By paying for the Gutsy Great Novelist Retreat, you agree to abide by the following terms and conditions, including the cancellation policy below.

Retreat participants ("Clients") understand that by registering (either by payment-in-full or a payment plan) for the Gutsy Great Novelist Writers Retreat, they are entering a contract with Joan Dempsey ("Event Planner"), and their registration indicates agreement with the following terms and conditions.


We care about your health!

Because we will be living together in an intimate setting for a full week during the retreat, everyone who attends the retreat and enters the retreat house must show proof of full vaccination to protect against COVID-19. You are welcome to wear a mask if you wish, but masks will not be mandatory. Therefore, you agree to accept the risks associated with contracting COVID-19 and also agree that Event Planner will not be held liable should contraction occur.

Maine has clear guidelines in place that we will follow to the letter, and we are routinely monitoring both the Maine and federal CDC guidelines to ensure we are taking all appropriate steps to protect the health of our retreat-goers. You can learn more about the latest updates at Keep Maine Healthy.


Because Event Planner is committing significant time and resources to this retreat, cancellation would result in lost income and lost business opportunities in an amount difficult to precisely calculate. Therefore, the following cancellation limitations will apply.

If Client requests cancellation of this contract 120 days or more before the event, Client shall receive a full refund of whatever payment they made. If Client requests cancellation 60-119 days before the event, (50%) of the TOTAL contract will be owed by Client to Event Planner, notwithstanding how much the Client has already paid. If Client requests cancellation up to 59 days in advance of the event, the full (100%) tuition and room fee will be owed by Client to Event Planner, notwithstanding how much the Client has already paid. Event Planner will make every possible effort to find another participant to take the place of the Client who canceled, and if a new participant is found, Event Planner will reimburse Client 100% of what they have paid, minus a $100 cancelation fee.

If Event Planner needs to cancel the event for any reason, Client will receive a full refund (100%) of all tuition and booking fees already paid to Event Planner for this event. Event Planner is not responsible for any out-of-pocket expenses Client may have spent in connection with this event, including but not limited to travel costs, and Client will not be entitled to any reimbursement from Event Planner for those out-of-pocket expenses.

Privacy Policy

It is Joan Dempsey's policy to respect your privacy regarding any information we may collect from you or which you may provide to us, in the circumstances set out below. Accordingly, we have developed this privacy policy in order for you to understand how we collect, use, communicate, disclose, safeguard and otherwise make use of your personally identifiable information (“Personal Data”).

We will only collect and use your Personal Data where:

  • we have lawful grounds to do so, including to comply with our legal obligations;
  • we are performing a contract with you for our services; and
  • we have legitimate interests in using your Personal Data, and
  • your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests.

For the purposes of the EU General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) (“GDPR”), JoanDempsey is the “data controller”. If you have any questions about this policy or about how we use your Personal Data, please contact us via our contact details at the end of this policy.

This policy is effective as of November 4, 2022. We review our privacy practices on an ongoing basis, and as such we may change this privacy policy from time to time. Please check this page frequently to ensure you are familiar with its current content.

1. Personal Data we collect via our websites:

  • https://joandempsey.com/
  • http://thisishowitbeginsnovel.com/
  • http://gutsygreatnovelist.com

Personal Data that you provide to us

We only collect Personal Data where you choose to interact with us on the Website in the following ways:


When you sign-up to receive free content, including newsletters, videos, giveaways and free courses or sign-up for the online community or any paid classes, manuscript reviews, prizes, or retreats.

Types of Personal Data Collected:

Email address
First name


When you enroll on one or more of our courses, events, or 1-1 work.

Types of Personal Data Collected:

Email address
Billing information
Country of purchase
Location via IP Address
IP Address

Data that we collect automatically

We automatically collect certain information when you visit our Website – such as the type of browser and operating system you are using, and the domain name of your Internet service provider. We do not link this information with any Personal Data.

We may also collect data automatically through our use of cookies on the Website. Please see our cookie policy to find out about the types of cookies we set and why, and how you can adjust your settings to disable cookies.

2. Use of your Personal Data

We will only use your Personal Data when the law allows us to. Most commonly, we use your Personal Data to:

  • process and manage your use of our services;
  • process and respond to your applications;
  • respond to your questions, comments and requests;
  • where you have opted-in to receive marketing from us, deliver communications that are relevant to your preferences / may be of interest to you;
  • where you have expressly granted permission to use your image and words for use in promotions and advertising; and to
  • improve our services and Website through analysis of information.

3. Sharing of your Personal Data

We take your privacy seriously and will not share your Personal Data with others, except as permitted by applicable law or as set out below:

We share Personal Data as necessary with third parties who provide services or functions on our behalf and who require the information to provide those specific services to us. These third parties may include social media advertising platforms. Please note that we have appropriate data privacy safeguards in place with third parties with whom we share Personal Data as described above and who are providing services or functions on our behalf.

4. Keeping your Personal Data secure

We have implemented security policies and technical measures to safeguard the Personal Data we collect. We maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards that comply with applicable law, including the GDPR, to safeguard Personal Data from accidental loss, destruction or damage and unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

5. Retention periods for use of your Personal Data

We will use and store your Personal Data only for as long as necessary, bearing in mind the uses of your Personal Data as described in this privacy policy and otherwise as communicated to you. We review the Personal Data we hold at regular intervals and delete permanently any Personal Data which is no longer necessary.

6. Children

This Website and our services are aimed at adults, and we do not knowingly collect any Personal Data relating to children aged under 15 years old. If you are under the age of 15, please do not provide us with any of your Personal Data, including your email address.

7. Access to and control over your Personal Data.

You have legal rights under applicable law in relation to your Personal Data. You can ask the following questions, or take the following actions, at any time by contacting us via email [email protected]:

  • see what Personal Data we hold about you (if any), including why we are holding it and who it could be disclosed to;
  • ask us to change/correct your Personal Data;
  • ask us to delete your Personal Data;
  • object to the processing of your Personal Data;
  • ask us to restrict the processing of your Personal Data;
  • withdraw any consents you have given us to the processing of your Personal Data; and
  • express any concerns you have about third parties’ use of your Personal Data.

8. Change of purpose

We will only use your Personal Data for the purposes for which we collected it, unless we reasonably consider that we need to use it for another reason and that reason is compatible with the original purpose. If you wish to have an explanation as to how the processing for the new purpose is compatible with the original purpose, please contact us.

If we need to use your Personal Data for an unrelated purpose, we will notify you and we will explain the legal basis which allows us to do so.

9. International transfers of your Personal Data

No data is passed to organizations outside the US

10. Contact Us

Our full details are:

Joan Dempsey

Email for Privacy Questions: [email protected]

Mailing Address: 14 Dougherty Road, New Gloucester, ME 04260 USA