Facilitated Retreats

Focus on Writing and Guidance

Facilitated Retreats are open to anyone living in Saskatchewan who likes to write. The retreat is designed as a time for participants to focus on their writing and to gain encouragement and motivation by interacting with the Writer-In-Residence and fellow participants. These retreats are intended as teaching situations, in which a Writer-in-Residence will offer guidance and advice to beginner or emerging writers. Facilitated retreats are offered each November at St. Peter’s Abbey in Muenster, SK.

Writers of all genres are encouraged to apply. For writers wishing to attend the SWG Writers/Artists Retreats but who may not qualify or who feel they’d like a taste of a writing retreat first, the SWG recommends attending a facilitated retreat as an introduction.

Preference will be given to Saskatchewan-based SWG members who have not published a book and who have never attended any of the SWG retreats. This facilitated retreat is primarily a retreat for beginning and emerging writers and priority will be given to these writers. However, if there is space available, we will consider applications from non-SWG members, established writers and non-SK residents.

2023 Facilitated Retreat dates:

- Thursday November 9 to Sunday November 12 - St. Peter's Abbey

(application period will open summer 2023 and close Oct 12, 2023)


2024 Facilitated Retreat dates:

- Thursday April 18 to Sunday April 21 - St. Peter's Abbey

- Friday Nov 8 to Monday November 11 - St. Peter's Abbey


Retreat fees

The $350 retreat fee covers all consultation and classes with the Writer-in-Residence, private rooms and food for three days. 


Retreat Experience

During our retreat at St. Peter's Abbey in Muenster, each retreatant will stay in Lower Severin Hall in a private single bedroom, which includes a single bed, desk with chair and ensuite bathroom (toilet, sink, shower). Bedding, towel and pillows are provided, as are all meals (breakfast, lunch and supper) in the cafeteria. Wifi access is available.

Programming like our Thursday evening talk, Saturday open mic and meetings with Writer-in-Residence will take place in common areas in Lower Severin Hall. Retreatants have access to St. Peter's fitness facility, the College library as well as walking paths on the Abbey grounds.  Retreatants are served shared buffet meals in the dining hall based on a set menu. The kitchen will be informed of any food allergies or sensitivities, but please note that a completely gluten free or dairy free diet cannot be guaranteed.

Not all spaces at St. Peter's Abbey are wheelchair accessible; navigating stairs may be required. Applicants with mobility or accessibility needs, or severe food allergies or restrictions, are encouraged to speak to the Guild about how we can help make the retreat an enjoyable experience for you; some needs may not be able to be accommodated and may affect your acceptance or accommodation.

Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the retreat, but carpooling may be arranged by communicating with fellow retreatants. There are no public transportation options to Muenster currently available.

Meetings with the Writer-in-Residence (WiR) are scheduled during the weekend by signing up for a time on Thursday evening. Your writing sample and cover letter will be shared with the WIR prior to the retreat and will be the basis for your consultation during the retreat weekend.

More information will be shared with retreatants after their acceptance, or you can speak to the Guild Program Manager at programs@skwriter.com if you have questions or concerns about your retreat experience.

Application Guidelines

Applicants must be 19 years of age or older and the application must include:

  1. The completed application form 
  2. A cover letter that states: 
  • your name, mailing and email address and primary phone number;
  • a paragraph describing the 10-page writing sample you are submitting to the WiR for consultation, including 1-2 sentence summary of the writing and a sentence about your goal for this writing;
  • up to 3 questions about the craft or business of writing you would like to discuss with the WiR;
  • a paragraph or two describing your writing experience;
  • a paragraph about why you wish to attend the Facilitated Retreat;
  • previous retreat stays, if any; and
  • the names and contact information for two references who are familiar with your writing and can attest to your ability to work independently.

    3. Writing sample, no more than 10 pages long, on which you wish to consult the Writer-in-Residence during the retreat. Please ensure it is formatted following SWG guidelines:

  • submissions must be in English;
  • all material must be typed in body-text fonts like Times New Roman, Courier, or Arial;
  • font size should be 12 pt;
  • pages must include 1" margins;
  • pages should be numbered sequentially;
  • title and your name included in either header or footer;
  • double-space prose. Poetry may be single-spaced; 
  • if you are submitting a poetry collection, please make sure each new poem starts on a new page;
  • Word documents preferred.

    4. All submissions must be received through our online application process.

Application form

Applications are closed.


  • Payment is due two weeks after notification of acceptance to the facilitated retreat and can be paid online, by cheque or credit card via phone.
  • Non-payment of fees will result in rejection of your application without exception. 
  • A non-refundable late fee of $35 will apply to all applications received after the application deadline, and will be payable at the time of application.
  • A late fee of $35 will apply to all payments outstanding as of two weeks prior to the start of the retreat.

Cancellation policy

Cancellation refunds will be processed as follows:

  • 30 days or more prior to start date: 75% of funds returned.
  • 14 days prior to retreat start date: 50% of funds returned.
  • 7 days prior to retreat start date: 25% of funds returned.
  • Cancellations within one week of retreat start dates are non-refundable.

Selection criteria

  • Preference will be given to Saskatchewan-based SWG members who have not published a book and who have never attended any of the SWG retreats. This facilitated retreat is primarily a retreat for beginning and emerging writers and priority will be given to these writers. However, if there is space available, we will consider applications from non-SWG members, established writers and non-SK residents.
  • Applicants who apply by the deadline will be given first consideration although, if there are spaces available, applications will be considered up to two weeks prior to the beginning of the retreat.

Doris Hillis Scholarship

The Doris Hillis Scholarship provides one recipient with program fees for the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild’s Facilitated Retreat. The scholarship is intended for an emerging BIPOC Saskatchewan writer working on poetry or drama. Your application to this scholarship must be received at the same time as your application to attend the facilitated retreat.



Eligible recipients must meet the following criteria:

  • Self-identified BIPOC writer (Black, Indigenous, Person of Colour)
  • Are a developing writer, defined as being in the early stages of their writing and has not yet published a book or equivalent
  • Have a poetry or drama project to work on at the Facilitated Retreat
  • Are a resident of Saskatchewan and have been for one year prior to the beginning of the retreat

The successful scholarship recipient must be accepted to the Facilitated Retreat. Previous recipients of the Scholarship, members of the selection committee, current employees or Board of the SWG are not eligible to be considered for this award.



Applicants will submit an application form with a 1-2 page letter, outlining their response to the following criteria:

  1. Writing experience, including:
    1. How long you have been writing
    2. Any professional development you have undertaken to date (which could include workshops, classes or degrees, immersive experiences like Sage Hill or Banff Centre, writing group membership, working with a mentor, editor or Writer-in-Residence, attending literary learning opportunities, etc.)
    3. Any publications or play productions, including the publications’ name and genre.
  2. Please explain why attending the Facilitated Retreat will benefit you as a writer
  3. Please explain if and how receiving this scholarship may reduce any barriers you may face in attending the Facilitated Retreat. This could include, but is not limited to, financial need.

Application Form

For more information, please contact:

Program Manager
T: 306.791.7743 | E: programs@skwriter.com


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