A Girly Book Club Virtual Retreat Experience

Our thoughtfully curated Virtual Retreat offers a range of programming covering all things bookish, as well as features additional lifestyle sessions for a range of engaging content with lots of opportunity for connection throughout the weekend! From Girly Book Club sessions and publisher presentations to personal development and a yoga class - and more! Not to mention, we’ve lined up a very exciting author session and two author panels, plus, the highlight event of the retreat: Book Club with the author!

We think you’ll be thrilled to learn that our Spotlight Speaker is none other than Kate Quinn (former GBC book of the month author of The Alice Network.) Kate will be joining GBC Founder Erin Woodward for a one-hour interview and chat to give us the inside scoop on her upcoming release, The Rose Code!

We’re ecstatic to announce that the featured book we will be reading and discussing during our Virtual Retreat will be Ties That Tether by Jane Igharo! And not only will we be chatting together about this debut contemporary romance novel, but Jane will also be joining us to kick off the Book Club event with an exciting and interactive Q&A! Beyond our main book events of the weekend, we’ve also lined up two awesome author panels, each featuring two authors who will join us in discussions. Liz Nugent (author of Lying in Wait and the upcoming Little Cruelties) and Tarryn Fisher (author of The Wives and the upcoming The Wrong Family) will be taking over our Psychological Thriller panel. Alka Joshi (author of The Henna Artist) and Hazel Gaynor (author of The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter and the upcoming When We Were Young and Brave) will front our panel discussion on Historical Fiction. We’ll be asking your questions live throughout both events.

Along with gaining access to the retreat programming in real-time and post-retreat through the recorded sessions, you will also gain access to our dedicated Facebook group for retreat attendees to connect and share. We’ll also be providing additional book and reading suggestions, a curated playlist to throw on to get you in the retreat mood, fun downloadable goodies, and more. Plus, many of our speakers will be hosting raffles throughout their sessions!

What’s included in the retreat?

Fun, Engaging Sessions

We have put together an itinerary of engaging programming with feedback from our global community of GBC members and hosts! Join Girly Book Club Founder, Erin Woodward, for special GBC sessions, get a sneak peek at hot releases from our awesome publisher partners, and learn from our line-up of literary leaders and authors! While we’re a bookish community first, we know your interests go well beyond the bindings of a good book, so we’ve included two personal development sessions with GBC Community Manager and Life Coach, Valerie Bennett, and a dynamic yet gentle yoga class to get you feeling great in your body. See the full program line-up for details about each session offered throughout the weekend!

Inspirational Authors, Speakers, and Leaders:

We’re so excited for you to meet the incredible individuals joining our team of vibrant authors, speakers, and leaders! Each one has so much incredible knowledge, wisdom, experience, and insight to share with you throughout their session and over retreat weekend. We can’t wait for you to get to know them!

Connection with Others

Retreats are a time to connect with others and we want to provide that through this virtual setting as well. We’ve created an exclusive Facebook Group for retreat attendees to join and connect with each other leading up to and all through retreat weekend. We’ll be sharing announcements, introducing you to our speakers, giving you sneak peeks at some of the fun swap (included in the VIP Ticket), and more!

Post-Event Streaming

Tight on time or have trouble sitting at a computer all day for events? Or just want to relive the retreat and rewatch your favourite sessions? No problem! Our sessions will be recorded so you can go back to watch on your own time at your own pace. With your registration you receive access to the recorded sessions once the retreat wraps. It's not called "REPEAT" for nothing!



Intro Welcome Session

Join us as we kick off the Girly Book Club Virtual Retreat weekend! We’ll be welcoming you into the weekend and introducing you to our team, giving an overview of what to expect throughout the retreat, and making special announcements so you don’t miss a beat over the next two days.

The Girly Book Club Session with Erin Woodward

Meet and chat with founder Erin Woodward to learn about the history of the Girly Book Club, from London, New York, to home in Canada. Erin will share her biggest lessons and struggles through hosting the world’s biggest in-person book club. This is also an opportunity to connect with others from around the world with an informal BEST BOOKS I’ve read session!

Three Publisher Presentations

Upcoming Hot Books to be Released!

We know you love learning about upcoming book releases and our three publishing partners can’t wait to give you a sneak peek into the hottest books to be released in late 2020 and early 2021! Plus, you’ll earn bragging rights with your friends when you get to share the details of what’s up and coming in the book world from your new insider knowledge.

A Bookish Conversation with Kate Quinn

We are thrilled to announce our READ, RETREAT, REPEAT Spotlight Speaker, Kate Quinn, former GBC book of the month author of The Alice Network (which was voted GBC Book of the Year in 2017.) Kate will be joining GBC Founder Erin Woodward for a one-hour interview and chat to give us the inside scoop on her upcoming release, The Rose Code, due out March 9, 2021!

Book Club Night with Jane Igharo

Get ready to discuss our virtual retreat book pick, Ties That Tether by Jane Igharo! Jane will be joining our book club event for the first 30 minutes for a chat with GBC founder Erin and to answer some of your questions live! Then we’ll dive into discussing Ties That Tether. We can’t wait to hear what you think about this debut contemporary romance novel!

Up All Night: A Psychological Thriller Panel Discussion with Liz Nugent and Tarryn Fisher

When it comes to the darker fictional genres - thriller, suspense, crime - our psychological thriller panel authors have given us the heebie jeebies with their well-spun pieces of fiction. We can’t wait to chat with and get a peek into the minds of the ladies that keep us up all night with their chilling tales.

Back in Time: A Historical Fiction Panel Discussion with Alka Joshi and Hazel Gaynor

We know from our community that historical fiction is one of your favorite genres and honestly, we get it; there’s nothing quite like immersing yourself into a fictional world of the past! So historical fiction fans, this panel is for you! Join our featured authors to hear more about all the work that goes into crafting a fictional story shaped by actual events and how they intricately weave their novels to blend historical authenticity with imagined elements.

Developing Authenticity

A Personal Development Session with Valerie Bennett

Are you seeking to bring forward your truest self in friendships and relationships, in the workplace, and in your day to day life? Develop your self-awareness with GBC Retreat Director and Life Coach, Valerie Bennett and learn tools to courageously express your values, beliefs, and desires to lead a life aligned with your authentic self. You’ll have the chance to win a copy of The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown and a complimentary one-hour coaching appointment when you attend this session!

Literary Agent Workshop with Cecilia Lyra

Join Literary Agent and two-time published author, Cecilia Lyra, for a session dedicated to getting your book published! Cecilia will be sharing her insights and knowledge about the publishing process—practical tips on writing, querying literary agents, and more. This session will include an open Q&A where you’ll get a chance to ask Cecilia specific questions you might have about how to go from writer to author. Plus, you’ll have the chance to win one of three personalized one-on-one sessions post-retreat with Cecilia for either a query letter critique, first ten-pages critique, one-on-one pitch, or dedicated Q&A.

Yoga with Tracey Soghrati

Roll out your mat and join us for a 60-minute Yang to Yin yoga class led by Tracey Soghrati! You’ll be guided through a flow of simple dynamic movements coupled with the breath, before transitioning into a gentle mix of longer-held stretches. This class will energize and ground you, so you’ll walk away feeling rejuvenated and fresh! This class is open to yogis of all levels, whether it’s your first time practicing or you’re a seasoned yogi. Don’t have yoga props? Not to worry! Grab a few pillows, a blanket, and a stack of books to substitute for yoga blocks and you’ll be good to go, so slip into your cozy clothes and get flowing with us! Attend the class for a chance to win: (3 monthly membership spots in Tracey’s virtual studio, 3 pairs of athletic therapy balls or 1 private hour with Tracey on Zoom).

Closing Circle

To bring this very special weekend to a close, we’ll gather one final time
to connect and share before officially wrapping our experience together.




Saturday, November 14th:
9:30am - 9:45am Welcome & Opening Remarks
9:45am - 10:45am Girly Book Club Session with Erin Woodward
11am - 12pm Psychological Thriller Panel Discussion with Liz Nugent and Tarryn Fisher
12:15pm - 12:45pm Publisher Presentation
12:45pm - 1:45pm Lunch Break
1:45pm - 2:45pm Personal Development Session with Valerie Bennett
3pm - 4pm A Bookish Conversation with Kate Quinn
4:15pm - 4:45pm Publisher Presentation


Sunday, November 15th:
9:30am - 9:45am Welcome
9:45am - 10:45am Yoga with Tracey Soghrati
11am - 12pm Back in Time: A Historical Fiction Panel Discussion with Alka Joshi and Hazel Gaynor
12pm - 1pm Lunch Break
1pm - 1:30pm Meet The Author with Jane Igharo
1:30pm - 2:30pm Community Book Club Discussion
2:45pm - 3:45pm Query with Literary Agent Cecilia Lyra
4pm - 4:30pm Publisher Presentation
4:30pm - 4:45pm Closing Circle


Kate Quinn, Author
Kate Quinn is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction. A native of southern California, she attended Boston University where she earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Classical Voice. She has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga, and two books in the Italian Renaissance, before turning to the 20th century with “The Alice Network”, “The Huntress,” and “The Rose Code.” All have been translated into multiple languages. Kate and her husband now live in San Diego with three rescue dogs.

Jane Igharo, Author
Jane Abieyuwa Igharo was born in Nigeria and immigrated to Canada at the age of twelve. She has a journalism degree from the University of Toronto and works as a communications specialist in Ontario, Canada. When she isn’t writing, she’s watching “Homecoming” for the hundredth time and trying to match Beyoncé’s vocals to no avail.

Tarryn Fisher, Author
Tarryn is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of nine novels. Born a sun hater, she currently makes her home in Seattle, Washington, with her children, husband and psychotic husky. She loves connecting with her readers on Instagram. Her first traditionally published novel, THE WIVES, was released by Graydon House in December 2019.

Liz Nugent, Author
Liz Nugent has worked in Irish film, theater, and television for most of her adult life. She is an award-winning writer of radio and television drama and has written critically acclaimed short stories both for children and adults, as well as the bestselling novels Unraveling Oliver and Lying in Wait. She lives in Dublin.

Alka Joshi, Author
Alka Joshi is a graduate of Stanford University and received her MFA from the California College of the Arts. She has worked as an advertising copywriter, a marketing consultant and an illustrator. Alka was born in India, in the state of Rajasthan. Her family came to the United States when she was nine, and she now lives on California’s Monterey Peninsula with her husband and two misbehaving pups. The Henna Artist is her first novel.
Hazel Gaynor, Author
Hazel Gaynor is an award-winning New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author. Her 2014 debut The Girl Who Came Home won the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award, A Memory of Violets was a 2015 WHSmith Fresh Talent pick, The Girl From The Savoy was shortlisted for the 2017 Irish Book Awards, and The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter was shortlisted for the 2019 HWA Gold Crown Award. Last Christmas in Paris (co-written with Heather Webb) won the 2018 Women’s Fiction Writers Association Star Award. Their most recent collaboration is Meet me in Monaco. Hazel’s forthcoming historical novel, When We Were Young and Brave, set in China during WW2, will be published in North America in October 2020. Hazel was selected by Library Journal as one of Ten Big Breakout Authors for 2015. Her work has been translated into fourteen languages to date. She is co-founder of creative writing events The Inspiration Project, and lives in Ireland with her husband and two children.

Erin Woodward, Girly Book Club Founder:
Erin Woodward, born in a small town outside of Toronto, Canada started the Girly Book Club in 2008 while living abroad in London, England. She saw it as a unique way to make new friends in a strange city. The book club originally started out as a passion project but grew organically as the members naturally moved from London back to their home cities across the world and asked to take the concept with them. The book club now operates in over 125 communities across 15 countries and has over 150,000 members – all reading the same book at the same time. Erin currently runs the company and also writes for publications in the UK and Canada. She reads over 40 books a year.
Valerie Bennett, Girly Book Club Community Manager and Life Coach
In addition to working with the Girly Book Club as the Retreat Director, Valerie Bennett is also a trained life coach who guides women to connect to their deepest emotions to allow for their fullest expression of self, enabling them to make intentional choices and take aligned action toward leading vibrant and fulfilling lives. Valerie is also a trained breathwork facilitator and her offerings include 1:1 coaching, group coaching and workshop sessions, and breathwork classes. Valerie is a self-described growth junkie and so, not surprisingly, self-help is her favourite genre.
Cecilia Lyra, Literary Agent and Author
Cecilia specializes in literary and commercial adult Book Club fiction that feature diverse, layered characters and unexpected plot twists. She adores writers such as Curtis Sittenfeld, Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng. As a feminist, Cecilia loathes the term women’s fiction—it’s just fiction—but, for the purposes of clarity, that is her favorite genre. Cecilia is also a fan of unique and compelling narrative non-fiction and memoirs such as the works of Esther Perel, Roxane Gay and Tara Westover. Cecilia does not accept submissions for children’s books, middle-grade, YA, or fantasy. Whatever the genre, do not send her a manuscript where the dog dies—Cecilia can’t handle it. When she isn’t devouring novels—or dessert—Cecilia can be found enjoying a refreshing Sancerre or a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, writing her own novels, and snuggling with Babaganoush, her adorable English bulldog. Cecilia is also a recovering lawyer, but asks that you do not hold that against her.

Tracey Soghrati, Yoga Therapist and Psychotherapist
Tracey Soghrati is a master in her field. As a yoga therapist, psychotherapist and registered nurse, she has spent 20 years exploring the connection between mind and body. She offers training at home and internationally and has spent over 15 000 hours teaching mindfulness, yoga and psychology. Her signature skill is the integration of movement, breath and psyche to create powerful and lasting change. As a mindfulness expert, she appears monthly on the Tonic Talk Show discussing the relationship between mindfulness and well-being across the lifespan. She also provides medical education rounds to physicians across Canada on the benefits of mindfulness practice.  Her free meditation recordings can be found on the App Insight Timer.