Florida Inspirational Writers Retreat

Founded in 2008 by Debora Coty and Ruth Ellinger, the annual Florida Inspirational Writers Retreat (FIWR) is held every fall at the lovely Cedarkirk Retreat and Conference Center, 1920 Streetman Dr, Lithia, FL 33547.

Each year the retreat offers new and dynamic guest speakers, workshops for beginning,intermediate and advanced writers, cutting edge publishing industry.

The 2015 FIWR will be held on Oct 3 with keynote speaker, Deborah DeArmond (award-winning author and speaker featured recently on Dr. James Dobson’s radio show). The 2015 brochure will be posted soon.

The retreat is vitally informative, offering practical tips for publication, manuscript critique by successful authors and editors, and includes an array of networking opportunities. Delicious snacks and lunch are included for the best price you’ll find anywhere (early bird registration is only $95 and a limited number of reduced-price scholarships are available).

FIWR 2015 brochure (pdf)

Following are images of 2015’s brochure:


Comments from Attendees

I enjoyed the sessions and I thought it was well put together. Maybe it was because it was an “inspirational” writers group but there was a sweet spirit among the participants. The practical information was most helpful.   ~J. Johnson


I really enjoyed the workshop…. Great  information… I do look forward to next year. ~Sandi de Laski


I continue to tell my friends what a wonderful workshop you presented. You packed so much into such a small amount of time. I only wish I could have been two people and attended simultaneous track sessions. I did receive what I was looking for and that was an example of a good query letter. I sent out my story on Monday with a much more professionally formatted query letter. My head is still spinning with so many projects I can do because what I heard at the workshop. Thank you, thank you, thank you! ~Bette Lafferty

I did enjoy the workshop even though I consequently suffered fried brain, numbed buns and cramped hands. It was worth it just to realize all the possibilities out there.
~Allison Morales 

I enjoyed the day immensely and look forward to next year’s workshop already. The teaching was very informative and concise, the food very good, and the atmosphere was warm and welcoming.  ~Tanya Orihood 

I am so thankful for having had the opportunity to attend the first workshop of its kind in Hillsborough County. Your material was thorough; you were well prepared and kept our interest at all times. It made the time fly. ~Mirtha Chavez

Thank you so much for the very informative workshop. I came away with many ideas and enjoyed talking to others about their projects. Looking forward to next year’s workshop. ~Carole McGhee

I absolutely loved the workshop! The reasonable price was phenomenal and affordable for those who haven’t yet gotten rich off their writing. ? The chosen topics were very informative and the group participation was fun. I think you will have a difficult time trying to improve on this conference.  ~Elaine Bonilla

“Thank You” is an understatement. I was impacted far greater than I expected. I really felt like I could be myself without apology or a song-and-dance routine. The creative flame was ignited again in me, and I know I can do this thing called writing. The goody-filled tote bags were a pleasant addition. The lunch was great. The informal atmosphere of the location made the event feel more personal. I gleaned most from your topic about “knowing your own voice.” It was refreshing to be affirmed in my unique God-given gifting, particularly as I come from a background of ghost-writing with business-like efficiency. ~Wendy Gibbs


The material presented was very informative, excellent in content and delivery. It was nice meeting fellow writers who share the same goals and aspirations and I enjoyed hearing from the very talented people there. The food was wonderful!! All in all, it was a great experience and I learned a lot.  ~Sandy Jackson

I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop. It was informative and inspirational, with a lot of fellowshipping. What more could you possibly need plus?  ~Ruthanne Connell

Loved the writer’s workshop! The information/advice you gave was invaluable. If the Lord wants my testimony “out there,” He’ll make a way. My immediate goal is to just start putting pen to paper.  ~Kim Rate

The workshop was delightfully interesting, fun and informative, and I look forward to next year. –Ronni Scott

Thank you very, very much for the great workshop. It was time well spent! The first thing I did when I came home was to change my query letter. Each of the sessions were helpful and worthwhile.  ~John L. Keener

I’m a little slow at summarizing the seminar but in one word—great!!! Many years ago, I went to a non-Christian seminar in Tampa and while I did get a chance to meet some authors (new ones at the time), it could not compare to the wonderful time I had Saturday at your seminar. The time together with other writers who were encouraged to open up with questions, the fabulous food and time to fellowship, the bag full of all the wonderful goodies…what more could anyone ask for as well as the wealth of information gleaned? ~Ruthanne Connell

I appreciated the workshop so much. I think the location was lovely and the staff friendly. Thank you for a lovely day. ~Diane Lakner