You know you want to write. Even with life’s other demands, the desire to write never goes away. But for some reason, you resist it. Over time, your resistance has become painful: you feel creatively blocked, anxious, or frustrated. You know you have something to say — maybe you’ve even started a project already — but you don’t know how to keep going.
It’s time to wake up, get out of your own way, and learn how to find the courage to get your words onto the page. Suitable for beginning or advanced writers, this retreat offers a way for participants to finally enjoy writing. Fiction, nonfiction, short stories, essays, novels, memoirs — any kind of writing will benefit from this practical and powerful approach.
“Sarah is an expert who creates a calm, intentional, and powerful space for writers to drop deeply into their practice in a way that’s expansive and eye-opening. She even manages to make it feel like soul work, while giving writers real and practical tools.”
This is Good and the Victoria Festival of Authors
“Writing and sharing a short story made me more nervous then I care to admit. Sarah does an excellent job of creating a safe space in her classes, offering constructive tips and tricks to start (and finish) stories in an environment that is never intimidating or critical. It is her warmth and the collegial atmosphere she creates that makes her workshops so enjoyable, giving me confidence to go places with my writing that I wouldn't have reached on my own.”
“I've taken a lot of courses, in all sorts of areas, including several other creative writing courses. Some of those courses have made me a more self-conscious writer. Sarah's course is different. It encourages you to pay close attention to what delights and inspires and intrigues you, in your own writing, and in the writing of others. It encourages you to write what you like, how you like. I loved getting feedback on my writing from so many lovely people who were determined to show me my strengths. I loved going in to the online classroom every week.”
“Ask me about a perfect writing coach and I'll tell you about Sarah. A wonderfully insightful and warmhearted mentor, she's coached me towards a healthy, loving relationship with my writing. She's offered invaluable advice on any imaginable writing topic: how to access my creative reservoir, questions on technique, style and aesthetics, how to work around writer's block. She's a revision wizard who provides gentle, yet highly potent editorial feedback.”
“Sarah's writing workshops are the anchor that ensures writing practice in my week. Her classes and exercises provide a rich soil from which to generate material and keep going to the first draft and beyond. The classes are consistently supportive and the people I have met through Sarah's workshops have helped create a necessary writing community.”
“Sarah’s critique and coaching sessions for my short story helped me create new and exciting characters – significantly develop the narrative background – and enrich the plot and themes. The number one lesson I learned from her critique method is to expect and rejoice in the process of revision.”
“It was wonderful working with such a warm, generous and supportive writer. I would recommend Sarah's course to other writer friends without hesitation ... I loved the writing exercises: they really helped focus me, and the writing I produced was much more vivid and interesting. ”
$1300 to $1616 USD
($500 USD deposit required to secure your spot.)
Total price includes:
We will be staying at the beautiful and relaxed Strawhouse Resorts, located on the Trinity River, near Junction City in Northern California.
Each student will get their own separate accommodation so that it will be conducive to getting some writing done. Airy cottages have kitchens, dining areas, private bathrooms, and terraces with either river or forest views.
There is an option to share your cottage with another writer who will join in the workshop for a reduced rate on the accommodation, or with a non-writer who will not have to pay for the tuition component. (See below for details.)
Click here to see more photos of the various cottages. (Note: cottages have been pre-reserved for our retreat, so there's no need to book them through the attached link.)
All meals during the retreat will be provided (from Friday dinner to Monday breakfast).
Strawhouse Resorts has a restaurant with a spacious terrace and views of the beautiful Trinity River. They are known for their wood-fired pizzas and for their organic specialty coffees, with beans that are roasted on-site.
Meals included with registration:
Alcohol and other snacks will be available at an additional charge. For those who are extending their stay before or after the retreat, meals can be purchased separately.
Sarah will be reading from her new novel, Radiant Shimmering Light, on Thursday afternoon at Strawhouse Resorts.
Please come and join us before the weekend workshop begins!
If you would like, you can stay at the resort on Thursday night after the reading. Just let us know in the questionnaire you will receive after you register, and we will contact you to arrange the details.
Please join us at the reading even if you are not attending the workshop. To give us an idea of who will be coming, please RSVP for the reading by emailing email@example.com.
Note: Secure your spot with a $500 USD deposit. Once you register, you will be asked to fill in a survey with more details. We will contact you to determine your final price and payment options, which differs depending on your accommodation choice.
Payment plans are available. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
(Workshop tuition, per student)
$551 or $866 USD each
(Depending on accommodation choice, see below)
Accommodation: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night
Meals included: Friday dinner to Monday breakfast
Entire cottage for one person: $288.75 per night ($275 + 5% hotel tax). 3 nights for $866.25 each.
For those sharing accommodation: $183.75 per person, per night ($175 + 5% hotel tax). 3 nights for $551.25 each.
Variable: Additional meals and alcohol
$275 or $175 (+ 5% hotel tax) for each additional night:
Stay Thursday night after Sarah's reading, or stay before or after the workshop for other additional nights, subject to availability (breakfast, lunch, and dinner included). We will contact you to determine how long you would like to stay at the resort.
“Sarah’s writing classes helped make writing one of my closest friends. Her expansive spirit leaves room for all styles and personalities. She’s a truly talented teacher, helping guide even the most timid.”
“Everything that Sarah Selecky puts together is the result of much considered thought.”
“Your writing and your teaching has literally changed my writing life.”
“The weekend with Sarah was without exaggeration, a life-saving experience for me ... My writing is stronger, deeper and truer.”
Jo Anne Wilson
“Sarah artfully creates a safe and soulful place for the playful mind and serious pen. A resolution of opposites unite, and you find yourself: trusting, having fun, and doing what you showed up to do. Write.”
“ I arrived at the workshop quite unsure about the level of my writing and what would be expected, but found Sarah’s guidance for the critiques led to super-clear and very helpful discussions about the pieces. I learned from the critiques about other’s writing as well as from the critique about my piece. I left feeling much clearer about how to continue and finish my piece.”
Sarah Selecky earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, and her writing has appeared in top Canadian magazines and quarterlies such as The Walrus, The New Quarterly, and The Journey Prize Anthology.
Sarah is the author of This Cake Is for the Party, which was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Book, and longlisted for the Frank O’Connor Short Story Award, as well as the new novel Radiant Shimmering Light, which has been optioned for a TV show by Muse Entertainment.
She is also the creator of internationally-acclaimed creative writing school (and MFA alternative) Sarah Selecky Writing School, which includes collaborations with Margaret Atwood, George Saunders, Karen Joy Fowler, and other authors.
“Sarah is a thoughtful and brilliant teacher. I’m so grateful for the way she nudges you toward your own creative strengths.”
“Her gentle encouragement coaxes even the most recalcitrant writer to the blank page ... Signing up for Sarah's program enabled me to stoke the creative fire in a safe, comforting way and encouraged me to trust my inner voice. ”
“I am eternally grateful for the affordable opportunity to gain wisdom and writerly advice from such a creative, passionate, generous and truly caring soul.”
“Sarah teaches us how to explore. Like cavers new to the sport, she equips us with headlamps, helmets and snacks. If it weren’t for her instruction I’d still be in the dark calling out “hello” and hearing it being repeated back to me.”
Ilka de Laat
“I took Sarah’s writing practice course and it was pure gold.”
“We found that the energy in the room actually changed when she started speaking ... The feedback we received from participants is that Sarah’s workshop changed the way they felt about their writing practice, and there was a shift that happened in their consciousness and connection to their work. I would highly recommend as a writing instructor – we will certainly be inviting her back.”
Stratford Writing Festival