Join Us October 8-12, 2017

You're Invited To Come & Feast At Our Table
Of Literary Delights 
From Appetizers To Desserts

Aspiring, beginning and published writers are welcome!

Ridgecrest, Autumn in the Blue Ridge Mountains

His Mysterious Ways

I thought novel writing was my highest calling, although for 25 years, I spent as much time working with the conference as I did writing. However, after I turned the conference over to someone else, I began to learn about the many aspiring writers whose lives were changed by that conference, just as I had been changed when I attended the Billy Graham School. In looking back, I see how God used me, a person least likely who had to learn and grow as I went along. He could have used Billy Graham for a conference here since he lives a couple miles away from Ridgecrest. But God worked through me and that was His mission for me, more than my writing novels, although both are part of His plan. He works so well when we’re not able, but yield and are willing to learn and grow and seek His will.

Autumn In The Mountains

October is the peak season for leaf color in the mountains of western North Carolina and the perfect time for writers to gather for inspiration, encouragement, improving skills and practicing creativity. All writers are welcome to come and learn the craft of writing, with a focus on novel writing of all genres. 

Retreat Includes:

Beautiful Setting 




Social Media

Private Appointments 

Writing Time



Yummy Food

Awards Banquet 


Yvonne Lehman

Yvonne Lehman, author of 57 novels founded and directs the Blue Ridge Novelist Retreat, now into it’s tenth year, held annually in October at the Ridgecrest NC Conference Center. She founded and directed the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference for 25 years.

Click for more information and to register at Ridgecrest’s website about the Retreat and view the panoramic views and beautiful Mountain Laurel Hotel where we have our rooms and classes.

Enrollment is limited – we average 50-60 attendees.  

Experienced Faculty & Metors

Yvonne Lehman - Director - 57 Novels, 8 Non-fiction, Romance & Women's Fiction Editor (LPC)

Brian Bird - Screenwriter, Adaptations, Producer of When Calls the Heart, and others

Jonathan Clements - Agent, Wheelhouse Literary

Edie Melson - Novels, Novellas - Social Media Expert

Dennis Hensley,PhD - Professor Taylor U, 64 books, 3500 other writings

Eddie Jones – Novels, Novellas - Publisher, Lighthouse of the Carolinas

Jenny Cote - International speaker, Children & Adult novels, Scripts

Lisa Carter - Suspense & Historical Novels, Novellas, Research


Lori Marett – story content, scripts

Denise Loock – story content, editing, polishing

Have your work Critiqued!

Critiques ~ $35 Each

Cover page - name, address, contact information, title, proposed word count


One and one-half to pages synopsis - single spaced, double between paragraphs

First three chapters - double spaced - not to exceed 20 pages


One to two-page synopsis – single spaced, double between paragraphs

First three chapters – double spaced – not to exceed 30 pages

Stage Plays:

One Page Summary – First 15-20 Pages

Movie Scripts:

One Page summary – First 25 Pages


You may send your material to be critiqued to one of the following faculty members through September 30 unless otherwise stated.

Novel, Novellas, Scripts/Plays Critique:

Yvonne Lehman - (novels, novellas, any genre)

Jenny Cote - - (novels, novellas, adult, children, scripts)

Lisa Carter - (novels, novellas, any genre)

Lori Marett - (story content for any genre, and scripts/plays)

Denise Loock – (any genre close to being ready for publication – will help writers polish sentence structure, improve clarity, and refine word choice)

Edie Melson - (any genre)

Edie will also critique social media and blogs.

Social Media Critique:

Send Edie ( the links to all your social media platforms and she'll evaluate what you're doing well and where you can improve.

She'll provide you with a written assessment so you'll have something solid to refer to when making improvements.

Blog Critique:

Send Edie ( the link to your blog and she'll evaluate its effectiveness. She'll provide a written assessment that looks at everything from colors and format, to posts and what's in your sidebar. This is a great way to take your blog to the next level.

Submit your critique to the person of your choice listed above.
The critique will advise to where you should send your check.



Submit via Email:

Put “Novel Retreat Contest” in subject line - attach to an email, Times New Roman, 12 point type 

Include title and genre: Romance, Suspense, SciFi, Fantasy, YA, Mystery, etc.

Certificates and Comments awarded for:

BEST TITLE - Entry fee $5.00 -

BEST FIRST SENTENCE - Entry fees $5.00


BEST FIRST PAGE - Entry fees $10

BEST PROPOSAL for NOVEL or NOVELLA by unpublished novelist - Entry fees $25

BEST PROPOSAL for STAGE PLAY – Entry fee $20



Entry fees $30.00

Novellas: (fiction stories ranging from 18,000 to 30,000 words)

Submit one and one-half pages synopsis (single spaced - double between paragraphs) and first chapters, not to exceed 20 double-spaced pages.

Novels: (fiction stories ranging from 45,000 to 85,000+) 

Submit a two-page synopsis and first chapters, not to exceed 30 pages (ifprologue submitted, its part of the 30 pages) - double-space all pages. Please state the genre on the cover sheet.

Stage Plays:

One Page Summary – first 15-20 pages

Movie Scripts:

One Page Summary – first 15-20 pages

GOLDEN LEAF AWARD for BEST FINISHED UNPUBLISHED NOVEL or NOVELLA by a 2017 attendee (the author may be previously published or not - if author is published, give a brief bio of published works and publisher)

Free critique of first 30 pages and additional comments -
will be considered for publication with LPC (with entrant's consent).

Submit all contest entries to and checks to:

Yvonne Lehman
102 Corbett Lane 
Black Mountain, NC 28711

We look forward to seeing you in October!

Novelist Retreat Program Fee:

Full Program Fee  – $350

One Day Fee – $175

One Half Day- $100

Mountain Laurel Lodging

Ridgecrest/LifeWay Conference Center, Ridgecrest, NC

(twenty minutes east of Asheville—home of the famous Biltmore House and Gardens)

Per Room Per Night: 

Single/Double - $75 / Triple - $85 / Quad - $95

Meal Package

Sunday Dinner ~ Thursday Lunch
$145 per person

OR Call Ridgecrest: 1.800.588.7222

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