January 5-7, 2024 – Goals for the Journey: Following Your Creative Path

January brings a new year, new ideas, and new writing goals. It also brings our popular Goals Retreat. “Goals for the Journey: Following Your Creative Path” is our 6th such retreat.

Have you ever thought of your creative path as a journey? Some of it traverses flat, easily navigated roads and some of it subjects you to steep, rugged, dangerous trails. Sometimes, the path is wide enough to walk calmly with others, but often it is narrow and barely visible. Sometimes, you have to walk it alone.

Yet, walk it we do, because we have this innate calling to write. We make plans, we write goals, we chase dreams, and we try to make some sort of sense of the journey we feel led to walk. Our definition of self includes the expression of the words inside us. We cannot hold those words back, but sometimes the difficulties we encounter along the way to becoming writers discourage and tire us.

This all-inclusive weekend retreat teaches resiliency and hope as we scramble along the path of our creativity. During the journey, we may find that the universe itself has good plans for us. If we are present and listen well, if we are open to the opportunities waiting for us to say “yes,” we may find the journey is much more joyful than we thought.

Join us at Rockvale in this new year and let’s see where your creative path leads. This retreat is for beginner and established writers both.

Place: Rockvale Writers’ Colony, 6994 Giles Hill Road, College Grove, TN
Time and Date: 4:00 p.m. Friday, January 5 to 11:00 a.m. Sunday, January 7, 2024
Cost: $450.00 (tax included) $150.00 non-refundable deposit is due upon registration. Balance of $300.00 is due by December 15, 2023.
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, January 5, 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: Life is a Journey, Not a Destination
9:00 p.m. – Free Time / Bedtime

Saturday, January 6, 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: The Only Impossible Journey is the One You Never Begin
9:45 a.m. – Free Time for Writing
12:00 p.m. – Lunch
1:00 p.m. – Free Time for Writing
6:00 p.m. – Dinner
7:00 p.m. – Writing Workshop: Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
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, January 7, 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: You Didn’t Come This Far Only to Come This Far
9:45 a.m. – Free Time for Writing
11:00 a.m. – Checkout and Goodbye


Sandy Coomer is a poet, artist, and endurance athlete. Her poetry has been published in numerous journals and magazines and she is the author of three poetry chapbooks: Continuum (Finishing Line Press), The Presence of Absence (Winner of the Janice Keck Literary Award for Poetry), Rivers Within Us (Unsolicited Press) and two full-length collections: Available Light (Iris Press) and The Broken Places (Saddle Road Press). Sandy’s art has been featured in local art shows and exhibits and has been published in over 40 publications. She is a marathon runner and an Ironman triathlete, having completed a full Ironman and qualified for and raced in the World Championships for the Half Ironman distance.

Cognizant of her blessings and the recipient of generosity and kindness from countless other writers, Sandy feels a keen responsibility to give back to the community, particularly to the community of poets and writers. She is a past tutor with the Nashville Adult Literacy Council, a past poetry mentor in the AWP Writer to Writer Mentorship Program, the founding editor of Rockvale Review, an online journal, and actively participates in the literary scene of middle Tennessee with open-mics and readings. Sandy is a teacher, a dreamer, a seeker, and an explorer. Her favorite word (so much so that she has it tattooed on her left forearm) is “Believe.”

Heather Burch is a creative non-fiction writer and author of the Substack newsletter, Simple + Good. She has served as the Assistant Director of RWC since 2018, and finds peace and purpose in providing a special haven for her fellow creatives both in-person and online as Rockvale’s social media manager. After pursuing a competitive career in Nashville’s music business, she now lives a slower existence on her family horse farm in College Grove, TN, where she is the proud mama of 14 Nigerian Dwarf Goat children.

Heather is a collector of rocks, feathers, bones, and other found items. She writes about the simplicity of choosing to live a slower life in the country and the forgotten beauty of that which has been cast aside by the fast-paced hustle culture of the world. She hopes her words serve as inspiration for those who are unsure of where their winding paths might be leading them.

Please note the following due dates and refund policy:

  • $150.00 non-refundable deposit due upon registering.
  • $300.00 balance due three weeks before retreat start date (December 15, 2023)
  • If cancellation by retreater occurs more than 2 weeks before retreat (before December 21, 2023) – refund will be 50% of the balance.
  • If cancellation by retreater occurs less than 2 weeks before retreat (after December 21, 2023) – no refund
  • If RWC cancels the retreat for any reason, full refunds will be provided to all retreaters.