Treat Yourself to an Immersive Writing Retreat and Make Your Writing Passion a Priority

2022 retreat is now closed!

Catch our full line-up announcement on our Facebook, Instagram or Youtube channel!

Enjoy an extended weekend of inspiration and self-discovery set against the waterfront backdrop of beautiful, historic downtown Kingston

Finding the space, time, and energy to write can be a challenge. Families, jobs, day-to-day chores, and the inertia of staring at the same four walls can sap your motivation and stunt your creativity. This March, take your own break, and treat yourself to a weekend committed to your writing and yourself, to get away, recharge, and get inspired.

Our Writers Retreat offers you the opportunity to learn practical writing techniques from nine  award-winning and critically acclaimed authors in an intimate, judgement-free environment. Whether you’ve been writing for years, or just putting pen to paper, these classes will improve your skills, increase your confidence, and help you to become a more expressive, effective writer.

In Person Packages

The Three-Day Retreat includes access to all 9 writing classes in a limited enrollment comfortable setting with all appropriate safety and social distancing measures in place. Enjoy coffee, tea and baked goods in the morning and post-lunch sessions.

The full retreat ticket package is $270 includes all HST and handling fees (a $340 value). The retreat package is now *** SOLD OUT ***.

Stay where you write at a great price. Enjoy accommodation at the Delta Kingston Waterfront at our preferred retreat rate of $139/night

Limited enrollment. No substitutions.

Virtual Packages

The full virtual retreat ticket is $270 includes all HST and handling fees (a $340 value). The virtual retreat package is sold out.

Limited enrollment. No substitutions.

Friday March 11

Get settled, break the ice, set the scene

9am-11:30am – The Writing Process
Find the process that works for you
Instructed by Helen Humphreys

1pm-3:30pm – Writing Humour
Challenges, approaches, and techniques to elicit laughter
Instructed by Terry Fallis

4pm-6:30pm – How to Create a Sense of Place
Effectively immerse the reader in your world
Instructed by Shyam Selvadurai

Saturday March 12

Build your structure, get moving, add drama

9am-11:30am – The M.A.S.S of Your Novel
The behind the scenes forces of Motivation, Anticipation, Suspense and stakes
Instructed by Tim Wynne-Jones

1pm-3:30pm – Reading for Performance
Move your work form the page to the stage
Instructed by Abena Beloved-Green

4pm-6:30pm – Building Excitement
From High Concept to Scenes that Thrill with two of Canada’s best masters of tension
Instructed by Craig Davidson and Andrew Pyper

Sunday March 13

Nourish your practice, explore new perspectives, share with the world

9am-11:30am – Writing Difficult Stories
Self-care for trying topics
Instructed by Karen Connelly

1pm-3:30pm – Walking the Poem
Create, examine, and transform your work
Instructed by Stuart Ross

4pm-6pm – How to Get Published
Advice from two authors and book publishers
Instructed by Brenda Leifso and Alayna Munce

Meet The Faculty

Workshop Descriptions

Your Waterfront Retreat

Your writing getaway starts when you check in at the Delta Hotel by Marriott Kingston Waterfront, nestled right on the shore of Lake Ontario. Each room features a desk with multiple connectivity docks, an ergonomic chair and complimentary Wi-Fi, so you’re ready to write whenever inspiration strikes.

Need a bit of fresh air? Step outside and you are on Kingston’s 8km waterfront trail, and steps from historic sites, vibrant downtown shopping, hip coffee shops, and world-class restaurants.


Prefer to stay cozy? Enjoy fine dining at the award-winning AquaTerra restaurant (or order it to your room), or visit the Vu lobby bar for a night cap and a bite to eat after a long day of writing and sightseeing. And don’t forget to pack your swimsuit for a dip in the pool or a whirlpool unwind!


There is more incentive than ever to make the short trip to Kingston, or treat yourself to a staycation. In addition to the 20% tax credit for all hotel stays, Visit Kingston is offering you the chance to truly enjoy the best of the Limestone City with a $100 VISA gift card* for each night you stay. Stay a minimum of two nights, get $200. Stay three, get $300, stay four for $400, and stay five nights, get $500!

Here’s what people say about Kingston WritersFest’s Writers Retreat:

“Fabulous. Helpful tips interspersed with writing exercises and small break out groups was excellent. So inspiring and stimulating.”
“What a gem – the most genuinely inspiring few hours I’ve had the fortune of experiencing.”
“Well organized, writer-friendly, good exercises, well-answered questions.”
“Absolutely fantastic! … Engaging, funny and insightful… so positive and encouraging to us as fledgling writers… I came away from the workshops with 27 post-it notes of specific things to integrate into my writing.”
“Quite delightful and engaging. Thought-provoking… Creates a safe space.”
“Excellent presentation of both abstract and detailed material… The exercises were fun and helpful.”
“I learned a great deal and I did not feel that my lack of experience was a hindrance.”
“Loved the writers retreat. Sessions long enough to really learn something… I will be back!”

Class Policy

Following Federal and Provincial Guidelines, proof of vaccination with personal identification, or a valid exemption, will be required to take part in the in-person Retreat. Proof will be asked for at the beginning of each class.*
To maintain social distancing guidelines, we’ve limited enrollment to ensure everyone can write in a safe environment.
Masks must also be worn at all times and masks, along with hand sanitizer, will be provided for all.
Lastly, please stay home if you are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, or have been in contact with someone with Covid-19. Classes will be available virtually.

* As per the proof of vaccination requirements set out in section 2.1, of Schedule 1 of O. Reg. 364/20: Rules for Areas at Step 3 and at the Roadmap Exit Step (O. Reg. 364/20) under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (ROA), all those who wish to attend the Winter Writers Retreat must show proof of identification and proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before they can enter the meeting space. Patrons who are exempt for a medical reason from being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be required to show an enhanced vaccination exemption certificate with QR code to enter designated premises. 

Cancellation Policy

It is your responsibility to read and understand our cancellation policy before making a reservation. Since spots for the retreat are strictly limited, all sales are final.
If you are unable to travel to the event due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances, you will be given the opportunity to attend the classes via Zoom.
If KWF must cancel an event, a refund will be issued to registrants.

Thank You to Our Supporters!

There are no upcoming events at this time.