November 1-3, 2024 – Permission to Practice: The Magic of Following Your Creative Heart

Have you always wanted to write?

Are you a secret poet?

Do you have a story that’s been nagging at you for years, whispering, “tell me.”

But calling yourself a writer, well . . . taking that leap . . .

It’s okay. You’re not alone. Having a creative heart is a blessing, not a curse.

During this all-inclusive weekend retreat, you’ll find the gentle permission you need to begin the journey and the tools to get you going. You’ll discover the joy and freedom of embracing your particular passion and casting your personal magic on the page.

This retreat is for beginner writers or “not yet” writers who feel the pull to write but don’t know where to start.


  • Place: Rockvale Writers’ Colony, 6994 Giles Hill Road, College Grove, TN
  • Time and Date: 4:00 p.m. Friday, November 1 to 11:00 a.m. Sunday, November 3, 2024
  • Cost: $425.00 plus tax. A $150.00 non-refundable deposit is due upon registration. The balance is due by October 11, 2024.
  • Includes: 2 nights in a private bedroom/bathroom suite, access to RWC common areas, gardens, and hiking trails, 5 meals with wine at dinner, 4 workshops, and community with other writers.

The Schedule (tentative)

Friday, November 1, 2024

4:00 to 6:00 p.m. – Check-in and settle in. We’ll show you to your assigned room.
6:00 p.m. – Dinner
7:00 p.m. – Welcome and Overview of Retreat
7:15 p.m. – Writing Workshop: Beginning Spells – In our first workshop we’ll hear from our guides, writers who followed their hearts before us and left us lessons to ease the path. We’ll practice together using tried and true exercises to open the heart and feed the creative mind.
9:00 p.m. – Free Time / Bedtime

Saturday, November 2, 2024

6:30 a.m. – Coffee Ready!
7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Breakfast is available. Come anytime you’re ready.
8:30 a.m. – Writing Workshop: Honing Intuition – In our second workshop, we’ll look inward for guidance. What do we already know about ourselves that can help us focus on our strengths?
9:45 a.m. – Free Time for Writing
12:00 p.m. – Lunch
1:00 p.m. – One-on-One with Cathy (optional) Meet with Cathy to ask anything!
2:00 p.m. – Free Time for Writing
6:00 p.m. – Dinner
7:00 p.m. – Writing Workshop: Collecting Ingredients – Writers need things to write about, things to inspire us, things to spark connections. Post-it notes are great in the moment, but let’s create a more permanent container to hold it all.
8:30 p.m. – Reading / Share Your Writing – Sharing is optional; however, we ask that you attend whether you read or not, in order to support other writers.
10:00 p.m. – Free Time / Bedtime

Sunday, November 3, 2024

6:30 a.m. – Coffee Ready!
7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Breakfast is available. Come anytime you’re ready.
8:30 a.m. – Writing Workshop: Packing Your Writer’s Bag – Though it is lovely to be together on retreat in a place dedicated to making creative magic, how do you keep the magic going once you get home? In our final workshop, we’ll gather materials and inspiration–resources galore to fill your writer’s bag for the journey.
9:45 a.m. – Free Time for Writing
11:00 a.m. – Checkout and Goodbye

Facilitator: Cathy Lentes

Cathy Cultice Lentes is a poet, essayist, and children’s writer. She has been writing and publishing since the age of eight when her first poem appeared in a small-town Ohio newspaper. Since 1987, she has lived and worked in the Appalachian foothills of southeast Ohio, a few winding miles from the Ohio River, halfway between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.

Her work appears in various literary journals, magazines, and anthologies including Every River on Earth: Writing from Appalachian Ohio (Ohio University Press, 2015), Quarried: Three Decades of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel (Dos Madres Press, 2015), and I Thought I Heard a Cardinal Sing, Ohio’s Appalachian Voices (Sheila- Na-Gig Editions, 2022).

She served as a juror for the 2015-2016 reading series of the Women of Appalachia–Women Speak Project and has been a long-time participant. In 2003, Ohio community and state officials recognized her as a Woman Making a Difference in the Arts. Cathy is a 2013 graduate of the Solstice MFA Program, formerly of Pine Manor College.

Cathy recently retired from teaching and working with students with disabilities as part of the Special Education/Psychology team in Meigs County, Ohio. Her poetry chapbook, Getting The Mail was published in 2016 (Finishing Line Press) and a co-authored (with Wendy McVicker) epistolary poetry collection, Stronger When We Touch, released in November of 2023 from The Orchard Street Press.

Cathy loves working with readers and writers of all ages.

Please note the following due dates and refund policy:

  • Fee: $425.00 PLUS TAXES
  • $150.00 non-refundable deposit due upon registering.
  • Balance due three weeks before retreat start date (October 11, 2024)
  • If cancellation by retreater occurs more than 2 weeks before retreat (on or before October 18, 2024) – refund will be 50% of the balance.
  • If cancellation by retreater occurs less than 2 weeks before retreat (after October 18, 2024) – no refund
  • If RWC cancels the retreat for any reason, full refunds will be provided to all retreaters.