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Make plans now to join us!

Do you long to see your writing published?

Are you feeling stuck–unsure how to organize your thoughts and put your book together?
Need to know how to create a winning proposal and a book project that would meet real felt needs and catch the eye of an editor or agent?

Would you like to get away to a quiet, beautiful setting for a handful of days of brainstorming, storyboarding, and teaching in nonfiction book form . . . and leave with your own great proposal in your hands?

Get inspired...

Join Janet and others at a Sierra Valley Writers Retreat in her welcoming home and guest house in the Sierra Valley–the largest alpine valley in North America, just about an hour north of Lake Tahoe in the northern Sierra Nevada Mountains. Any season of the year is breathtaking in this peaceful setting–perfect for writing and more!

With experience teaching nonfiction at the Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference and many other conferences, she will provide sound instruction in these workshops and sessions:

  • Creating a Winning Nonfiction Book Proposal

  • Structuring Your Nonfiction Book: Features and Organization of Christian Living, Devotional Books, Bible Studies, Gift Books, and Memoirs

  • Studying Nonfiction Form to Understand How to Structure Chapters

  • Drawing the Reader In by Addressing Felt Need: Storyboarding an Entire Book’s Outline

  • Branding and Finding Your Social Media Audience

  • OR . . . flexible brainstorming/storyboarding/group coaching sessions, depending on the expertise and needs of the group

  • PLUS . . . fun shopping experiences at local antiques and thrift stores and a visit to the beautiful prayer cabin at the Roberti Ranch for a Dream Big session

  • PLUS . . . optional, private, one-hour critique/editing sessions ($100 extra/hour)

Additionally, writers will meet together daily for devotional sessions that affirm their calling and help them to Dream Big.

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Retreat Details

Dates: April 18-21


Rates: $650/person, room choice first come, first served:

  • All actual rates include instruction, lodging (all beds are queen-sized), and eight meals. Full payment is required to hold the registration (via Venmo or check).​

  • Guest House Rebekah Room with a shared bath, living room, kitchen

  • Guest House sofabed in the Guest House living room with shared bath and kitchen

  • Beach Room in main house with a shared bath

  • Bethany Room in main house with a shared bath



The VALUE of the retreat is more than $1,235 . . . others charge $1,700 and more!

  • Lodging: $100 (or more)/night = $300

  • Meals: 3 dinners, 2 lunches, 3 breakfasts = $175 

  • Instruction: $700

  • Airport runs: $60

Refund policy: 

If a registrant needs to cancel, a $100 fee is deducted from the refund if more than 30 days from the date of the retreat, half the fee if within two weeks of the retreat, and no refund if within a week of the retreat.  

Additional offerings:​
  • Advance critique of up to 10 manuscripts and/or proposal pages with follow-up meeting: $100 (fee and manuscript due a week prior to retreat)

  • Individual coaching session: $50/hour (special retreat rate; sessions may be arranged at the retreat)

  • Ground travel: Set your GPS to 116 Main St. (CA-49), Loyalton CA 96118.

  • Air travel: Fly into the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, 45 miles/45 minutes from Loyalton; Janet can transport air travelers on the afternoon of the first day of the retreat and the morning of the last day. Please arrive by 3 p.m. Please do not make your departure time too early in the morning. 

What our attendees say...

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I’m so grateful for Janet’s skill and advice in working through my proposal with me. When you’re chasing a book publishing dream, it’s invaluable to have someone with industry expertise who’s willing to save you from yourself! I learned that it’s time for me to quit talking about writing a book and just send my proposal off into the world. It’s ready. It’s time. And now it’s up to me to have the courage to really give it a go.

~Laurie Davies, former journalist and marketing professional, blogger, women’s ministry director, Grace Community Church in Tempe AZ


I am so glad I attended the Sierra Valley Writers Retreat in April 2021. It was a small gathering of authors and aspiring writers. At first, I thought I was in way over my head! After progressing through the sessions, I began to have confidence that I too could be a writer. Janet is a great hostess and an excellent coach with a wealth of knowledge and experience as a nonfiction author. If you are a published author or just starting out, I highly recommend attending a Sierra Valley Writers Retreat.

~Anita Duran, aspiring author

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The Sierra Valley Writers Retreat was a massive step out of my comfort zone. I was the newbie, yet with the warmth of Janet’s home and her outstanding coaching/teaching, I was encouraged, prayed for, and given some excellent feedback. The takeaway was priceless. 

~Jenn Krogh, Wisconsin, Unconditional Ministries

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The Sierra Valley Writer’s Retreat was the inspiration I needed to jumpstart my writing! Janet’s hospitality and expertise in her field gave me the skills, environment, and encouragement through her well-planned sessions to rekindle my calling and purpose for writing. My heart is peaceful and my words productive after enjoying her lovely home in the beautiful Sierra Valley!

~Judy D. Turner, Picayune MS, music minister

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The Sierra Valley Writer’s Retreat was just what I needed this year. Janet McHenry opened her lovely home to four writers, causing fun and inspiration to ensue for three days. We enjoyed delicious meals (Janet is a wonderful cook!), brainstormed writing projects, prayed together, and challenged each other. Each of us had a bedroom (so comfy!), and Janet shared creative and meaningful devotions each evening. Unlike the bustle of a large writer’s conference, the intimate setting in the Sierra Valley was refreshing, and the company of writers was refreshing–not to mention hysterically funny at times. I hope to go again soon!


~Alice Crider, editor, writer, and publishing strategist at Your Write Life Coach 

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From the beautiful mountain scenery and delicious food to the expert writing coaching and brainstorming sessions, Janet McHenry’s Sierra Valley Writers Retreat was exactly the refreshment and encouragement I needed to help my book begin to take shape. Janet helped me refocus and believe again that it’s okay to dream big about God’s calling on my heart. If you need spiritual nourishment and a kind voice of wisdom over your writing, you will find both in abundance in Janet and her life-giving retreat.

~Macki Penick Smith, founder of The Peace-Seeking Mom

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Janet McHenry’s writing retreats are a treasure trove of gifts for writers at any stage of the writing experience. I especially enjoyed the workshop on developing a powerful book proposal (which has served me very well) and the storyboarding exercise that I used to structure and shape my current work in progress. As good as those activities are, developing connections with other writers was the most powerful element of the Sierra Valley Writer’s retreat. I strongly recommend it!

~Lisa Baldwin, Sacramento, author, She’s Still in There

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Janet McHenry’s Sierra Valley Retreat is the perfect blend of workshops, hands-on writing, small group support, and fun. I first attended one of her retreats that had a fiction focus, loved it, and met friends I remain in touch with two years later. I went back for her traditional nonfiction retreat and enjoyed storyboarding a book idea. I’d attend this fall if I didn’t have a conflict and hope to retreat in the beautiful Sierra Valley again. 

~Tracie Heskett, Vancouver WA, author and freelance writer

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The Sierra Valley Writers retreat renewed my soul and my dreams. I went there discouraged and came home renewed and ready to write again. I especially savored the evening Bible Study, reflective prayer time, and the beauty of the mountain valley that refreshed my weary heart. The hands-on help with my current WIP was invaluable and much appreciated. I highly recommend Janet McHenry as a writing mentor and spiritual guide. She is warm and wise and has the gift of hospitality. Her home is delightful and the meals she prepared amazing. I will definitely be attending this retreat again as soon as I possibly can.


 ~Paula Scott, author of the bestselling memoir Farming Grace


The saying “Timing is everything” certainly proved true in my experience with the Sierra Valley Writers Retreat hosted by Janet McHenry. Perfect timing, actually. In a season in which my spirit had shriveled and my want-to had waned, the retreat provided the peaceful place and spiritual space and community I needed to consider and pursue a fresh start. Perhaps you can relate. Or you might be new to writing and are looking for a place to explore the possibility of becoming a writer. Now is the time.

~Mona Hodgson, author of 42 novels, novellas, and children’s books

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In my loud and bustling world of being married to a politician and pastor--the ultimate extrovert--I sometimes forget that there are contemplative, inner processors who like to dive deeply into words, ideas, and stories. At The Sierra Valley Writers' Retreat, I was surrounded by My People. I came away restored and renewed as a writer and a person. I highly recommend this retreat!!

~Lynne Hartke, Chandler AZ, author, Under a Desert Sky: Redefining Hope, Beauty, and Faith in the Hardest Places

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The Sierra Valley Writers Retreat is an amazing weekend of learning nonfiction writing secrets from the wise and experienced Janet McHenry. We even got to hear from a fabulous agent as well. I loved the camaraderie and prayer with these dear women. Can't wait to see the books that will be coming soon.  I am thankful for Janet’s inspiration, rejuvenation, and sharing from her heart. 


~Deb Gruelle, northern California, bestselling author and speaker

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