CCM: Cindy, I’ve heard amazing things about your songwriting retreat, not to mention all the wonderful info that’s available on your website. Give us the rundown—who, what, where, when?


CWC: This October 24–27, I am leading a retreat for 25 songwriters from across the country, just south of Nashville at the Lodge at Deer Run.


CCM: What will these songwriters gain while there? How does this experience benefit them?


CWC: More than anything, every writer wants to develop his or her craft and creativity. I think there are five major challenges songwriters face. How these challenges are met determines whether they will be barriers to creativity and career or rich sources of inspiration.


Time is the greatest challenge. There are so many things vying for our attention and distracting us from investing the time that is required to get better at songwriting. Rarely do great song ideas come without giving them focused attention and they will never develop on their own. Once a songwriter has written a song they want to know if it is working and if it isn’t working how can they specifically make it better. This is where credible, productive feedback comes in. Being held accountable to the work of songwriting is where a songwriting community can be a tremendous benefit to the songwriter. Songwriters cannot thrive outside of a creative community.


Prior to the retreat, writers will have five of their songs reviewed and will be given rewrite assignments as well as an evaluation of their strengths and weaknesses. Going into the retreat they will know the areas of growth they need to be focusing on.


The Songwriting Intensive Retreat is built around writing, co-writing, rewriting and then writing some more. Songwriters spend three days and three nights immersed in the work of songwriting. Creative direction is continuous with key focus given for developing the big ideas needed for successful songs. Immediate feedback is given on all new songs. Accountability through co-writing, strategic pairings and the opportunity to build a creative community with twenty-five songwriters from across the country make this weekend a valuable investment for songwriters wanting to take their songwriting to the next level.


For more information on the Songwriting Intensive Retreat please visit 



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About The Author

Cindy Wilt Colville

Cindy’s passion is developing creative and skilled songwriters. As a music publisher and songwriting consultant she provides a variety of services including song catalog assessment and career consultation, songwriter development, a wide variety of workshops and retreats, advocacy and support for all types of songwriter communities as well as being an A&R song resource for independent artists. Her client roster includes independent songwriters, artists, worship leaders and churches around the country and the Vineyard UK Catalog.Cindy started her music career with award-winning producer, songwriter Greg Nelson where she production managed five gold and two platinum records. She was also the production manager for Steven Curtis Chapman’s first four records. For fifteen years Cindy was a music publisher with two of Christian music’s largest publishing companies: Benson and Word Music Publishing. While Vice President at Word, Cindy signed and developed top songwriting talents Matthew West, Jason Ingram, Cindy Morgan, Clint Lagerberg, Jason Walker and many others. During 2007 and 2008, Cindy worked as the day-to-day manager for award-winning Sparrow recording artist Matthew West.Her speaking engagements have included leading workshops for  songwriter communities in Florida, Missouri, Colorado, Texas, California and Pennsylvania, conferences in Buffalo, St. Louis, Sacramento, San Francisco, Phoenix and Seattle and universities in Colorado and Tennessee. In 2012 she led a Songwriting Intensive Retreat that drew songwriters from 14 states and Canada. For four years Cindy has led the songwriter track for the Gospel Music Association’s Immerse Training Conference. In 2009 and 2011 she directed the ASCAP Foundation’s Christian Songwriters Workshop and will do so again in 2012.Cindy volunteers at the Tennessee Prison for Women. She lives with her husband in Nashville, Tennessee.