Virtual Writing Retreat

The SWG’s Virtual Facilitated Retreat is open to anyone in Canada who likes to write. The virtual retreat is designed as a time for participants to focus on their writing and to gain encouragement and motivation by interacting with the Virtual Writer-In-Residence (VWiR) while fostering a community online, and associating home as a fruitful writing space.  The retreat is structured with flexibility and accessibility in mind: participants are not required to attend every single writing time if they are unable. Retreatants can come and go with check ins and breaks as opportunities to join in or leave, along with an optional evening-focused writing time.

Writers of all genres are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to beginning and emerging writers, but we welcome writers of all levels.


Application deadline is May 14, 2021 (by midnight)

Please contact Program Assistant Tea Gerbeza at or Yolanda Hansen at 306-791-7743 with any questions.


Application Form

Click here


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 Virtual Retreat;
  • previous retreats, if any.

    3. Writing sample, max of 10 pages long, on which you wish to consult the Writer-in-Residence during the retreat.

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


Retreat Fees

The cost is $100 for SWG members and $150 for non-members and includes access to the full retreat, including a one-hour meeting with the Virtual Writer-In-Residence.



We want you to get the most out of this experience!  We encourage you to participate in our check ins and focused writing times, but you are not required to attend every single writing time or check in. If a retreatant needs to opt out of a focused writing time or check in, that is acceptable and understandable. Practice self-care!

One-on-one meetings with the Writer-in-Residence will be scheduled during focused writing times. 

Note: Friday evening programming is optional for retreatants.


Full Retreat Schedule


Focused Writing Time

The entire retreat will be conducted over Zoom. During focused writing times, participants will all be muted, with cameras off. This will allow participants the freedom to write and take individual breaks without the pressure of being on camera. The “live” meeting is there to hold participants accountable to their set writing goals. After the focused writing period is over, SWG staff will unmute their camera and microphone and invite participants to do the same to discuss their progress. These discussions are what make up the “check ins” in the schedule: a time to come back together and discuss progress, ask questions, and connect to other participants before going on a stretch/food break.


“Check Ins” and Breaks

Each day will begin with a “check in” via Zoom, which is an allotted space of time for participants to say hello to one another, set their goals, talk about their progress, set new goals, etc. Morning check ins will be with the facilitator and will involve free-writes, whereas the shorter ones throughout the day will be with SWG staff and will be used as spaces to discuss progress, set more goals for other focused writing periods and/or ask other participants for advice. Longer break periods in the schedule are times when participants can take lengthier breaks to get away from the screen or use this point in the schedule to leave the retreat for the day or join in.


One-on-One Consultations with Writer-in-Residence

Each retreatant will have a scheduled one-on-one meeting with our Virtual Writer-in-Residence Kelley Jo Burke to discuss the work submitted with their application. These sessions will be via Zoom and will be private from the main group Zoom meeting.



Payment is due upon acceptance to the Virtual Facilitated Retreat and may be submitted by

  • cheque,
  • PayPal
  • or credit card (phoned into the SWG office).
  • Non-payment of fees will result in rejection of your application.
  • A non-refundable late fee of $35 will apply to all applications received after the application deadline.


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.



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