that holds 5 rooms/5 baths. If we have more than 16 people who want to come (max 20), a few people will need to share rooms – up to them, of course! Private rooms on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • A full schedule and   special gift from Pneuma
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner:  Farm-style meals are prepared by a top-notch chef and mealtimes are  perfect for lively discussions. Snacks are always available for late-night  or early morning writing sessions.
  • Computers and printers available     for your use
  • Respect for the sanctity of your     creative space


What your $1216 covers: 

  • Your own cabin at the retreat center
  • Three scrumptious and healthy meals (including snacks, coffee, etc.) each day
  • Guided Meditation and Instruction – you’ll leave with the groundwork set for a practice of your own (I promise!)
  • Lectures on craft, creativity, and publishing by Heather and Ingrid
  • Workshops of your work and those of your cohorts with editorial letters from your workshop leader (either Heather or Ingrid)
  • One-one-one meeting with your workshop leader about your work-in-progress
  • One-on-one creativity coaching session with Heather
  • Generative writing exercises and free time for writing
  • Late-night good times (think wine, dramatic readings for the extroverts among us, and confessionals)
  • A special welcome gift
  • A transformative weekend with your fellow creative women word warriors who will inspire the shit out of you.


Next Steps

****You need to pay your $200 deposit ASAP. If you need more time before you pay or decide, it’s ok, but let me know ASAP. You can pay for that directly on the Highlights site here. Details below:

  • In the “Choose Workshop” field, choose the top one “Unworkshop”
  • You can either pay the $200 deposit or the full room/board fee for our 4 nights, which is $516.
  • In the Comments field, mention that you are part of the Pneuma Creative group with Heather Demetrios.
  • If you choose to only pay the $200 deposit, then 6 weeks before the retreat Sept. 7th), the balance of the entire retreat is due (a total of $516 to Highlights, and $700 to Pneuma).
  • As for the program fee ($700), I will email you after you pay your deposit to let you know your options for paying that fee.

So, recap: $200 deposit no later than May 1st, full Highlights and Pneuma Program Fee due 6 weeks before the retreat (Sept. 7th). Email Heather to let her know you’ve paid. She will email you after you pay your deposit to let you know how to pay the Program Fee. 


Booking Your Travel & Prepping For The Trip


o   Between our Facebook group and a retreat email list, we’ll be coordinating meet-ups at the airport, for those of you flying in. Some of you might be interested in carpooling or train-ing etc. together if you live on the East Coast.

o   The sooner you book flights, the better (cheaper!).

o   The Highlights people are lovely and you can call them with any questions you have about the facilities, dietary concerns, getting there and away etc.

Our Highlights Contact:

Jo Lloyd

You can email her ( or call her (1-877-288-3410)


If you have questions about programming, schedules, etc. then you should contact Heather, as she’s running our retreat and Highlights is only concerned with lodging and board. You can email her at: 


The Skinny on the Writing Situation


We will be divided into two workshop groups, one led by Heather, and one by Ingrid. Six weeks before the retreat, you will submit the first chapter of your work-in-progress (no more than 15 pages) to Heather. She will compile a PDF of your workshop group, which your group will receive in time to read and make comments before the retreat. There will be 3 workshop days (Fri/Sat/Sun) and three or so pieces will be discussed each day. More info will be sent out on this whole process over the summer and you will be contacted by your workshop leader regarding anything else you need to bring or prep.

You will have a one-on-one meeting with your workshop leader after your piece is workshopped and you will also receive an editorial letter from them. There will be opportunities for generative writing exercises during the retreat and optional readings in the evenings (think reciting wacky haikus written on the spot or writing your own obituary and reading it to us with gusto). My fellow shy introverts can be supportive audience members—no theatrics required. 🙂


Why go on a retreat?


Never thought you’d ask! Retreats give us space to breathe, allow us to fill our creative wells, and give us enormous creative energy. They are almost always life changing. At this retreat, you will write, receive feedback, learn to meditate (optional), hang out with likeminded artists, and be surrounded by beautiful autumn nature. This is restorative, transformative, and deeply inspirational. It’s an investment in yourself and your future as a writer, both creatively and professionally. Also? It’s going to be a blast. Can’t wait to see you!


Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall. 

 ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

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