Coupon code for MountainTop Writers Retreat

A New Year's gift from us to you!Hi, all!

We still have rooms available at Winter MountainTop, our upcoming retreat for writers and creatives, Jan. 30 – Feb. 2, 2020 in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Use coupon code MTNWRITE for $100 off the total price.

Tons of info here under the MountainTop Writers Retreat page. To register and use your coupon code, go to And please don’t hesitate to email me directly at thewritingscott at gmail dot com with any questions about the retreat.

Please share with any writer or creative person in your life who is in need of time, space, and inspiration!

This is also a retreat for clergy, professors, teachers, songwriters, artists and more–anyone working on new or continuing projects. There will be private or shared rooms in a rustic-elegant mountain lodge, catered meals, roaring fires, yoga, hiking, mentoring/brainstorming sessions with me, workshop with bestselling author Kimberly Brock, and more. Participants may engage as much or as little as they want. It’s the perfect way to kick off a creative new year!

(Registration will end 1.15.20.)

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Resolve to commit to your writing in 2020 – Winter MountainTop Writers Retreat

wintersunsetThe new year is coming, crisp and cold and mysterious–waiting for you to finally tell your story.

There is still time to register for our upcoming retreat, Winter MountainTop, hosted Jan. 30 – Feb. 2, 2020 at gorgeous Earthshine Lodge in the mountains of Western North Carolina. With private or shared rooms in a rustic-elegant lodge, catered meals, roaring fires, hours of uninterrupted writing time, hiking, yoga, brainstorming/mentoring sessions, workshop with Visiting Author Kimberly Brock, and more. A national forest at your feet. It’s the perfect time to begin a creative new year.

For more information and to register, go to

Tons of information available by scrolling through posts below, and beneath the MountainTop Writers Retreat page (and subsequent drop-down pages) here.

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Why I launched a new writers’ retreat

MountainTop Writers Retreat (1)_hillphotoWhen you launch a brand new writers’ retreat in the midst of your own busy life, folks will naturally ask why. There are hundreds (possibly thousands) of writers’ retreats and residencies in the United States alone: why start a new one? What makes your retreat different from so many others?

These are good questions, of course. Here are answers, interview-style, because I used to be a newspaper reporter, and I like doing it this way.  I hope that for those of you interested in MountainTop Writers Retreat, they’ll offer some insight.

Here we go.

Why launch a writers’ retreat?
I live in a beautiful part of the world, and was raised in a beautiful part of the world, and I’ve thought of offering my own writers’ retreats here for years. In fact, in the early spring of 2018 I hosted my first, private retreat at a lakehouse in the South Carolina foothills. It was a small weekend retreat, attended by Kimberly Brock, Emily Carpenter, and M.J. Pullen: three successful, published authors looking for peace, quiet, and time to write. Kimberly was already a compadre of mine, and she’d hooked the others. I cooked a welcome meal, we pooled groceries and wine, and I kept a fire roaring in the fireplace all day and well into the night. We all wrote like gangbusters, sometimes together. It was glorious. I walked away with two new friends, and the itch to do it again.

But I wanted to find a place a little closer to Brevard, North Carolina, the dreamy small town where I live with my husband, dog, and two young daughters (i.e. the people who require my time and attention). MountainTop Writers Retreat was officially born because of a bit of kismet: two Brevard friends, Ali Lien and Anna Bracco–awesome female entrepreneurs–bought Earthshine Lodge, an incredibly special property about 20 minutes away from town. There was a remote setting, 76 acres of gorgeous mountain meadow and forest abutting the Pisgah National Forest, views for days, a rustic-elegant private lodge, and so much more. I knew it was the perfect place to host writers’ retreats.

But, wait. There’s got to be more. 

There is. There are other reasons, of course, to launch a writers’ retreat. Namely this: Writers need space, time, and quiet in which to write. Never before in my life as a writer have I felt this more than I do now, with a husband, two young children, a dog, a house, and multiple vocations/avocations/responsibilities calling–sometimes all at once–for my attention. I know I’m not alone.

Most writers have other jobs outside of writing, don’t they?

Yep. Writing tends to take a backseat to those jobs, to family concerns, to–let’s face it–just about everything else. Even when we have a set writing routine, it is often interrupted by, well: life. We know that at any moment, or at a certain point in the day, we have to walk away from the desk–no matter how well the writing flows. It’s rare to find concentrated chunks of writing time when we can really dig into the work; when we allow inspiration to have time to spark, ignite, and flame. Retreat–a true retreat, where we can put our focus solely onto our craft–gives us this time.

I have had the good fortune (and luck) to spend time as a writer-in-residence at other retreats and residencies. Time which spurred my work, which launched me into a new opportunity, whether it be an award or connection. Time which allowed me to focus only on my work, my writing, my creativity. It was a gift. And it changed everything for me.

MountainTop offers something else, too. It offers an opening for the magic to get through. As creatives, we all know ideas and inspirations live in the air around us, whipping about like invisible threads. Sometimes, someone else–another writer–grabs a thread before we can, and makes something of it. But there are plenty of threads for all of us. What we have to have is the time, and the quiet, in which to be still. So that we can see these threads, and pull them down for ourselves.

MountainTop Writers Retreat offers just that: time, quiet, and inspiration, in a gorgeous mountain setting. Every retreat with us is crafted to suit a writer’s individual needs. Every itinerary item is included, but optional. Each writer decides how much he or she takes part. Walk alone in the woods, join a hike, take a yoga class, rock in a rocking chair, cozy up by a roaring fire in a giant stone fireplace, or hunker down in your room in the Lodge, and plunk away at those laptop keys. This is what makes MountainTop different: It’s your retreat. Make it what you will.

What about the location of the retreat?

MountainTop Writers Retreat is also different from others because of where it’s located and what it offers: a remote mountain setting, a rustic-elegant lodge, a national forest at your feet. Many retreats or residencies are offered at the least for one week, and at most for months at a time. MountainTop Writers Retreats are hosted over long weekends, which give participants enough time to dig into new work, or to work on continued projects or deadlines, but not so long as to interfere with job or family responsibilities.

At every retreat I’ve attended, there have been times when I’ve wanted to keep working–to keep typing away–and for the world to leave me alone. But inevitably, I’d have to attend a workshop, or a pitch session, or interact at meals. Many times, this was welcome–and I enjoyed these interactions. But many other times, they were an interruption from the creativity sparking in my writing. I want writers to have the choice: to step away from their writing and to interact with others only on their terms.

Here’s what I want folks to get out of a weekend with us at MountainTop Writers Retreat:

The Oxford English Dictionary defines “retreat”, in part, as “to retire, withdraw. [To] remove, take away.” It is my hope that writers who join us at MountainTop are able to retire and withdraw from the busy world–from anything which may keep them from their writing. (Sometimes–a lot of the time–this means separating ourselves only temporarily  from jobs, spouses, children, dogs, and duties.) By offering MountainTop retreats, I want to remove any impediment to creativity. I want to take away the things which stand between a writer and the writing.

All writers are welcome here. MountainTop is open to any adult writer or creative: authors, poets, playwrights, clergy, journalists, crafters, artists, and more. You can be anywhere in your journey as a writer when you come to MountainTop. 

At MountainTop Writers Retreat, our goals are peace, quiet, seclusion, inspiration. I want writers to walk away feeling refreshed, re-energized, and excited about what lies ahead in their creative work and in their creative lives. I want them, too, to feel touched by the magic inherent here–in the Lodge itself, and in the surrounding mountains and forests. I want them to feel as if they’ve been given a gift.

Winter MountainTop is our upcoming retreat Jan. 30 – Feb. 2, 2020. We’re offering a coupon code now through Jan. 19, 2020, when registration ends. $100 off the total price by using code MTNWRITE. The discount is applied directly when you register. I hope you’ll consider Winter MountainTop as a gift to yourself, or to the writer or creative in your life.

For more information and to register, click here.

* Don’t forget to check out the information under the MountainTop Writers Retreat page of this website, and the tabs beneath for FAQ, bios, photos, and more.







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Looking for a writer’s retreat this winter? Or a gift for the writer in your life? Our Winter Retreat is live!

* I have published a brand-new Keowee Valley Christmas story! $0.99 on Kindle (FREE for Kindle Unlimited members.) Quinn and Jack are back in the Valley! Click here for more info. 

MountainTop Writers Retreat_InstagramGive yourself–or the writer in your life–the gift of retreat this holiday season! 

Join us at Winter MountainTop, our newest retreat for writers and creatives of all stages, January 30 – February 2, 2020.

Hosted at Earthshine Lodge in the gorgeous mountains of Western North Carolina, Winter MountainTop is a retreat for writers and creatives in need of quiet and time, with an optional itinerary of activities, including brainstorming/mentoring sessions and craft talks/workshops with visiting authors, hiking, yoga, meditation, and more. Perfect for writers of all genres and stages who are working on new or continuing projects. Though we will share communal spaces in the Lodge, and some meals, any and all time spent with other writers and visiting authors is by choice. Our goals are quiet, coziness, productivity, and inspiration. This is your retreat!

Winter MountainTop 2020 is excited to host Visiting Author Kimberly Brock, author of the bestselling SouthernKBrockheadshot4 Gothic novel, The River Witch. Kimberly is a guest lecturer, speaker, essayist, and more. She is the founder of Tinderbox Writers Retreat, a member of Tall Poppy Writers, and was 2013 Georgia Author of the Year. Most recently, Kimberly was a faculty member of the 2019 Pat Conroy Literacy Center’s Anchorage Writers Retreat Weekend.

For more information about what is included in your package, your private (or shared) accommodations, and to register, click here.

Holiday special pricing with $100 off now through December 25th!


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Evergreen and Expectations: A Keowee Valley Christmas Story

Quinn and Jack are back in the Valley!

I am ever so happy to bring you “Evergreen and Expectations: A Keowee Valley Christmas Story.” Whether it’s your first visit, or a return, I hope you enjoy the 1700s, and the wild Carolina backcountry! It is Christmas, and it is snowing, and Quinn and Jack–and a few surprises–are waiting for you.

Available on Kindle for $0.99. Free to Kindle Unlimited members!

To buy, click here.

EvergreencoverIt is Christmas in the Keowee Valley. Over a year since Quincy MacFadden Wolf and her half-Cherokee husband, Jack, returned from adventures abroad, it should be a season of celebration and good cheer. Quite unlike herself, Quinn is surly and sad, longing for the good company of friends and family. But the Twelve Days of Christmas will bring surprising revelations and unexpected guests, and Quinn will discover she is capable of great purpose–and that she is more at home on the frontier than ever before.

Katherine Scott Crawford returns with a short story filled with characters from her awarding-winning historical novel. Set on the wild Carolina frontier in the years before the American Revolution, the Keowee Valley is still beautiful and mysterious, and Quinn and Jack a pair of lovers as rare and real as they ever were.

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A Keowee Valley Christmas Story … Coming soon!

My desk, with an old friend

My desk, with an old friend

So, dear readers. I’m doing this thing. I’m writing a Keowee Valley Christmas story: something I’ve wanted to do for years. I figure, if I put it out there that I’m doing so, it’s a way of contracting with myself.

Quinn and Jack are back, of course, and maybe Ridge Runner, too–and other characters old and new. It’s been lovely to wander the Valley again, to listen in as these two very different characters whisper in my head.

I’m hoping to publish online by December 1st, most likely via Kindle Direct Publishing for around 99 cents.

Now, all you need to do is cross your fingers that everyone leaves me alone so I can write.

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News: Winter MountainTop Writers Retreat 2020

wintersunsetWinter is my favorite season to be a writer. It’s a time to hunker down, to simplify. To let stories run like a waking dream beneath the frozen ground.

I write best in winter. Maybe it’s simply that, in winter, I let go of other things in my busy life. Maybe it’s because I have an excuse to hibernate.

This is why MountainTop Writers Retreat is happy to announce a retreat for writers and creatives in early 2020. Winter MountainTop 2020 will be open to all writers and creatives (ages 21 and older), hosted at gorgeous Earthshine Lodge in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

Details forthcoming within a week, so be sure to check back in! In the meantime, happy writing!

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What Would Quinn Do?

keowee graphic

To go directly to my guest post at Bell Bridge Books, “What Would Quinn Do?” click here

Fall may be my favorite season. It’s more than the trees and mountains around my town awash in red, orange, and gold, and the skies so blue they’re almost hard to look at for long–though these are highlights. It’s the shift in seasons. Fall, I think, is the most dramatic of the year. It hints at hunkering down–something I love to do. There is no denying life is changing, and the earth with it.

That being said, every Fall I can’t help but think about Quinn (Quincy McFadden, to be sure), the heroine of my historical novel, Keowee Valley. Quinn is an unusual woman: a bluestocking, ahead of her time but still of it; a woman who becomes a willing–and, at times, unexpected–adventurer. When she leaves the bustling port of Charlestown, South Carolina and journeys into the wild Carolina backcountry during the dangerous 1760s, her entire life and the lives of all with whom she comes into contact are changed, even upended.

Right now, Keowee Valley is on sale on all ebook platforms for only $0.99. (That’s 99 cents!) Get your copy beforeKeowee-Valley-screen the promotion ends on November 15th.

Because of this, I’ve found myself lately wondering, “What would Quinn do?” I’ve written about it over at my publisher’s blog. To access the blog post and read more, click here.

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MountainTop Writers Retreat in Bold Life magazine + Keowee Valley for a steal

Photo by Karin Strickland

Photo by Karin Strickland


























Recently I had the honor of being interviewed and photographed by Bold Life magazine, an awesome publication covering arts, culture, food and more in Western North Carolina. To read the article, which focuses on my goals for MountainTop Writers Retreat, click the title below:

A Twist in the Plot – Bold Life 

* Don’t forget my debut historical novel, Keowee Valley, is only $0.99 on all ebook platforms! Now through Nov. 15th. It’s the perfect time of year to curl up with a good book!

To buy Keowee Valley for only 99 cents, click herekeowee graphic

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Keowee Valley on sale now through 11.15.19 for only $0.99!

keowee banner

Frost has settled on the hills and mountains of the high country. Fires are burning bright. It’s the first of November, and Autumn is finally here. It’s the perfect time to cozy up with a good book!

To hear what folks like Pat Conroy, Ron Rash, Adriana Trigiani, Beverly Swerling, and more have to say about Keowee Valley, click here.

Get Keowee Valley now for only $0.99! Available on all ebook platforms. To buy, click here

keowee graphic


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