Retreat From Harsh Reality

2020 Retreat

Friday, April 24 - Saturday, April 25 - Sunday, April 26

Bay Pointe Inn - Shelbyville, MI
Bay Point Inn

Registration Currently Closed

2020 Registration Form

Important Dates for Retreat 2020:

January 27, 2020:  MMRWA Member Registration Opens.

February 14, 2020:  Non-Member Registration Opens

March 24, 2020:  Registration Closes (Registrations may be possible after this date but not guaranteed due to space and will be subject to an additional $25 administration fee.)

March 24, 2020:  Room Discount Cut-off--Bay Pointe releases all rooms from our discounted room block. Room rates increase by approximately $20 per room, per night after this date and openings are not guaranteed. PLEASE have your room booked by this date.

March 31, 2020:  Last day for registration refund minus a $25 administration fee.

April 1 - 10, 2020: Refunds will only be made for registration minus the cost of food and minus a $25 administration fee.

April 10, 2020:  Absolutely no refunds given after this date.

This website will be updated as details become available.  If you have questions, please email the retreat chair, Tracy Keely, at 

MMRWA’s Retreat from Harsh Reality is open to writers of every genre and publishing status. Our members range from having published over seventy books to others who are just starting their writing careers. This three-day retreat includes two inspiring and informative presentations from our guest speaker, time to network and work with other writers in plotting or critique groups, and time dedicated just for writing.

     2020 Speaker: SONALI DEV

Sonali Dev's novels have been on Library Journal, NPR, Washington Post, and Kirkus's Best Books of the year lists. She has won the American Library Association's award for best romance, the RT Reviewer Choice Award for best contemporary romance, multiple RT Seals of Excellence, and is a RITA® finalist. Shelf Awareness calls her "Not only one of the best but one of the bravest romance novelists working today." Sonali lives in the Chicago suburbs with her very patient and often amused husband, two teens who demand both patience and humor, and the world's most perfect dog( Please visit for more information.

2019 Retreat Attendees with Speaker Louise Knott Ahern

History: The retreat originated after chapter member Leila Davis commented to the first chapter advisor (now called president) Margo Hoornstra, "We should have a pajama party because there is never enough time to talk at a meeting." The idea expanded to a weekend retreat and the first Retreat From Harsh Reality was held at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in May 1985 with 17 people in attendance.

"One of my top five best experiences!"   Rita Clay Estrada, 2015 Speaker

"Writing is a lonely business, attending retreats like this one is the answer.  Inspiration and motivation can be contagious.  There was so much creativity and verve in the group, even as the teacher, I walked away inspired."   Christie Craig, 2016 Speaker

"MMRWA's Retreat From Harsh Reality is rejuvenating and uplifting. It's also inspiring! I leave Retreat creatively refreshed and ready to write. Most of all, I've just spent two days with ladies who are welcoming and friendly. It's a combination that can't be beaten!"
Alyssa Alexander, MMRWA member and RITA finalist

"The MMRWA's Retreat from Harsh Reality is one of those writer's getaways that I will cherish being a part of forever. It is just laid-back, pressure-less fun that gets the juices flowing and the mind raring to go. I absolutely loved it!"   Darynda Jones, 2014 Speaker

For more information about the Retreat from Harsh Reality contact the Retreat Chair, Tracy Keely.