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. 


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.


  • 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

Applications are closed.


  • Payment is due two weeks after notification of acceptance and may be submitted by cheque, PayPal 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.

Precautions in response to COVID -19

Please note that the SWG and St. Peter’s Abbey are following provincial health guidelines very carefully 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. Meals will be individually served, and masks and social distancing is mandatory for all communal areas. All applicants must be prepared to follow our requirements of wearing masks and social distancing, and provide their own transportation to and from the retreat.

Retreatants may be asked to provide proof of vaccination and/or a negative COVID test before attending the summer retreat. More information will be shared with retreatants prior to their stay.

Any out-of-province applicants must be prepared to abide by travel and health guidelines as established by Saskatchewan and their home province. Currently, the Saskatchewan Health Authority recommends limiting interprovincial travel. No retreat applications from outside of Canada will be accepted at this time.

Payment is due upon acceptance to the Retreat. Cancellations due to COVID-19 will be refunded 100%. Due to uncertainty created by COVID, please note that the SWG reserves the right to cancel this retreat at any time prior or during attendance due to health and safety regulations.

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.

Please note that in 2021, cancellations prior to retreat attendance due to COVID-19 will be refunded 100%. Refunds for cancellations during the retreats will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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 Judy McCrosky Bursary 

Each year, the Judy McCrosky Bursary pays the registration fee for one week of the winter retreat for an emerging Saskatchewan writer. An emerging writer is considered to be a practicing writer in the early stages of their career and has not yet published a book or equivalent. Recipients must have resided in Saskatchewan for one year prior to the beginning of the retreat. There is no application form for the Judy McCrosky Bursary. If you are qualified and would like to be considered during the adjudication process, please ensure you check the appropriate box on the retreat application form.

For more information, please contact:

Program Manager
 306.791.7743 | E: programs@skwriter.com

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