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Reflecting on the 2024 Indies Author Retreat & Women in Literature Awards


As I sit down to recount the events of the 2024 Indies Author Retreat and the 8th Annual Women in Literature Awards, I am already filled with a sense of nostalgia. Held from May 24th to 26th in my hometown of Quincy, Illinois, the retreat was a memorable gathering of creative minds.



The Welcoming Cookout The retreat house opened its doors on Friday afternoon, welcoming participants with a casual meet and greet mixer. The evening progressed into a delightful cookout, featuring an array of BBQ favorites like hamburgers, brats, chicken, and pork chops. The night culminated with newfound comradery and stories shared among new friends.

Workshops and Wisdom Saturday was brimming with insightful workshops. From leveraging BookTok for expanding sales to mastering shameless self-promotion, each session offered valuable knowledge. Notably, the workshop on what libraries look for provided practical advice for getting books noticed by librarians.


Literary Celebrations The public book readings at Quincy Public Library were a highlight, showcasing the diverse talents of the authors. The awards ceremony dinner that evening was a festive affair, honoring the Small Bites Short Story Contest and Women in Literature & Media awardees.

Final Farewells Sunday’s workshops continued to inspire, covering topics such as the importance of themes in storytelling and effective editing techniques. The retreat concluded with a picnic lunch, leaving us with fond memories and new friendships.


The 2024 Indies Author Retreat was not just an event; it was a celebration of literature and a testament to the power of community in the writing world and I am looking forward to next years retreat already. The connections made and new friendships forged over the weekend have inspired me to continue this as a yearly event that will be open to writers everywhere to attend.


Thank you to everyone who attended and I am looking forward to seeing you all again next year!


Lisa Orban

owner, Indies United



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