Writing & Publishing Retreat in the Desert 2024


Published author and writing coach Tammy Nelson PhD guides you to jumpstart, redesign, or complete your writing project in this intimate and personalized retreat in beautiful Joshua Tree, California. Find the motivation, support, and space to reach your writing goals.



with Expert Writer Dr. Tammy Nelson at Joshua Tree National Park, California

March 7-10, 2024

Please contact Dr. Nelson for details and to complete your registration. Deposit $500 accepted here.

What is your story?

Are you telling yourself that you can’t write a book because it’s already been done, you have nothing to say, you can’t find the words, or you don’t have the time? What are the stories that are holding you back from your dream of being a published author?

Now is the time to change your story. Yes, other people have written books, but no one has ever written your book. This workshop will help you find the courage, the confidence, and the words to turn your writing dreams into something more. Give yourself the gift of time and space to destress and to process… and you too can be a published author. You deserve to find out how.

In this writing retreat, there will be plenty of time to focus, to dream, to create intentions and to contemplate your project. Come with a dream and a pen, and leave with a completed manuscript and a plan. If you haven’t begun, now is your chance.

You will find no judgment here, only clarity.

A writers’ retreat is a place to move your project forward, create an outline and a plan, and get moving on your ideas. You will find that Tammy’s personally designed writing exercises let you write more and dream bigger than ever before.

Previous attendees are saying,

“I never would have done this without your help. Now I have a published book in my hand and another contract on the way. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I can’t say it enough.”


“Coaching with Tammy helps me feel respected and gotten. I come away from coaching sessions with less self-aggression. Self-aggression is my biggest block when it comes to writing. When I soften, I glow and flow in my ability to write. When writing, I can send that message (of powerful tenderness and greater self-acceptance) to the universe. I’ve learned to and receive guidance through my writing, which supports me between coaching sessions.”

~ Amy Elizabeth Gordon, M.A., Relationship Doula & Published Author

This retreat in Joshua Tree, California is limited to a small group of motivated (and courageous) attendees. Your workshop will include direct one-on-one and group experientials, as well as plenty of time for writing and personal reflection. We will use yoga, breathing, meditation, journaling, somatic practices, hiking, and group discussion to enhance your writing and develop it as a spiritual and successful daily practice.

While the retreat will focus on the practicality of writing a book or article, a blog or substack, we will be connecting closely to the spirit of your story and combine practices that will connect you to your highest and most helpful guide – your own intuition.

As your mentor, Tammy Nelson, Ph.D. has written and published six books and several decades of experience with agents, acquisition editors, and hybrid distribution deals, and has had unique experiences with each of her best-selling nonfiction books. She is currently working on more projects, including a memoir and a novel, as well as a screenplay for television. She has published dozens of eBooks, hundreds of articles, a Date Night Card Deck and has had lots and lots of rejections. Tammy knows how to fail, and she can show you how to learn from both your failures and your successes.

Find the motivation and support to reach your writing goals.

Tammy also knows how to lead retreats, which she has been doing for over 25 years. She has led writing retreats for therapists, couples, clinicians, yoga instructors, meditators, psychedelic practitioners, and CEOs of major corporations in multiple locations including Cape Cod, New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington DC. This workshop will be held in Joshua Tree, California, where the desert itself will help writers imagine their biggest writing dreams.

Under the sun and stars, we will all practice our writing and share our dreams. During the day we will practice mindful writing exercises and visioning to help you complete your most challenging projects. We also offer optional hikes in Joshua Tree National Park and field trips to surrounding tourist attractions.

Participants will have time for sharing one-on-one and in small groups. Each writer will be mentored directly and will be able to ask questions and receive feedback. We will learn when to use a book proposal, when to self-publish, and when and how to find a literary agent.

It doesn’t matter where you are on your writing project- giving birth to the idea or starting over on a whole new book – this retreat is limited to a chosen group of participants – those who dare to dig into their story and write. The workshop will be small enough to feel safe and with enough external space to find the room to spread your writing wings.

Your tuition includes all classes, exercises, and journals, as well as breakfast, lunch, snacks, and most dinners, with space to go into town to pursue your own adventures. The houses where we will stay are located on ten acres of desert with reserved desert surrounding the area. There is a hot tub, outdoor lounge chairs, and plenty of space to find a quiet nook for you to explore your writing.

Massage therapists are available on-site, and Joshua Tree National Park is an 8-minute drive from the retreat location. There is a reserve directly across the street, and the town of Joshua Tree is a ten-minute drive, where you can find cowboy restaurants, coffee shops, and the Integraton, as well as the roads to Desert Hot Springs.

Bring your story to life in a way that feels authentic and true to you. Remember, only you can tell your story. Your book needs you. It’s been waiting inside of you all your life.

This Retreat is for anyone who:

  • -Wants to write a book of any size or shape
  • -Has an idea but hasn’t begun
  • -Has written some or all of their project but can’t seem to finish
  • -Wants help formulating their outline into engaging content
  • -Would like to start or change their focus

Is it time to explore your story?


Price – four days incl. room, board, workshop

King size bed with private bath – $2,400

Queen size bed with shared bath – $2,100

King size bed with shared bath -$2,200

Queen size bed with private bath and separate entrance – $2,400

If you choose a day pass only and stay somewhere else, the retreat for four days is $1500. If you add a person to your room it is an additional $1200 for the visiting partner for room and board.  A brief questionnaire will go out asking you about your writing project and we will set up a call to discuss your goals for the retreat.


Tuition includes:

19 hours of workshops

19 CEs – no extra charge

Meals and snacks, beverages every day

Supplemental yoga, meditation, hiking, hot tub

Extra charges: Massage – 60 to 90 minutes – payable directly to the massage therapist

Extra sessions: KAP, and other sessions optional for extended stay


Thursday, March 7

· 4:30-6:30pm Opening Workshop

· 6:00pm-7:30pm Dinner

· 8:00pm-9:00pm Closing Workshop

Friday, March 8

· 8:00am – 9:00 am Breakfast

· 9:30 am – 12:00 pm Morning Workshop (includes breaks)

· 12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch

· 2:00pm – 5:30 pm Afternoon Workshop (includes breaks)

· 6:00pm – 7:00 pm Dinner (on your own)

· 7:30 – 9:00 pm Evening Workshop

Saturday, March 9

· 8 – 9 am Breakfast

· 9:30 am – 12 pm Morning Workshop (includes breaks)

· 12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch (together or on your own)

· 2:00pm – 5:30 pm Afternoon Workshop

· 6:00pm- 7:00 pm Dinner (together or on your own)

· 7:30 – 9:00 pm Evening Session

Sunday, March 10

· 7 – 9 am Check-out of Rooms

· 8 – 9 am Breakfast

· 9:30 am – 12 pm Closing Workshop

· 12:30 – 2:00 pm Lunch & Departure

*Please note that the schedule is subject to change. Refund policy: Due to the short timeline we are required to pay for accommodations through Joshua Tree shortly. If you must cancel your reservation, you will receive a refund less a $50 admin fee if canceled before Feb 9, 2024. If you cancel with less than 10 days’ notice, you forfeit a refund but may use that amount as credit toward courses. For refunds, credit will be applied to the original route of purchase within 30 days of notice.


Email for more info

This year I have helped two writers get their proposal to an acquisition editor, and two other writers prepare their book for the journey to an agent. All of these writers consulted directly with me and I worked on their ideas and their proposal with them to get their books sold and get them a contract.

They are in negotiations as we speak.

I have helped hundreds of writers take their concepts, their pages, and their outlines to completion. Are you next?

Business portrait of male hand holding pen



“I loved the way you took my questions and then created a way to answer those questions, with examples, in the group. Your feedback was targeted specifically for what I needed to do now, and what I needed to do next. Thank you for helping me get launched Tammy. I now have the confidence to complete this project. This was an amazing class and you are an amazing teacher and resource. I look forward to working with you in the future.” – Ralph Butcher, MFT

i-FKjNMdQ-MAbout Dr. Tammy Nelson: Tammy Nelson, Ph.D., LPC is the author of several books including The New Monogamy (2012), Getting the Sex You Want (2008), and What’s Eating You (2004). Her memoir Naked TherapistTM is currently under negotiation.

She has been a featured expert in New York Times, Self, Washington Post, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, MSNBC, Healthy Life Magazine, Shape, Men’s Health, Men’s Health UK, Woman’s Day, Women’s Health, Twist Magazine, and a source in Time Magazine. She writes for the Psychotherapy Networker and Huffington Post, YourTango, ThirdAge, and many other blogs. She can be followed on her own blog: DrTammyNelson.com/blog

Additional information


Retreat + accommodations, Retreat w/o accommodations, Deposit


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