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 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 established writers and non-SK residents.

2023 Facilitated Retreat dates:

- April 27-30 - Virtual

- November 9-12 - St. Peter's Abbey


Retreat fees

In 2022, we have increased our fee to $350 due to rising costs. This $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 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 as well as walking paths on the Abbey grounds.

Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the retreat, but carpooling may be available upon request. All attendees must abide by any provincial COVID guidelines or restrictions in place during the retreats. More information will be shared with retreatants after their acceptance.


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, address and phone numbers;
  • short description of the type of work to be done at the retreat;
  • 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 (entire manuscript)—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

  • 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.
  • If space is limited, preference will be given to those who have not had previous opportunities to attend.
  • Preference will be given to Saskatchewan residents. 

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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