The Story Behind Your Story

Posted by on Jul 6, 2018 in Retreats

Do people tell you that your life is fascinating and you should write a book? 

Have you been thinking about writing a book but don’t know where to start? 

Have you started writing a book and never finished it?

Do you have an idea for a great fiction book – and all the excuses why you’ve never written it?

What’s stopping you?

Writing a book is only half the story. Authors Betsy Blankenbaker and Jo Carnegie are offering a special London writing weekend to look at Story Flow: The Story Before The Story.

 The weekend is open to all levels of writers (women only). If you don’t think of yourself as a writer, then let’s just call you a storyteller. The weekend will help you remove the blocks and find your flow: that magical, easy, expressive place of inspiration and imagination.

“Writing should liberate you instead of making you feel contracted and stuck.”

Betsy Blankenbaker


Day 1: The Brakes On Your Book – The story you’re telling yourself

Saturday Morning Session

10 am – 1 pm Get Out Of Your Own Way First!

Forget the book for now. Let’s coexist in the world where your story is never told (if that causes a reaction in you, that’s a good start!)

The morning begins with an opening circle, discussion and writing prompts to discover the obstacles blocking our writing. We meet our writing demons and learn how to deal with them – giving them a pet name like Alan makes them much less scary.

1 pm – 2pm Catered lunch of vegan, organic, handmade and gluten-free wonders by London-based natural chef Lisa Aanes.



Saturday Afternoon Session 

2pm – 4.30pm Once Upon A Time

The afternoon session focuses on writing prompts and how to use imagination and intuition to bring more insight into your writing. We’ll begin examining book ideas and see what stories engage you as a writer. As you listen to other’s stories, you remember the value in your own voice.
4.30 pm – 5 pm Welcoming Story Flow into your writing

5-5.30 pm Bonus Session

Publishing: What works, what to avoid, and what to know

For writers looking to share their voices in bigger ways, Betsy and Jo will discuss the pros and cons of self-publishing vs. traditional publishing. Your retreat fee includes a Writing & Publishing resource guide filled with valuable information – from How to find a literary agent to Is my book right for self-publishing.

“I love using my voice and having fun and causing a bit of chaos.”

Josephine Pembroke, Radio Gorgeous


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Day 2: The Story You Should Be Writing

Sunday Morning session 

10 am – 1 pm Going With Your Flow

10 am – 11am What is the concept of Flow? Betsy and Jo explain.

We begin the day with a Qoya class on flow.  Qoya combines breathwork, yoga, free dance, stretching, and meditation. There are no levels in Qoya and no way to do it wrong.  Let’s make that assumption for our writing this weekend too.

11 am – 1 pm Know your Flow from your All-Show?

Which place are you writing from? We’ll look at writing from instinct, not other people’s advice, opinions, and what you think will sell.   
1-2pm Food for Flow

Another delicious lunch of vegan, organic, handmade and gluten-free wonders by London-based natural chef Lisa Aanes. 


IMG_9963 Our home for the retreat, 42 Acres Shoreditch, London (photo courtesy 42 Acres Shoreditch)


Sunday Afternoon Session 

2 pm – 5pm What’s Your Story in A Nutshell?

This afternoon we’ll continue to workshop book ideas from each person in the circle as a way to honor your book going forward. You’ll get your story down to one paragraph that liberates your creative flow and connects to readers. By the end of the weekend, you have your first fans ready to buy your book! Now you just need to write it.

5pm: Is It You Speaking or is It Alan Speaking?

How to recognize your demon and ways to deal with him/her/them.


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How to stay in the flow after the retreat:

We’ll include a follow-up FB group so you can find a buddy if you need accountability moving forward and to keep us updated on your writing. (And Alan’s not invited!) You’ll receive a follow-up email with the playlist from the Qoya class, a daily writing & movement ritual; and, our writing guide with writing and publishing resources for writers.

Click here to Register for Story Flow with Betsy & Jo 

(link takes you to Conscious City Guide, click Join Event)

IMG_996442 Acres Shoreditch

The weekend retreat is at our favorite conscious, co-working space, 42 Acres in East London. We’ll meet daily from 10 am – 5 pm with a bonus publishing session Saturday at 5 pm. Bring a journal and pen or laptop (whatever you prefer to write on). Wear clothing that is comfortable to move in. A delicious plant-based, high protein lunch with dessert by chef Lisa Aanes is included both days (follow her on IG @alienseas). We’ll also have water, tea, and treats available throughout the day. Feel free to bring any other food or drink to support your writing. The two-day retreat fee is $600. Your ticket is not refundable, but you can transfer it to someone else if you can’t make it. Space is limited so we can focus on each person’s story.


About Betsy & Jo

Betsy Blankenbaker has independently published five books through her publishing platform, Beautiful Infinity Books. The UK Sunday Times called Betsy’s book Autobiography of an Orgasm “part erotica D5277ECE-24C4-437B-A2B3-EDC40F895899and part refreshingly sincere roadmap for the orgasmically challenged. It’s sort of an anti-Fifty Shades of Grey.”


“Betsy’s voice is coming forward at a critical moment as women all across this planet are reclaiming their bodies, their pleasure and their power.”

Elan V. McAllister
Jo Carnegie is the author of nine books published through Random House and Harper Collins. Jo firmly believes that living a happy, creative and unapologetic life is every person’s birthright – and whilst there is no magic formula or go-to manual for the writing process, “A sense of humour, an open and willing mind and great coffee in the mornings all help hugely.”IMG_0090




“Completely hilarious and brilliantly feel-good – Jo Carnegie’s books are must-reads!”  

heat magazine









Click here to Register for Story Flow with Betsy & Jo 

(link takes you to Conscious City Guide, click Join Event)