Writing from Our True Depths

Join Valley Haggard + Elizabeth Ferris
in Buena Vista, Virginia

for an all inclusive retreat
in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains
August 9-11, 2019





The beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains have inspired writers and artists for generations. Unearthing Retreat will be taking place in Buena Vista, VA, just a two-hour drive from Life in 10’s Richmond, VA home.


Heartstone Lodge, our retreat venue, sits on a 250 acre country estate. It was once a working farm, and its lovingly renovated buildings still hold the heart and character of its past life. From the incredibly curated art and sculpture throughout the property to the free-range chickens and grazing cattle, to the surrounding hills and gardens, this space is truly magical! Every part of this country retreat is a thoughtful mix of rustic and modern.


class description

We live our lives and tell our stories in layers. Every experience we endure, survive, celebrate or grieve adds sediment, rock, jewel, depth to our being. In this series of Unearthing workshops we will sift through buried memories, fragments, and dreams to find what we most need at this stage in our journey. Whether we are writing to heal, to process, or to create a longer body of work, Unearthing will give us the tools and the support we need to dig deep.

Welcome to all levels of writing experience.



August 9th
2:00pm: Arrival, settling in, exploring retreat grounds
5:00pm: Dinner
6:30pm - 8:30pm: Opening writing session with Valley Haggard
August 10th
7:00am - 8:00am: Guided morning meditation and Reiki with Valley
8:00 - 9:00: Breakfast
9:00am - 11:00am: Small group writing sessions with Valley and Elizabeth
12:00pm - 1:00pm: Picnic Lunch
2:00pm - 4:00pm: Small group writing sessions with Valley and Elizabeth
5:00pm - 6:00pm: Dinner
6:30pm - 8:30pm: Evening writing session
9:00pm - 10:00pm: Bonfire
August 11th
6:30am - 8:00am: Sacred Labyrinth walk with Nadia
8:00am - 9:00am: Breakfast
9:00am - 10:00am: Closing writing session
11:00am: Checkout

Your teachers

Valley Haggard is the author of The Halfway House for Writers (2015) and Surrender Your Weapons: Writing to Heal (2018). She is the co-editor of Nine Lives: A Life in 10 Minutes Anthology and the founder of the Life in 10 Minutes Project, Podcast and Press, all of which are dedicated to helping people from all walks of life write and tell stories from their lives that are brave and true. Valley has been a Waffle House waitress, a dude ranch cabin girl, a cruise ship stewardess, a book reviewer, and a freelance writer. She leads Life in 10 Minutes workshops, living room tours and retreats around Virginia and co-founded a writing center in the heart of Richmond, Virginia. She lives with her hound dog, two cats, one bearded dragon, a husband and a son in the house she grew up in.

Elizabeth Ferris is an editor, writer, and writing teacher at Life in 10 Minutes and our sister organization Richmond Young Writers. Elizabeth got her start editing while an undergraduate at The College of William and Mary, where she worked on the nonfiction book New Desires, New Selves (NYU Press). She’s edited for Vanderbilt University Press and freelance clients including journalists, educators, and aspiring novelists and memoirists. Currently, she is the executive editor for Life in 10 Minutes Press. When not editing, Elizabeth contributes regularly to Richmond magazine, writing on topics ranging from banjo-playing pharmacists to the human microbiome. She has a BA in English from The College of William and Mary and is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at Queens University of Charlotte.



Deposit and registration

In order to hold your spot, please register by July 1, 2019. A deposit of 50% of attendance must be paid at time of registration. Payment balance is due on or before July 9th. Your total registration fee depends on the accommodation you select.


There will be no deposit refunds issued. There is limited refund for the balance before July 1st, with conditions. Please email Nadia or Valley if there is a need for consideration.


If, due to unforeseen circumstances, Valley and Elizabeth must cancel the retreat, 90% of monies paid will be refunded.


Retreat price does not include your travel costs to Buena Vista. Heartstone Lodge is a 2 hour drive from Richmond, VA and conveniently located off of I-81. Parking on site is located a 5 minute walk from the main lodge area, however a drop off zone is available for luggage upon arrival and departure.


The retreat center is not designed for wheelchair access. The main lodge space has one wheelchair parking spot available and ramp access to the first floor of the retreat center only. All sleeping accommodations have staircase or unpaved walk access only. If you have specific accessibility concerns please send us an email at info@lifein10minutes.com


All spaces in the lodge and all sleeping accommodations are climate controlled, but please note summers in Virginia can be very hot and humid! It would be good to bring plenty of light clothing, sunscreen, hats and a reusable water bottle if you plan to enjoy the abundant and beautiful outdoor spaces. If you plan to take any walks and hikes on the property and surrounding areas, please also bring close toed shoes and long pants. Summer is tick season, so it’s important to come prepared.


All meals are included with registration costs. Full Circle Catering, based out of Lexington, VA will be providing us with delicious earth-conscious meals, including vegetarian, gluten-free and nut-free options. If you have a serious allergy please let us know, and if the menu doesn’t accommodate your needs, we will provide you with kitchen resources so that you can provide your own food.