Annual Writers’ Retreat

Once a year EVA members get together for a daylong workshop with a guest presenter. It is a time to set aside the day-to-day distractions and just focus on writing and getting the creativity flowing.

We will once again be meeting at the Monrovia Canyon Park in the foothills of Los Angeles and are lucky enough to have Laurie Schnebly-Campbell visiting us presenting three of her workshops.


Morning Session
Plotting Via Motivation Any of us could write a book in which the characters set out for a three-hour tour and get shipwrecked on an uncharted desert isle. But if you nail down the character’s motivation, it doesn’t matter whether the ship capsizes or lands safely three hours later. Your characters will create a plot from WHATEVER happens, because you’ve got their motivation built in from the very beginning…and here’s how to do it.

From Plot to Finish Once a writer knows the elements that belong in her characters and her plot, she’s all set…right? Well, actually not always. Making the move from a few basic answers to a manuscript which is actually ready to type involves a series of steps that people have called “incredible…a plotting system which truly RESPECTS that I’m a pantser” and “the easiest way I’ve ever seen of getting from Basic Idea to Finished Book.”

Afternoon Session
Letting Mad Men Write Your Synopsis If you’ve ever had trouble writing a synopsis, here’s a hint: pretend you’re writing an ad.¬† An advertising copywriter for 25 years, Laurie was amazed to discover that the same skills which helped her sell bikes, bouquets and birdbaths ALSO helped her sell books. Discover how to use those “Madison Avenue” techniques to interest editor-agent “buyers” in your product!

Congratulations to the Synopsis Makeover winner
Brenda Marshall!

Location, Location, Location!

The retreat is held in a little cabin in the woods at the¬†Monrovia Canyon Park.¬†This is a beautiful, natural setting and the cabin is situated near trails and surrounded by oak trees. Due to the natural –¬†and dry¬†– environment, there is absolutely¬†NO SMOKING¬†once inside the park grounds.

Parking at the cabin is limited, but a carpool will be arranged from our meeting place in a nearby shopping center. There are tables and chairs available (you may want to bring a seat cushion!), and outlets to plug in computers. The cabin is air-conditioned and can become chilly, a sweater is recommended.

Since this is the foothills, there is limited to no Wi-Fi access, so if you have a mobile hotspot, you may want to bring it, but there are no guarantees it will work.

Water and coffee will be provided and there will be a break between sessions, but attendees will be responsible for bringing their own lunch.

Date, Time, and Registration

This year’s retreat is Saturday, August 1st from 8am – 4pm. We will meet at a local shopping center to arrange a carpool up to the cabin. There is a grocery store for anyone who needs lunch, and we will most likely be meeting at the nearby coffee shop in order to be properly caffeinated before getting to work.

The actual workshops will start after we arrive and get settled, around 9am.

Cost is $35 for EVA members and $45 for non-members.

Registration is now open. To register, click here.

We are fast approaching full capacity. Register soon to ensure your spot!

If you have any questions, email EVA at

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