Have you ever wanted to spend a long day with bookish friends and some of your favorite authors? 

Or wished you could visit favorite characters in their fictional town?

Okay, so we can’t quite bring Sheet Cake, Texas to life (and James Graham said “no” when I asked him to attend) but the Sheet Cake Reader Retreat is as close as we can get and we want YOU to be there!

The Short Story:

Here are all the quick and dirty details. (Keep reading if you’re the kind of person who needs longer, cleaner details.)

  • Dates: Friday, October 18th at 4pm to Sunday, October 20th at 10am
  • Location: Camp Blessing in Brenham, Texas
  • Who: a small group of readers plus authors Emma St. Clair, Becky Wade, Bridget Baker, Brittany Larsen, Carina Taylor, Elana Johnson, Jenny Proctor, Julie Christianson, Mandi Blake, Pepper Basham, Sally Britton, and Savannah Scott
  • What: a relaxing weekend  in the Texas countryside, surrounded by some of your favorite authors. Whether you’re hanging out with authors or fellow readers, engaging in bookish activities, or simply unwinding, this retreat promises an unforgettable weekend
  • Cost: $350 for the full retreat ticket (SOLD OUT) OR $60 for the daily ticket (the daily ticket event is from 2pm-10pm Saturday, October 19)

THE RETREAT IS SOLD OUT.

If any other tickets become available, we have a wait list you can join RIGHT HERE.

GRAB YOUR FULL RETREAT TICKET (sold out)

GRAB YOUR DAILY TICKET (sold out)


The Longer Story:

We are hoping to create a unique event that will allow you to connect both with other readers and some of your favorite authors. The weekend will truly be one-of-a-kind and combine nostalgic memories of summer camp (with fewer bugs and more air conditioning) with an intimate author event. This should be a time of both excitement and relaxation, where you can escape your busy life for a few days, enjoying the Texas countryside and spending time with bookish people who get you.

FEATURED AUTHORS

We have a stellar mix of authors from both the traditional and independent world of publishing–USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestsellers and the creators of some of your favorite fictional worlds and characters. Between them, they’ve written hundreds of books (okay, so maybe a LOT of those are Elana) and sold thousands of copies. And they’re here to meet YOU!

Our featured authors are: Becky Wade, Bridget Baker, Brittany Larsen, Carina Taylor, Elana Johnson, Emma St. Clair, Jenny Proctor, Julie Christianson, Mandi Blake, Pepper Basham, Sally Britton, and Savannah Scott.

If you ever wanted to meet your favorite authors in a more personal setting than a typical book signing, now is your chance!

EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES

The retreat will include a mix of free time to unwind and optional activities such as s’mores over the campfire, board games, crafts, bookish chats, and more. There is a lake with paddle boats and canoes along with life vests, and there are plenty of porch swings and lovely fields for strolls.

If you’d like to explore the local area, there will be free time on Saturday to grab a friend and head to the nearby coffee shops or do some local antiquing. But there is plenty to do at the camp itself.

You will NOT be bored, but you’ll also not be run ragged with mandatory activities or tight schedules. There are many comfy spaces for downtime, introverting, or even reading.

LODGING

Camp Blessing is a functional summer camp for students with special needs, but during the fall the camp has guest houses for retreats such as this one. These are guest rooms that will feel more like bedrooms than hotel rooms with comfy twin beds and quaint, country decor. Bathrooms are either private en suites or shared bathrooms just across the hall from the bedrooms.

Think: a cozy country guest house.

If you aren’t coming with a buddy to room with, please don’t worry! The rooms are spacious and we will do our very best to help in our attendee Facebook group to match people up. While this might be a little out of our comfort zones, consider this a chance to head to summer camp as an adult–with all the inside comforts like air conditioning and real beds! We hope it will foster a sense of community you simply can’t find while staying at a typical hotel.

Each guest house has a living room with couches and tables for gathering, and there are plenty of spaces indoor or outdoor if you need a little time to yourself. The common areas in the guest houses will have snacks, drinks like waters and coffees, and games or books–perfect for hanging out with your new bookish friends.

YOUR TICKETS–SOLD OUT 

The full retreat ticket ($350) is from 4pm October 18-10am October 20 and includes: 

  • a weekend with twelve authors and fellow readers
  • five meals (Friday dinner through Sunday breakfast)
  • shared guest room accommodations at Camp Blessing’s guest houses (if you aren’t coming with a buddy, we’ll help pair you up and if you have more than one person you’d like to room with, we have the option to put more people together IF requested!)
  • a swag bag filled with bookish goodies
  • Saturday’s author event including an author panel, book signing, and a fun surprise event Saturday night
  • please note: travel costs to get to the event are NOT included with your ticket

JOIN THE WAIT LIST HERE

 

SOLD OUT- The daily ticket ($60) is from 2pm-10pm on October 19th and includes: 

  • Saturday’s author panel
  • a swag bag with bookish goodies
  • book signing
  • dinner and dessert
  • a fun surprise event Saturday night
  • please note: travel costs to get to the event are NOT included with your ticket

SIGN UP FOR THE WAIT LIST HERE

a glimpse of Camp Blessing


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Do I need to know anything about this Sheet Cake, Texas place? 

  • A: Nope! Sheet Cake is the fictional town in Emma St. Clair’s series of the same name, starting with The Buy-In. Even if you’ve never read a single book of Emma’s, you can feel welcome here! Come for the time away, for the new bookish friends you’ll make, or to meet another favorite author! Nothing is required.

Q: Are men allowed at this event? 

  • A: Because of the nature of the rooming situation, the retreat can only accommodate women overnight. But men are absolutely welcome to purchase tickets for the Saturday event, and you might see a husband or two helping out around the camp. But our overnight lodging will be for women only.

Q: What if I need a single room?

  • A: We have a VERY limited option for single rooms at an additional cost of $150 for those seeking extra privacy. Please email Emma to see if there is availability- emma@emmastclair.com

Q: What if I’m an introvert?

  • A: Many of us are! There are lots of spaces for unwinding and recharging. And if you happen to be an introvert who is also shy, please know you also won’t be alone. We will have a few people helping to facilitate conversations and activities if you need a little bit of a nudge or some guidance.

Q: What if I don’t have a friend to room with?

  • A: No worries! Our retreat is designed for a small, close-knit group of amazing readers. We’ll create a private Facebook group where attendees can connect and potentially find a bookish roommate. It’s a great way to make new friends who share your love for literature.

Q: What are the rooms like at Camp Blessing?

  • A: Our accommodations strike a balance between comfort and rustic charm. Picture wooden furnishings, soft lighting, and a serene ambiance in small, private guest houses. Each guest house has a shared living area with couches and tables where you can hang out, snack, or play games. The facilities are older buildings with modern fixtures and finishes but still maintain the older country character.

Q: What is the food like at Camp Blessing?

  • A: Expect a mix of Southern comfort food, fresh ingredients, and delightful flavors. Not your childhood camp food! And there WILL be Sheet Cake, duh.

Q: What if I have dietary restrictions?

  • A: If you have specific dietary needs, the camp is able to make some accommodations. (The camp staff has a variety of dietary needs with its summer campers, so they are familiar with many possible alternatives.) Before October, you will have a chance to let us know about any restrictions to see if this is something the camp staff can handle. You can also give us a heads-up beforehand by emailing emma- emma@emmastclair.com. We will also provide a menu closer to the event. You’re welcome to bring your own snacks, and each guest house has a mini fridge if needed.

Q: Where do I stay overnight if I buy the daily ticket?

  • A: If you’ve purchased a daily ticket for Saturday, we recommend exploring local accommodations in Brenham. We will provide a handy travel guide for attendees to help navigate this or you can search the nearby area for hotels or AirBNBs. (A few hotels are also listed at the bottom of this page.)

Q: What is the exact schedule? 

  • A: The full schedule will be released to attendees closer to the event, but currently Saturday’s schedule is 2pm-author panel, followed by book signing and free time. 5pm- dinner, followed by a surprise activity.

Q: How should we dress and what shall we pack? 

  • A: We’ll have a suggested packing list for attendees closer to the event, but as for how to dress: comfortably. If comfortable to YOU is yoga pants or pajama pants or a flowing maxi dress or jeans–fabulous! Wear that. We don’t want anyone to have to feel pressured to look a certain way or stress about what to wear, so wear what you would like and give the freedom for others to do the same. There may be an opportunity to wear something fancier (or funnier) if you’d like, and more details will be announced closer to the date. As for the weather, Texas is a fickle feller. Most likely, the weather will be beautiful and could be as high as the 80s, but might be as low as the 50s. Keep an eye on the weather as the date approaches!

Q: Will there be more than one opportunity to have authors sign books? 

  • A: Yes. In case the signing on Saturday feels too short or the lines too long, you can absolutely arrange to have an author sign your book at another time!

Q: Will the authors just be hanging out like the rest of us? 

  • A: Yes! Because authors are like the rest of you! While they will have private accommodations and are also free to move about the camp or hide away like all other attendees, expect to see them up close and personal this weekend!

Q: Will authors have books for sale?

  • A: Authors will have limited books for sale, and there will have order forms ahead of time if you’d like to make sure you can secure the book of your choice!

MORE ABOUT OUR AUTHORS

Emma St. Clair is a USA Today Bestselling Author who loves sassy heroines, witty banter, and love stories with heart and humor. Her books have sizzling chemistry while keeping the bedroom door closed. She has an MFA in Fiction and lives in Katy, Texas (go, Tigers!) with her hubby, five children, and Great Dane. Her favorite place to write is tapping on her phone while on the elliptical machine. No Emmas have been hurt in the writing of these novels. (Yet.)

Bridget Baker is drowning in kids, horses, cats, dogs, and fish. But she just has the one amazing, bald husband. She writes a lot of books, and all of them are as strange as she is. She also kickboxes almost daily, so if you don’t like her kids, her pets, her husband, or her weird books, maybe don’t tell her in person.

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance “peppered” with grace and humor. Writing both historical and contemporary novels, she loves to incorporate her native Appalachian culture and/or her unabashed adoration of the UK into her stories. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is a wife, mom to five great kids, a speech-language pathologist, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus. Her dual timeline novel, Hope Between the Pages, was a 2022 finalist for the prestigious Christy awards. Pepper loves connecting with readers and other authors through social media outlets like Facebook & Instagram.

Mandi Blake was born and raised in Alabama where she lives with her husband and daughter, but her southern heart loves to travel. Reading has been her favorite hobby for as long as she can remember, but writing is her passion. She loves a good happily ever after in her sweet Christian romance books and loves to see her characters’ relationships grow closer to God and each other.

Sally Britton lives in Oklahoma. Life is an adventure, and she loves to share hers with her husband and four children. She wrote my first story on her mother’s electric typewriter, and the clickety-clack of the keys thrilled her to no end. Sally knew early on that her favorite types of stories always had a kiss and a happily ever after – which led her to romance. Her heroes are Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, and Lucy Maud Montgomery. They’ve inspired her to write about the elegant, complex world of centuries past.

Julie Christianson is a former high school English teacher and current romcom addict living in the suburbs of Los Angeles. A lapsed marathon runner, Julie loves her hilarious family, her two crazy rescue dogs, and cracking up at her own jokes. Her goal is to write stories that make you laugh out loud, fall in love, and live happily ever after. You can learn more about her books at juliechristianson.com

USA Today bestseller Elana Johnson writes sweet contemporary romance. She is the author of over 170 books across three names, and there’s nothing better than grumpy heroes and swoony kisses! Unless it’s a sweet-and-sexy cowboy – read those under her pen name of Liz Isaacson – or a beachy women’s fiction novel – read those under her pen name of Jessie Newton.

Brittany Larsen is the author of ten sweet romantic comedies and a couple of historical romance novellas set in the Old West. Her stories may range across time and place, but they’re always about one thing: connection. They’re guaranteed to make you laugh,and maybe even tear up a little. Born and raised in Idaho, Brittany has spent the past twenty years (maybe even more) living the California dream… If that dream includes wearing sweatpants all day and gorging herself on red Australian licorice–the second-best export of the continent/country (Chris Hemsworth being the obvious first). When not writing, she teaches hot yoga, walks her dog, and takes naps. Her sweater-sporting, mini Aussi-doodle, Bo, is her favorite writing companion. But her favorite people are her husband and three daughters.

Jenny Proctor is an award-winning author of more than fourteen romantic comedies and an Amazon bestseller. She began her career in publishing in 2013; her writing has been a constant since then, but she also spent time as the owner and managing editor of Midnight Owl Editors and the chair of the Storymakers Conference. Wired for relationships, Jenny loves public speaking, teaching, and building lasting connections. Jenny was born in the mountains of Western North Carolina, a place she considers one of the loveliest on earth. She loves to hike with her family and spend time outdoors, but she also adores lounging around her home, reading great books or watching great movies and, when she’s lucky, eating delicious food she doesn’t have to prepare herself.

Savannah Scott loves writing books that make you smile, laugh and melt a little with swoon worthy kisses and happily ever afters in every story. Savannah loves coffee like a baby goat enjoys your grandma’s shoes. Her favorite things in life are making her friends laugh, being that mom, and nights when her husband makes her belly laugh with jokes only the two of them share. If you can’t find Savannah, she’s probably hiding with a book, off dancing hip-hop at a local studio, or setting out on a spontaneous road trip with a friend. Savannah has a Facebook community for readers who love sharing sweet reads and life together.

Becky Wade is a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas with their three children and one Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She loves writing sweet contemporary romances laced with sizzling chemistry, mystery, faith, banter, and humor. Her twelve novels and five novellas have been recognized with a Carol Award, INSPY awards, and a spot in the Christy Award Hall of Fame.


TRAVEL INFO

We will have a travel guide for every attendee to help with flights and travel, but here are a few basics.

Hotel Options in Town

While staying at Camp Blessing is a unique experience, we understand that some guests may prefer alternative accommodations. Here are a few hotel options in Brenham:

  1. Hampton Inn & Suites Brenham:
  2. Best Western Inn of Brenham:

Explore these options and choose what best suits your preferences. Whether you stay at Camp Blessing or one of the local hotels, we’re excited to have you join us for a weekend of literary bliss! Reserve your spot now and get ready to unwind in the heart of Texas!

GETTING THERE

Please note that the flight is not included in the ticket price, nor is getting to Camp Blessing from the airport. Attendees are responsible for arranging their own travel to the event. We will have a Facebook group for attendees and hopefully can help facilitate carpooling and cost-splitting for rental cars and driving.

  1. George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH): Located in Houston, approximately 30 miles southeast of Brenham.
  2. William P. Hobby Airport (HOU): Located in Houston, approximately 40 miles southeast of Brenham.
  3. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS): Located in Austin, approximately 100 miles west of Brenham.

JOIN THE WAIT LIST HERE