Algonquin Park Writing Retreat
Tuesday, September 5 – Friday, September 8, 2023
Arowhon Pines Resort
Arowhon Pines Road
Little Joe Lake, Algonquin Park
Stretch out your summer and give yourself the time to write – four days of instruction, inspiration and creativity. Award yourself with time away from distractions, with no dishes to do and wonderful food at every meal, as you sit with your feet up and write in the most beautiful wilderness setting in Ontario. This is where the Group of Seven got its inspiration (Tom Thompson is buried just a couple of lakes over); it’s a wonderful place for you to find your inspiration, too.
The retreat will feature both instruction and guided writing exercises, plus one-on-one critiquing and coaching from Brian. You’ll also have lots of time to relax, rejuvenate, and reconnect with your creativity.
All writing levels welcome. Whether you are just beginning or have a novel in progress, please join us.
This year, the retreat will again be limited to eleven participants. This will mean plenty of one-on-one time with the instructor.
The setting: Arowhon Pines is a peaceful, quiet resort nestled in the woods on Little Joe Lake inside Algonquin Park. There are no motorboats on the lake, except for the resort’s own pontoon boat which takes guests on occasional wildlife tours.
The resort is without TV and is far from the roar of traffic. The cry of a loon is the loudest noise you’re likely to hear all day.
Rates include charming accommodation (cabins have a mix of queen beds for one person or couples or twin beds for two people rooming together; rooms also have private bathrooms and each cabin has a lounge with fireplace to share with your fellow writers).
Three all-you-can-eat gourmet meals per day are provided, featuring an abundance of fresh food prepared by master chefs and an inspired kitchen staff. (Bring your own wine or beer!)
All activities included. When you’re not writing, or for spouses who accompany you, there is plenty to do: canoe or kayak a series of lakes or hike trails to see wildlife (moose, loons, beaver, turtles, fox, deer), swim in the lake, sail, stand up paddleboard, play tennis, relax. For indoor activities there is a games room with table tennis, shuffleboard, books, board games. Your stay also includes access to all Algonquin Park programs and activities including a car pass for you to fully enjoy the park.
Check-in isn’t until 3 p.m., but guests can arrive in the morning to fully take advantage of the facilities (though the meals included in your package don’t begin until after check-in time, so lunch on Friday is extra if you arrive early). Each guest can borrow a day pass for Algonquin Park. The formal retreat will begin late Friday afternoon. On Monday, we'll have our last formal get-together at 11 a.m., ending at 12 noon. Check out time is at 1 p.m. Most guests have lunch while the bellhops load the car. But once you’ve had lunch, don’t feel you have to rush off!
Participants are welcome to bring spouses, partners or friends, as there will be plenty to do while you’re writing – canoeing, kayaking or sailing, swimming if warm enough, tennis, reading and just plain resting and unwinding, enjoying the wilderness.
Read about a stay at Arowhon Pines here.
Instructor Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He publishes Quick Brown Fox, Canada’s most popular blog for writers, teaches creative writing at Ryerson University and has led workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Saint John. But his proudest boast is that he has helped many of his students get their first book published and launch their careers as authors.
Read reviews of previous writing retreats at Arowhon Pines here (and scroll down).
To see more reviews of Brian’s weekly courses and Saturday workshops, see here.
For the full 4-day, 3-night retreat: $221.24 plus hst = $250
Accommodation fee (including accommodation and food, plus use of all the resort’s facilities):
$419 per person per night double occupancy ($836 per couple) OR $524 per night single occupancy, plus 15% service charge (in lieu of tipping), then plus 13% HST.
Book early – space is strictly limited! Full receipts issued.
For more information or to register, email: email@example.com
If you have questions or need more information
about the accommodations,
phone the resort: 1-866-633-5661
Who can attend the retreat?
Everyone interested in developing their writing skills is welcome to attend, whether you're aspiring writer or an accomplished author or simply enjoy writing as a hobby. There is no requirement for you to have been previously published or even to have an intention to publish.
I'm a poet / playwright / other writer. Is this retreat for me?
The retreat is open to anyone who enjoys writing. Instruction will focus on narrative writing; i.e., stories, whether fiction or memoir. But if you’re an essayist or poet or whatever, you’re entirely welcome.
Should I bring my work in progress?
Yes! If you have an on-going writing project, bring it with you. Bring more than you expect to get to; you'll have lots of time for writing. Besides, you may want to switch projects or share a project that’s just started or one that’s all done, except for reading it to a small, appreciative audience. If you’re not currently working on anything, don’t worry, we’ll get you writing.
Should I bring my laptop?
Yes, if you prefer to work on your laptop. If you prefer to work on paper bring that. Or go crazy and bring both your laptop and your notebook.
Can you cater to specific dietary requirements?
Yes, just let the staff at Arowhon Pines know beforehand about your needs.
I want to stay longer or arrive early. Is that possible?
If you want to arrive earlier or stay longer, that’s fine. Just arrange it with the resort. There is plenty to see and do in the park, and Arowhon Pines is a lovely base from which to explore.
Is there cell phone reception and WIFI?
Arowhon Pines is an island of luxury, but in the midst of wilderness, so spotty cell phone at best and no WIFI, though there are landlines and there’s access to the resort’s Internet connection. (Contact the resort for details.) But be sure to have your writing projects on your laptop when you come, not stored in the Cloud.
How about alcohol?
Arowhon does not serve alcohol, but guests are welcome to bring their own wine, beer or whatever to have with meals or back at your cabin or wherever. (Though do note that Hemingway’s advice to write drunk, mostly produces drivel.)
Can I bring my spouse?
Certainly. Just let them know you’ll be spending most of your time writing, (though you will have some free time every day), and make sure they enjoy superb food, beautiful wilderness, and relaxing on the deck or the dock or out on a canoe as they glide past a moose munching on water lilies.
For more information about the resort, visit their website here.
For more information or to register, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To book your accommodation at Arowhon Pines, phone toll free:
And be sure to tell them you're with the writing retreat!
Or you can book on-line here. ~ But be sure to also phone and tell them you're with the writing retreat!