Sherwood Forest

938 Center Street Douglas, MI 49406
May 16th - 19th - 2013

Can you imagine being in a quaint town, tucked away in a cozy inn for three days and getting in touch with your "writer's voice"?! Escape and join Wade for an intensive literary renewal covering everything from how to get your book published to how to find your authentic "voice.". It's sure to be a memorable experience…invite a friend, and we'll see you there!

nextchapter bookstore


Sherwood Forest is renowned for its food, history and incredible personal service. This beautiful Victorian Bed & Breakfast offers inviting elegance in a wooded setting that's within walking distance to Lake Michigan. The hardwood floors, leaded-glass windows, and wrap around porch add to the ideal surroundings. Perfect to set the mood and get your writing juices flowing! Treat your self to a much-needed getaway, guest rooms are complete with antiques, cozy wing chairs, Jacuzzis, and fireplaces.

Event Itinerary

What happens when you combine words, wine, Wade and writers in one of America's most stunning resort towns? A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to renew your mind, body, spirit and literary soul. (And, of course, drink wine with Wade!)

View Details

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."

Dr. Seuss

I dare you! Push my button!

Wade Rouse

Register Now

Tell A Friend

Be a tattle tale and tell a friend!
(In fact, tell all of them!)


Class times are:

Thursday, May 16, 2013
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Welcome Reception

Opening remarks (and toast!) from Wade, and class outline/schedule handed out to attendees. Attendee introductions and brief description of what defines you and your passion to write. Wade will also be doing a reading from his latest work.

Friday, May 17, 2013
10:00 am

Facing Your Fear & Finding Your Voice

Fear is what stops most people from pursuing their passion and following their dreams. Fear is also what inhibits most authors from writing what calls to them, and keeps them from finding their voice. Fear is, too often, a writer's worst and final editor. Wade will lead participants through an in-depth discussion on fear, how it is intertwined with writing, and how it nearly stopped him. He will share examples of his early work, and how his overcoming of fear – in his life and in his writing – was the final piece of the puzzle that changed his work and his voice forever, and led him to become a bestselling author.

Wade will also teach how to unleash your true writer's voice. Whether writing your first novel, mystery, or memoir, "voice" is the key to success, and the one thing every agent, editor and publisher is seeking. Before you write a word, you must first know NOT what you want to say but HOW you want to say it. Voice – not topic – is what sets every writer apart and serves as his or her greatest chance of success.

Wade will lead participants through an intensive, emotional and often life-changing writing exercise that links these two vital elements: How you can overcome your fear and find your own unique voice. Come prepared to write, to share, to laugh and to cry.

Lunch at the Inn
1:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Agents, Editors & Publishers, Oh, My! The Wizard's secrets to finding your yellow brick road to the literary world!

You have a manuscript, but it doesn't have a home. Or, at least, you are working on a manuscript, and you dream of being published. Publishing sources report that 99.9 percent of all queries to literary agents are rejected. And you thought writing was the hard part? So what makes the perfect elevator pitch? The perfect query letter? How do you beat the odds, and become part of that elite group?

Wade will teach participants how to craft the perfect query by sharing his original query, which landed seven formal offers, as well as those of some of his bestselling author-friends. Learn how to approach agents, and secure a reputable literary agent who can sell your work to a major publisher.

Wade will also walk participants through life after your book is published: What to expect when working with a major editor and publisher, how to market yourself, blog and deliver your own publicity. Specifically, Wade will teach what it's like to work with an editor, publishing today (the realities, challenges, and wonders), and how to be your own publicist, a necessity in the world today.

Wade will conduct a joint teaching and open Q&A session, with a prime focus on your work(s) in progress. In essence, now that you've found your voice, you need to find your way to the end. In addition to loads of courage, talent and time, you need structure. What makes a compelling plot? How do you create tension and compelling characters? How do you tackle a memoir? How do successful writers channel that narrative flow?

5:00pm Free Time

7:00 pm

Dinner with group at Clear Brook (not included in package price)

Saturday, May 18, 2013
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Wade will share his tips and creative exercises for perfecting your work and completing it, focusing on:

  • Characterization
  • Dialogue
  • Tension
  • Plot flow
  • Beginning a memorable work (How to create the " first-page pop" … and keep that going)
  • Narrative Flow
  • Humor

After Wade discusses each point, he will stop and ask you where you are stuck, or in need of help, in your particular work. He will also share – and ask you to share – pieces of his and your work, as examples to the class of compelling characterization, or damn good dialogue. A great class experience, that combines teaching, and group thinking

12:30 pm

Orchard/Winery/Saugatuck/Douglas tour with Gary. Includes lunch at Cranes Pie Pantry & Restaurant, visit to Fenn Valley Winery, Saugatuck's Oval Beach and escorted shopping trip in Saugatuck as Gary shows you all of his favorite places!

Saturday Evening free time to write and explore. Dinner on your own or with your fellow writers.

Sunday, May 19, 2013
9:00 am

Goodbye breakfast provided.
Food, Hugs & Caffeine!

So-long to Sherwood Forest and new friends/successful writers! 9:00 AM- Retreat wrap up, overview & questions. Also those of you who would like to share additional pieces of their work are invited to do so this morning.

3 nights including tax:
3 day workshop
welcome Apps/wine
Friday lunch at the Inn
Saturday Lunch at Cranes Pie Pantry

Rose Room (Queen bed, priv. bath w/ shower) = $1018.00
Tree Tops Room (Queen bed, priv. bath w/ shower, fireplace) = $1018.00
Black & White Room (Queen bed, priv. bath w/ Jacuzzi) = $1103.00
Log Cabin Suite (Queen bed, fireplace, priv. bath w/ Jacuzzi, wet bar, & separate shower area) = $1223.00
Victorian Suite (Queen bed, fireplace, priv. bath w/ Jacuzzi, wet bar, & separate shower area) = $1223.00
Cottage (2 bedrooms w/ Queen beds, 1 1/2 bathrooms, living room, & kitchen) = $1158.00

Register Now

Sherwood Forest Bed & Breakfast

Welcome to Sherwood Forest Bed & Breakfast…the perfect setting for Wade's Writing Retreat!

This Bed & Breakfast has 5 cozy guest rooms, and a cottage, each with a private bath. Every room has its own unique personality and look, some with fireplaces and jacuzzis. Surrounded by woods, this beautiful Victorian-style home offers Lake Michigan lodging accommodations in an ideal setting. The hardwood floors, leaded-glass windows, oak-paneled staircase, and wrap around porch all add to the inviting elegance of Sherwood Forest.

Each morning at this Lake Michigan resort, breakfast is served in the lace-curtained dining room or on the gracious porch. Breakfast favorites include blueberry coffeecake, cinnamon-orange French toast, or potato quiche, accompanied by fresh fruit salad, home-baked breads and muffins, and gourmet coffee and teas.


Saugatuck and Douglas are harbor villages that celebrate diversity - small-town America at its best! Here visitors can turn back the pages of time to enjoy a simpler life where no one hurries and no one hurries you, a place where everyone is special and everyone is welcome. Just recently the National Trust for Historic Preservation selected Saugatuck/Douglas as one of the Dozen Distinctive Destinations in the United States. While visiting either downtown area, you can walk - in a safe and friendly environment - to almost everything.

Take a self-guided tour of the elegant historical buildings that provide the 19th century charm, or indulge yourself in Douglas' downtown shopping.

For over a century, artists have been drawn to the towering dunes, pristine beaches and other natural splendors of this jewel-like setting on Lake Michigan's eastern shore.

So what are you waiting for? Come and discover Saugatuck!

Register Now

Distance From:

  • St. Louis: 408 miles (7 hours)
  • Dayton: 303 miles (5.5 hours)
  • Cleveland: 338 miles (5.5 hours)
  • Indianapolis: 241 miles (4.25 hours)
  • Detroit: 181 miles (3.25 hours)
  • Chicago: 141 miles (2.5 hours)
  • South Bend: 70 miles (1.25 hours)
  • Grand Rapids: 38 miles (40 mins)

Shuttle Info

If you're planning on flying in (which means arrival at Grand Rapids Airport), shuttle transportation will be arranged by Gary Edwards.

Please contact Gary at 269 929 6122 or details and pricing.


Wondering what to pack? Well, hopefully this tidbit of information helps you decide. May's weather in Saugatuck is starting to warm up for summer, but it's still cool. It can still be in the 50-60's in the day and low 40-50s at night. It can also be 75 depending on the spring. Oh, and our lush gardens are courtesy of Mother's Nature…which means possible rain when you're here.

Places To Visit In Saugatuck

If you're planning on doing some sight seeing before or after the retreat, here are a few suggested places to visit!

Or visit the main website:

Register Now