Hearts On Fire: A five-day writing retreat in Ontario this August.
Do you melt at the idea of five days of writing and resting and listening to seagulls?
Do you have a writing project or idea that’s longing for some time and attention? Do the constant demands of everyday life get in the way of the creative process you’re craving? Are you yearning for a nice stretch of time to relax into your work, your body and your creative pulse?
Hearts On Fire is the place to bring those desires. With the big canvas of five days of writing, sharing and focused silent time on the shores of Georgian Bay, participants will be able to slow down and ease into the hugeness of their work and themselves.
Here’s how it works:
We will gather on Thursday, August 3rd in two adorable side-by-side cottages on Georgian Bay. After an initial evening of connecting and getting our toes wet writing, we’ll slip into a daily routine of small group workshops, delicious meals, generous stretches of silent writing time and of course downtime to rest and explore the local area alone or with others.
Together, we’ll all work to create a fiercely supportive space that will cherish and build every writing voice and vision in the circle.
Each participant will also receive a 60-minute one-on-one session with one of the Firefly coaches to talk about their work. We’ll have two facilitators and our awesome office manager at this retreat— Chris, Danette and Bree — to make sure everyone gets lots of personal attention.
Come to breathe, nap, swim, walk the country roads, listen to the waves lap, make new friends and write your heart out.
A Glimpse at our past retreats at this location
~ Are excited by the idea of quiet time, heart connection, and creative self-reflection.
~ Want to share their ideas and their writing with others.
~ Have some kind of writing practice, either flourishing or flagging, which they want to get back to.
~ Appreciate communal atmospheres and feel drawn to forming connections with others. (That said, this is an introvert-friendly space, and there will be lots of time to do you own thing.)
~ Are driven, though maybe not always as focused as they would like.
~ Are craving some time away from Facebook and buzzing telephones.
~ Love the sound of seagulls, the smell of campfires, and the squishy bite of a good gluten-free brownie.
~ Have a project, or an idea for a project, on the go.
This retreat isn’t for people who:
~ Might prefer to go to a spa. This retreat will involve focused writing and lots of introspection, as well as helping out with some meal preparation. This isn’t a space to be catered to, it’s a space to actively co-create.
~ Are working on a writing project they’re not motivated by, like something for work. This retreat is built on the love of words, and tapping into the heart of our writing processes.
~ Believe that their writing can only thrive in a critical writing environment. We believe that writing flourishes with have heavy doses of kindness and safety.
~ Don’t want to share their work with others. There will be plenty of opportunities to share, and while it’s totally fine to pass from time to time, we’re looking for participants who are motivated and excited by sharing, even when it’s a little uncomfortable or squirmy.
~ Honestly can’t go a day without checking Twitter.
August 3 – 7th.
We’ll start with a big dinner on Thursday, so participants will need to be able to leave the city by 2:30pm. If you’re able to leave earlier, all the better! Arrive anytime after 3pm to settle yourself in. We’ll finish around 2:30pm on Monday.
Two Firefly facilitators will be at this retreat so participants will have plenty of attention and guidance. Don’t know us yet? You can see us smiling in the photos above, or you can get to know us here.
To help us create a community of care, everyone will be assigned to a “meal team” before the retreat, to help bring and prepare one meal for the group. This will give you an opportunity to connect with some of the participants before you arrive, and to show off that amazing side dish you know how to rock. (Plus we all know that the real party is in the kitchen…) We’ll do our very best to accommodate all food restrictions.
To help with transport, we’ll arrange carpools wherever possible. We’ll happily do pick-ups from the Meaford bus station if we can’t get everyone into carpools.
Also note: All new-to-Firefly participants will have a chat on the phone with one of the facilitators before their registration is final. We like connecting in person to make sure it’s the right fit.
- Still available! This one is for the troopers. A basic camping spot, and/or the top bunk in “The Joy Harjo Cabin” or “The Danusha Lameris Room“. The bunks are designed for kids so there’s a weight limit of 135 pounds for the top bunk spot. (Bottom bunks are spoken for.) $1150
- “The Big Magic Room“. This is a shared room with two twin beds. Two spots available. $1275 (FULL)
- “The Rumi Room“. Small solo room with a small twin bed. $1395 (FULL)
- “The Mary Oliver Room“, “The Ronna Bloom Room“, “The Maya Angelou Room“, medium-sized solo rooms with full or double beds. $1475 (FULL)
Ready to dive?
Smoky blue waves lapping the shore, a sandy beach, good food, soulful writers and four days of inspired facilitation. Chris, Danette and Britt teach writing and hold space in such an inspiring and compassionate way.
Every part of my inner writer felt nourished and energized. I arrived feeling committed to writing but a bit discouraged, I left feeling connected to myself and others. It was as though I’d sailed around a point and realized the writing horizon was so much wider and friendlier than I’d ever thought.
~ Andréa Raymond
Teacher, writer, yogi
I had never been on a retreat before and was wary, both at the prospect of spending that amount of time with a bunch of strangers, and because I’d heard that Firefly’s focus is mostly on positive feedback and I thrive on criticism. At the very least, I thought, I will have time to write which is what I need the most.
But what I experienced was what I didn’t know I needed the most. I experienced being vulnerable with, and open to, other writers. I experienced having work so generously received that the “stuff you need to work on” becomes apparent like a horizon expanding instead of a note in the margin. I experienced taking whatever space is needed for a single word or sentence, for structure or outlining, for myself or others, even if that means using designated writing time to do something other than write.
Also, I did an assload of writing.
~ Dorianne Emmerton
Writer, theatre reviewer, radio host
It is a rare thing these days to create a pause in time and space to focus on creativity. Firefly Creative Writing does this exquisitely and I’ve been hooked on spending time with these genuine beings in classes and retreats for over six years now. I began by wanting to exercise my voice — now I’m halfway through my first novel. Not that this is a goal for everyone, but the magic and alchemy of Firefly can transform your relationship with writing whatever your goal happens to be. I’ve experienced it and witnessed it and it is amazing.
~ Karen Fulcher
Policy and Project Advisor