The Autumn Retreat


The Autumn Retreat

from 200.00

Download the 2019 Pneuma Retreat PDF for all the details!

Enter The Secret Garden: A Generative Writing Retreat


Lisa Papademetriou


Heather Demetrios

October 5-10, 2019, Highlights Retreat Center, Honesdale, PA

Come as you are. No work to prepare. No work to critique. This year’s autumn sojourn is a transformative retreat into your own wild garden of creativity.

Bust through creative blocks

Clarify your work-in-progress

Start something new

Get. Better.

The Pneuma Retreat was the perfect blend of inspiration, learning, reflection, and work…Highlights itself is such an ideal location — and the food! What a treat to be so well fed and pampered for six days. The whole experience was amazing! 


- Sabrina Mock Rossi

Check out the gorgeous Highlights facility

What You Get:

·      5 nights / 6 days at Highlights Retreat Center (think gorgeous autumn countryside, your own room or cabin, the most delicious food ever, unlimited snacks—and booze, and max coziness)

·      Airport shuttle to and from Newark, as well as local airports- Note! We just found out there is now a $75 for most airports.

·      Process-driven workshops and lectures that will give you life-long tools so that you can bust creative blocks and wrangle wiley stories all on your own

·      Guidance on how to use generative writing to help you deepen your craft and become your own teacher, as well as how to use this work to more efficiently craft your stories. This sets the foundation for a lifetime of generative writing.

·      One-on-one coaching with Heather and Lisa on process, craft, publishing, meditation—whatever you want, sister!

·      A transformative 6 glorious days to focus on you and your creativity

·      Permission to experiment, explore, and dare bravely in your work.

·      New writer buddies who will walk this path with you long after the retreat ends

·      A beautiful retreat PDF of all the exercises from both workshops so that you can bloom for months to come

·      A pre-retreat generative writing toolkit of 30 exercises that you can begin practicing with before our adventure begins

·      2 months of free access to Bookflow after the retreat to help you develop and organize your ideas

·      A critique of the first chapter you produce after the retreat by either Heather or Lisa


Tuition (payment options below): $800

Room & Board (paid here via the Highlights site - payment plans available): $745

Total: $1545

*** You need to make a non-refundable $200 deposit for both tuition and room and board to save your spot for the retreat. Final payments are due by September 5, 2019. ***


Email our retreat assistant, Margaret Torres, at:

Check out the gorgeous Highlights facility

This retreat is focused on three central facets of the writer’s experience:


Craft Essentials

Your next great idea is waiting for you. Workshops will offer writing prompts and exercises meant to spark ideas for characters, pivotal plot moments, and thematic material. Writers will also experiment with different facets of technique—vivid imagery, compelling voice, point of view, word play, etc—and investigate the ways in which these things interact to underscore or alter the core story. We be bold, experiment, and play. You’ll leave the retreat with loads of new exercises to continue your journey beyond this week. Bonus! Lisa Papademetriou— author of over 20 books and a former HarperCollins editor—will also offer a fireside chat about foundational story structure in addition to leading workshops and giving talks.


Core Skills

Writing requires focus, persistence, and productivity. This retreat offers daily mindfulness practice to boost creativity and concentration. Certified meditation instructor Heather Demetrios will lead daily immersive experiences catered to writers, including walking meditation and sound baths featuring Tibetan singing bowls. Talks about growth mindset and the science of motivation will help attendees build self-guided habits and goals that will help resist block. Organizational and scheduling ideas will help writers build time for creativity into even a very tightly-scheduled life. We’ll also get into the essential secret ingredients that every creator needs to generate new ideas and keep her creative garden in full bloom year round.


On-Site Assets

A retreat is not a vacation. It’s an entire life re-set. Give your creativity the refresh it needs to grow wildly by enjoying the autumn colors amid the hills of Pennsylvania and food prepared by a top-flight chef. Every garden needs to be watered. Retreating from the cares, responsibilities, and demands of everyday life is a reboot that sets us up to more skillfully balance our creative pursuits with the rest of our lives, allowing for more integration when we return home. Time spent away from your routine amidst your sister writers as you concentrate on your creativity will yield a bounty of increased focus, insight, and productivity. This soil is ripe for Eurekas! A retreat is a gift you give yourself, and will leave you with reserves of energy and patience for the important things in your life, so you can write and adult. One-on-one access to workshop leaders ensures that you’ll return home with a plan for how to take the proper next steps on your creative journey.




The Pneuma Retreat surpassed all of my expectations. 


Annie Peirce


About Lisa:

Lisa Papdemetriou is the author of A Tale of Highly Unusual Magic (a South Asia Book Award Highly Commended Title), the New York Times-bestselling novel Middle School: My Brother is a Big, Fat Liar and Homeroom Diaries (both with James Patterson), the Confectionately Yours series (over 800,000 books in print), and many other novels for middle grade and young adult readers. Her books have appeared on many prestigious lists, including Bank Street Best Books of the Year, the NYPL Books for the Teen Age, and the Texas Lone Star Reading List and have been translated into French, German, Spanish, Polish, Italian, Portuguese, and Japanese. She is the founder of the cloud-based writing tool, Learn more about Lisa and her books at

About Heather:

Heather Demetrios is a critically acclaimed author of six young adult novels. She has an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a recipient of the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award for her debut novel, Something Real. Her novels include I’ll Meet You ThereBad Romance, as well as the Dark Caravan fantasy series: Exquisite Captive, Blood Passage, and Freedom’s Slave. She is also the editor of the anthology, Dear Heartbreak: YA Authors and Teens on the Dark Side of Love and the author of the upcoming contemporary Little Universes and Codename Badass, a feminist pop biography about WWII lady spy, Virginia Hall. Her honors include books that have been named Bank Street Best Children’s Books, YALSA Best Fiction For Young Adults selections, a Goodreads Choice Nominee, a Kirkus Best Book, and a Barnes and Noble Best Book. Find out more about Heather and her books at

The Pneuma retreat is the best thing I have done for myself in years.

 Jessica Conoley

Download the 2019 Pneuma Retreat PDF for all the details!

Note: The current PDF says the airport shuttle is free, but there is now a $75 fee for most airports.


Email our retreat assistant, Margaret Torres, at:

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