Writer and Artist Retreats

A Place to Work and Be Inspired

Writers and artists have always recognized the need for a place where they could work without disruption. Retreats offer not only that but also a source of inspiration. The SWG self-directed retreat is for writers and artists who are able to work independently. Self-directed retreats are offered each winter and summer at  St. Peter’s Abbey in Muenster, SK

Writers of all genres are encouraged to apply. For writers wishing to attend a self-directed retreat, 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.

Studio space is limited and subject to availability at St. Peter’s Abbey. 

Our 2022 Retreat dates are:

  • Winter Retreats are February 4-25, 2022 - Deadline to apply: January 13, 2022
  • Summer Retreats are July 8-29, 2022

 

Retreat fees

Retreat fees cover all administration, private lodging and food costs for a one week stay (updated Aug 1, 2021)

  • SWG members: $400
  • Out-of-province members: $500
  • Out-of-province non-members: $600
  • Studio fees for visual artists: $100 per week. 

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;
  • a short description of the type of work to be done at the retreat;
  • the names and phone numbers of two referees familiar with your work and who can attest to your ability to work independently; and 
  • your first and second choice of retreat dates.

3. Writers: 

  • Ten typed pages of manuscript — include a sample of what you will be working on as well as previous work (submit your best work) within the ten page sample. All work will be destroyed after the adjudication process. Samples in excess of ten pages will not be processed.

    Artists:

  • Ten high resolution .jpg format files clearly identified with a title, medium and date of work. All work submitted should be recent.

4. A literary CV including publications/exhibitions (max 4 pages).

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

Application Form

Click here to apply

Payment

Payment is due two weeks after notification of acceptance and may be submitted by cheque or credit card. Payment must be received before your attendance at the retreat. 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.

COVID -19 Protocols

Please note that the SWG and St. Peter’s Abbey are following provincial health guidelines to ensure we can provide a safe and enjoyable retreat. This retreat will be held in Lower Severin Hall, which has private rooms and bathrooms for each retreatant, as well as communal space large enough to accommodate social distancing. Masks are mandatory while being served in dining hall. Applicants are encouraged to provide their own transportation to and from the retreat.

All attendees must abide by the following protocols at SWG in-person events:

  • Wear a mask in common areas, including the dining hall
  • Social distancing required
  • Show proof of double vaccination or negative COVID test results (within 72 hours) upon arrival at St. Peter's – this will be checked visually by our on-site retreat coordinator. No private information will be recorded or stored.

We follow provincial guidelines for acceptable proof of vaccination.

 

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.

Refunds for COVID-related cancellations will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The SWG reserves the right to cancel the retreats before or during the Winter Retreats due to COVID-related health and safety issues and/or mandates.

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 three weeks prior to the beginning of the retreat period desired;
  • A maximum of two weeks of individual retreats and a total of four weeks of retreats per person per year is allowed;
  • If space is limited, previous retreat stays will determine residency, and that eight weeks of retreat time over the past three years will be the guideline for adjudication, with preference given to those who have not had previous opportunities to attend; and 
  • Preference will be given to Saskatchewan residents.

Adjudication process

All applications are subjected to a rigorous juried process which takes place approximately a week after the application deadline. Acceptance is determined by:

  • Quality of work decided by the writing sample/visual images submitted;
  • Literary CV and publication/exhibition history;
  • Benefits to be gained from the retreat experience;
  • Ability to work independently; and
  • Project description.

The John V. Hicks Scholarship

The John V. Hicks Scholarship provides one recipient with $300 for the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild’s Winter Writers/Artists Retreat. The scholarship is intended for a mid-career writer working on poetry for a minimum two-week stay at the Winter Retreat.

 

Eligibility

Eligible recipients must meet the following criteria:

  • Are a mid-career writer, defined as a practicing writer who is in the middle stage of their career and has published one or more books or the equivalent.
  • Has a poetry project to work on at the 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 Winter Retreat for a minimum two week stay. 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.

 

Criteria

Applicants will submit 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. A summary of notable publications.
  2. Please explain why attending the 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 Retreat for two weeks. This could include, but is not limited to, financial need.

Application Form

The Judy McCrosky Bursary 

The Judy McCrosky Bursary provides one recipient with program fees for one week of the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild’s Winter Writers Retreat at St. Peter’s Abbey. The scholarship is intended for an emerging Saskatchewan writer.

Your application to this scholarship must be received at the same time as your application to attend the winter retreat.

Eligibility

Eligible recipients must meet the following criteria:

  • Are a developing writer, defined as being in the early stages of their writing and has not yet published a book or equivalent
  • 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 Winter 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.

Criteria

Applicants will submit 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, including the publications’ name and genre.
  2. Please explain why attending the Retreat will benefit you as an emerging writer.

Application Form


For more information, please contact:

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

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