By Andria Barrios

The Florida Inspirational Writer’s Retreat (FIWR) has motivated writers across the community for many years. The fifth annual event, coming this October, is expected to be no different.

Ruth Ellinger and Debora Coty, both award winning local authors, founded this writers retreat in 2009, and it has grown ever since.

“FIWR is designed to benefit inspirational writers of all levels, from aspiring to experienced. Writers from various genres have reported that the workshops are interesting and most helpful,” said Coty.

This full day event will take place on Saturday, October 3 and will include speakers, workshops and contests. Lunch, as well as refreshments throughout the day, are provided. This year, keynote speaker is Deb DeArmond, a celebrated columnist and award winning author on topics such as marriage, parenting and family relationships. Other speakers include Karen Prough, historical fiction and short story writer, Janice Doyle, magazine writer and editor, Rick Christensen, Christian author and speaker and Sharron Crosby, devotional writer.

Learn how to write killer queries and book proposals, get tips on professional editing and master the art of speaking creatively in writing. Even amateur writers can hear success stories of published authors and participate in a wonderful opportunity to network through this retreat.

The Night Owl Manuscript Critique is another popular aspect of the retreat which takes place the evening before.

“Attendees have the opportunity to have a manuscript critiqued by published authors in a loving, gracious and productive manner. Many have gone on to achieve success in publication as a result of the information gleaned in these enlightening sessions,” said Coty.

“We expect a capacity crowd this year which is 35. So it’s a good idea to get your registration in early, as it is first come first serve,” she advised.

Registration is $115, with a deadline of Friday, September 25. Bring a friend discount lowers cost to $75.

The Florida Inspirational Writer’s Retreat is held at CedarKirk Retreat and Conference Center 1920 Streetman Dr. The Night Owl Manuscript Critique is held at St. Andrews United Methodist Church 3315 Bryan Rd. Registration forms can be found at and should be emailed to

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