7:00 p.m. on Friday, July 12 - 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 14
— Please read all information before purchasing. —
Surrounded by orchards and located next to the Clendenan Reservoir and Beaver River, this is the perfect place to spark some inspiration. Complete with wood burning fireplaces, cozy meeting spaces, a café-like lounge, dining room, large country porch, and beautiful grounds to wander in, this peaceful location could be exactly what you need to focus on your writing!
There will be scheduled activities, but it's up to you to choose what to participate in. If you're just looking for a space to focus, join us for meals in the dining hall and otherwise dig in to your project without any obligation to the group - you have full access to the facility. If you'd like to participate in the available workshops and activities, please select them from the options listed in the check out. (Choosing a workshop/activity does not bind you to it, it just gives us an idea of how many to set up for.)
If you schedule a one-on-one critique session, you will be asked to send up to 3000 words well ahead of the event so thoughtful feedback can be provided. These will be half hour sessions. There is an additional fee to accommodate the extra work.
(*We can provide linens, but there is an additional charge for this as the facility itself does not provide them.)
Work space: café tables, couches, outdoor tables, porch chairs, (bringing along a lap desk might be a good idea). If you like to listen to music while you work, please bring along earbuds so others aren't disturbed.
Bed and room options are available on a first-come-first-served basis. We will remove options as they're spoken for. If you are coming as a couple, be sure to select the 'Couples Room' option. We will guarantee you have a private room. It may be a double bed (beneath a twin bunk) if all the queen rooms are taken. If you select a top bunk and we have bottom bunks that aren't filled by the time registration closes, you will have the option to upgrade at no extra charge. If you select a shared room option you will have your own bed — i.e. select 'Share room, queen bed' you will have a queen bed and the person sharing your room will occupy another bed in the same room. There is no bed-sharing unless you designate that in your registration. (See below.)
Those willing to share beds (couples or friends), must register together in order to enjoy a savings. Put one order into your cart and return to put in the second order BEFORE you check out. Be sure to select the same room option on each order and click ADD MORE to add it to your cart. Use the code SHARE10 at the checkout to take 10% off your total. (This code will only work on registrations with totals over $400.) If you're a group of friends coming as a trio, select top bunk when adding the third item to your cart and you'll save a tiny bit more.*
Please note: Couple/friend rooms options/discounts are only available if you're staying for both nights.
*If you're registering as a couple or a friend pairing or trio (anyone
sharing a bed) please provide us with information on your partner(s).
There is an Order comments section right before you check out. Please give us the full name of your partner(s).
Beds are distributed as follows:
Washroom and shower facilities: There are men's and women's washrooms on the second level, a washroom on the main level, and a washroom on the lower level in the Library. All washrooms and ensuites have one shower.
All guests must be 18 or older unless accompanied by a parent. Minors must share a room with their guardian. Please select the couples room to enjoy a small savings - we will make sure you're assigned a room with a bunk bed. If you are couple and your child is joining you, select 2 couples rooms and a top bunk and we'll make sure you're placed together. We only recommend this retreat for minors over the age of 14 who have a real interest in writing.
Food: meals are provided. Breakfast, lunch, and supper on Saturday. Breakfast and lunch on Sunday. Plus snacks and drinks throughout your time with us. If you have allergies or special dietary restrictions, please specify in the space provided during your checkout. We will do our best to accommodate your needs. If your diet requires you to bring your own food, let us know and we'll contact you after registration about refunding your food costs. Refrigerator and prep space can be made available. Meals will be served at 8:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Accessibility: Unfortunately, the entire facility is not wheelchair accessible. There is an outside ramp to access the main floor where there are two bedrooms (please select bunk with ensuite or private queen with ensuite and make a note that you require accessibility); however, meals will be served in the dining hall on the lower level. We can bring meals up and serve you in the café if you're unable to navigate the stairs. Most of our workshops are scheduled to happen in the lower level, but we're willing to make changes to accommodate if necessary so please be clear when you register by using the provided Order Comments section.
Location: 788277 Beaver Valley Rd, Clarksburg, Ontario
Parking: There is free parking on the retreat property.
Can you only get away for one night? We can accommodate that! Choose the one night option from the list. Single nights will not get their choice of bed. Want to just come for a day? That's fine too! Select the Saturday option and the overnight cost will be removed.
Check in/Registration at 7:00 p.m. on Friday night in the main foyer: collect your welcome package and settle into your room. (Guests that aren't arriving until Saturday morning will find their registration packages on the table in the foyer.)
Opening Ceremonies at 8:00 p.m. on Friday night in the Great Room: We'd like everyone to be part of this quick orientation. Meet the facilitators, get a rundown of the schedule, participate in a brief goal-setting exercise, and meet the word-count measuring stick!
Late Night Word Sprint at 9:00 p.m. Friday night in the Great Room & Café: Write until you collapse, or until midnight - whichever comes first! Be sure to record your number before you slip away to bed. Snacks and drinks will be provided to fuel the race.
Morning Pages at 9:00 a.m. Saturday and Sunday on the back deck. Bring out a hot cup of coffee, your notebook and pen, and get the words flowing with this free-writing exercise.
Workshop 1: A Re-Start for Stalled Writers with Brian Austin, author of Muninn's Keep and Blank Spaces contributor — in the lower level meeting room on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. This workshop seeks to stimulate and restart stalled writers. Maybe you’re not totally stalled, but your engine is running on only two cylinders instead of four or six. There is a lot of vibration. There is a lot of exhaust fumes. You’re making very slow progress. Writing, creating with language – is almost magical when it works. What do you do when all the magic leaks out? Are you stuck? Brian will offer tips and tricks from his own experiences.
Workshop 2: Recklessly Creative with Alanna Rusnak, Editor in Chief of Blank Spaces — in the lower lever meeting room on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Alanna will guide you through an exercise to identify your passions and understand what's blocking you from chasing after them. Using her own story, she'll offer suggestions and tools for carving your own path of creative living.
Discussion Group 1: Talk It Out, facilitated by Heidi Eastman
— in the Library on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Specifically geared towards youth, this is an opportunity to discuss your ideas and struggles in a supportive forum. Heidi is your sounding board and is available to listen as you talk through your blocks.
Discussion Group 2: Show & Tell, an interactive activity facilitated by Brian Austin — in the lower level Meeting Room on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. Bring along a short piece of writing to read aloud to the group. Everyone will be invited to give feedback and suggestions. Constructive criticism is okay, but remember to be kind.
1-on-1 Critique Sessions with Alanna Rusnak — in the lower level Library Saturday and Sunday morning. Submit a piece of writing up to 3000 words and Alanna will offer feedback and suggestions. She will return your piece with her notes and walk you through her suggestions. These are half hour sessions and must be booked in advance. Alanna's strengths are in fiction and personal essay. Please do not send poetry, opinion pieces, or erotica.
Bedtime Stories at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday night around the campfire. Bring a piece of writing you're proud of and share it with the group around the fire. Please keep it clean. If you're unsure, ask a facilitator before the fire. Remember to bring a flashlight ! (If it's raining, we will gather in the Great Room.)
We need at least three people signed up for each workshop in order for them to run. Guests will be notified if their workshop is not happening.
Editor in Chief of
Blank Spaces Magazine and award nominated author.
With over fifteen years of design experience, powerful understanding of
publishing technology, a passionate love for stories, and a desire to
make dreams come true, Alanna is your advocate, mentor, friend, and
Alanna will be leading one workshop, in which she will help you identify your passions and make a plan to chase after them. She is also available for one-on-one critiquing sessions. See scheduled events for more information.
Brian Austin, award
nominated author and Write Canada committee member. With a deep love of
books and a special passion for poetry (and fish!), Brian is a great
source for advice and motivation as he shares from his own struggles to
juggle his passions and share his words. Brian will lead a workshop designed to help stalled writers get back into their work. He will also lead a Show and Tell session in which guests are invited to read their own work for feedback from the group.
See scheduled events for more information.
Heidi Eastman serves as the Creative Consultant for Blank Spaces Magazine. Heidi has a background in social work and has volunteered with youth for over ten years. She'll be hanging out in the Library on Saturday afternoon, acting as a sounding board for any young people attending who need to talk through some of their creative blocks. See scheduled events for more information. Heidi will also be helping with administrative needs and will be available to answer your questions or show you where you need to go for workshops or sessions.
Opt to stay in the Solitude Cabin! If you want a place to really get away from the distractions of the group (and the internet!), you can stay in this small hand crafted cedar log cabin located on the 5-acre campus of the retreat centre. It has
a main floor for relaxing and an upper loft for sleeping. It feels isolated and yet it is close to the main building for access to washrooms. It's the perfect choice if you really want a quiet place to dig into your writing. Select Solitude Cabin from the room options.
Use the code DEPOSIT25 at checkout to make a 25% deposit to hold your spot. By selecting this option you are agreeing to pay the remaining amount in full no later than June 12, 2019. We will contact you with an invoice and you can pay the remaining amount in whatever installments are comfortable to you. These payments will be processed through PayPal or EFT. If you have to cancel, your deposit will be refunded according to the schedule below.
Special Event Cancellation Policy:
In order to keep the retreat cost-effective, we must have at least ten guests registered. In the unlikely event of cancellation on our part you will be refunded in full and be among the first to know about the next special event.
Questions? Don't hesitate to reach out. Click on the Q&A link below and post your query. We'll do our best to respond quickly.
With over fifteen years of design experience, powerful understanding of publishing technology, a passionate love for stories, and a desire to make dreams come true, I am your advocate, mentor, friend, and cheerleader and I can’t wait to help you bring your work into the light. To submit to Blank Spaces, my Canadian literary magazine, please visit the submissions page at www.blankspaces.ca. To learn more about how I can help you achieve your publishing dreams, pop over to www.publishing.alannarusnak.com.