Redbud Retreat 2023

Dear Redbud sister,

We’re so looking forward to spending time with you this weekend at the beautiful Mount Hermon Camp, nestled in the Santa Cruz Mountains! We pray this time will provide rest for your soul and restoration for your story. Our time will include devotions and worship, as well as opportunities to write and meet with others who edit/write in your genre. We will share meals around the table and quality time for connecting.

If movement is your idea of refreshment, plan to join a Soul Movement class for writers, which is a blend of yoga, pilates, and ballet style exercises (all levels welcome) taught by Michelle Stiffler or the 1-mile Hike to the Cross Sunday morning that I’m leading. Experience the beautiful redwoods as we glory hunt through God’s Creation. Otherwise, take a nap, sleep in, and savor the quiet.

Don’t miss the group photos and 10th birthday celebration on Saturday! That’s for everyone, and we encourage you to dress up! We will also host our now annual Prose & Poetry Slam, where any of you are invited to share an excerpt from an original work. You’re also welcome to simply come and cheer on your sisters!

We’re praying God will provide rest, refreshment, and clarity during your time at Mount Hermon. We invite you to pray over our gathering as well.

For His glory,


Redbud President & Sister in Christ



Friday, October 27, 2023 

4:30-6 p.m.   Welcome/Registration (Youth Memorial building)

6-6:30 pm    Meet & Greet (Youth Memorial)

6:30 pm Dinner (Dining Hall)

7:30 pm Welcome & Vespers “Rest for your soul, Restoration for your story” – Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young & Worship team (Youth Memorial)

8 pm “Flourishing in Community” – All-guild board meeting + panel introducing our board members and vision (Youth Memorial)


Saturday, October 28, 2023 

7 am Soul Movement by Michelle Stiffler – Wear comfortable clothes and bring a yoga mat or towel (Laurel)

8 am Breakfast (Dining Hall)

9:30 am Worship led by Rebecca Detrick, Darcy Wiley, Dorena Williamson & Marie Chan (Youth Memorial)

10-10:30 am Keynote session: “Soul Care for Writers” by Grace P. Cho, Revell (Youth Memorial)

FREE TIME (Book Expo, coffee shop, hike, ropes course, nap, shower, photos, or whatever helps to restore your soul!)

12:30 pm Lunch (Dining Hall)

2-5 pm Writing Circles by genre with coaches (Attendees should bring copies of their work – up to 5 pages, double spaced in Times Roman font to share with their groups.)


Non-fiction: Grace P. Cho

Fiction: Taryn Hutchison 

Speaking & Book launches: Kathi Lipp

Children’s: Bunmi Ishola

Memoir: Marcy Pusey

5-5:45 pm Headshot Photos (By Giada Gilmore Young; for those who signed up)

5:45 pm Group photo

6 pm Dinner (Dining Hall)

7 pm “Pulse on Pubishing” Panel with Moderator: Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young, Guests: Grace Cho, Bunmi Ishola, Kathi Lipp (Youth Memorial)

8 pm Redbud’s 10th Birthday Party! – Dessert & Drinks

8:30 pm 2nd annual Mosaic Voices Prose & Poetry Slam – Hosted by Dorina and Chante Griffin – Come share your prose or poetry with the group! (Youth Memorial)

Sunday, October 29, 2023 

6:45 am Hike to Cross with Writing or Reflection prompts along the way Bring a notebook led by Dorina  (Meet outside the post office)

8 am Breakfast (Dining Hall)

9:30 am Worship led by Rebecca Detrick, Darcy Wiley, Dorena Williamson & Marie Chan (Youth Memorial)

10 am Devotional “The Beauty of an Uncluttered Soul” by Carla Gasser (Youth Memorial)

10:30-12:30 pm Mastermind circles (Meet in Youth Memorial for assignments)

12:30 pm Lunch (Dining Hall)

1:30-2 pm Closing session “Living Restored” (Youth Memorial)

2 pm Checkout

2-5 pm Sightseeing in Santa Cruz and carpools to airport

Writing Circle groups for Saturday











Children’s: Bunmi Ishola

-Dorena Williamson

-Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young






Speaking/Book Launches: Kathi Lipp




-Sara Chinakwe




Memoir: Marcy Pusey

-Sara Fichtner




Fiction: Taryn Hutchinson





Mastermind groups for Sunday

Group 1






Group 2






Group 3






Group 4


Sara F.




Group 5




Sara C.


Group 6






Group 7 






Group 8





Meet Our Guest Speakers


Raised in Texas and Nigeria, Bunmi Ishola spent most of her childhood reading. After three years of working for different newspapers and magazines, and seven years teaching middle school social studies and English, Bunmi decided to take a chance and find a job working with one of her biggest passions: books. She now works as an editor for the Random House Christian children’s group, acquiring books for kids ages 0 to 18.

Kathi Lipp is the Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of 20 books, including The Accidental Homesteader, An Abundant Place: Daily Retreats for the Woman Who Can’t Get Away, Overwhelmed, and Clutter Free.  Along with being a part of the (in)courage at Dayspring writing team, she is the host of Clutter Free Academy Podcast, Facebook Group and Clutter Free for Life. As a writing and marketing coach, she is also the host of the Writing at the Red House Podcast, and runs both The Writing at the Red House Retreats and The Red House Writers Collective – a writing program that helps authors develop their writing, their platform and their business. Kathi lives on her Red House mini-homestead with her husband Roger, a dog, and eight chickens and holds cozy writer retreats for content creators. Find more on

Grace is a Korean American writer, poet, speaker, and a senior acquisitions editor at Revell, an imprint of Baker Publishing Group. In the middle of her years as a pastor, she felt a pull toward using her words to lead others in a broader context, and through her work, she creates space for people to be nurtured, challenged, and transformed. She is the co-author of Empowered: More of Him for All of You, the author of the (in)courage Bible studies, Courageous Influence and Create in Me a Heart of Wisdom, and a contributor to Voices of Lament: Reflections on Brokenness and Hope in a World Longing for Justice. She lives in Orange County, CA with her husband, two children, and her in-laws. Learn more at @gracepcho and at
Our own Communications Director Carla Gasser will be sharing a devotional message, “The Beauty of an Uncluttered Soul,” at our retreat on Sunday morning Carla is a speaker, teacher, blogger, and author. She loves to speak and write about the messy, ordinary, and unexpected ways her life and her faith intersect. As recovering control freak, she helps spiritually seeking women clear soul clutter by inviting God’s Spirit to transform them from the inside out. She loves a cup of strong black coffee, reading late into the night, and singing & dancing in the car! She is the proud mother of four young adults (& a daughter-in-love) and lives near Cleveland, Ohio, with her husband, Michael, of over 32 years. As recent empty nesters, they are learning to embrace a new season of life together!

Redbud President Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young will kick off our retreat with a message on our theme: Rest for your Soul, Restoration for your Story. She is passionate about helping people discover God’s glory on life’s unexpected trails and flourish in their God-given callings. She is a sought-after speaker, podcaster, former newspaper reporter, and the award-winning author of numerous books, including three releasing in 2023: Chasing God’s Glory (Waterbrook Multnomah/PRH), Create in Me a Heart of Mercy (Revell), and Breathing Through Grief (Ink & Willow/Penguin Random House). Dorina leads as the president of the Redbud Writers Guild and the director of Lead Loved, equipping Christian women leaders. She writes for (in)courage by Dayspring and Proverbs 31 Ministries. Dorina is a remarried widow and lives with her husband Shawn and three courageous daughters in Central California.  Connect with her at

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