Spring Thaw, a Writing Retreat

Spring Thaw: A weekend writing retreat in Ontario this May.


Longing for a weekend of writing, laughing and lake-gazing?

This is a weekend for folks who want to escape the city, snip the ties on their responsibilities and create some beautiful, focused time to write. We’ll gather at a big manor house on a lake — twelve participants and two facilitators — and we’ll write. In silence and in laughter, in circles and all alone, we’ll find just the right words and sentences and images to move our stories out into the world. Participants may have projects on the go, or may simply arrive with big open hearts and the desire to create.

Here’s how it works:

We will gather on a Friday evening in a soulful old manor house on Lake Simcoe for a luxurious weekend of creative output and self-reflection. Our time will be a mix of writing workshops, group meals, free time, with an extra-long Saturday afternoon silent writing period. Our focus will be ourselves — who are we, with the winter at our heals? What are we craving? What are we ready to let go of? Come to breathe, nap, listen to the birds, explore the gardens, walk the labyrinth, make friends and write your heart out.

A glimpse into past Firefly writing retreats at this location:

This retreat is ideal for people who:

~ Are excited by the idea of quiet time, heart connection, and creative self-reflection.
~ Want to share their ideas and their writing with others.
~ 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.)
~ Want to know where their writing will go if they eliminated distractions and just keep writing.
~ Are craving some time away from Facebook and buzzing telephones.

~ Love claw foot tubs and wrap-around porches.

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 and cleanup. 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 support.
~ Don’t want to share their work with others. There will be lots of opportunities to share, and while it’s totally fine to pass from time to time, we’re looking for participants who are excited by sharing, even when it’s a little squirmy.
~ Honestly can’t go a day without checking Twitter.


Danette and Jenna

May 11-13, 2017
We’ll start on Friday right after dinner, and end on Sunday around 2pm.
You’ll have two Firefly facilitators, Danette and Jenna – that’s them on the right.

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 up’s from the closest Go 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.


Edgar House: 
– Large Solo with en-suite (“The Rupi Kaur Room”) – $795
– Tiny Solo with no en-suite (“The Dr. Seus Room”) – $695
– Semi-Shared with en-suite (“The Tess Gallagher and Raymond Carver Suite”) – $695
– Shared with en-suite -(“The Leonard Cohen Room”, “The Alice Walker Room”) – $650

Fensom Cottage:
– Solo with no en-suite (“The Rilke Room”, “The Zadie Smith Room”) –  $725
– Shared with no en-suite ( The Jhumpa Lahiri Room”)- $625

When you sign up you’ll be asked for a $200 deposit to confirm your spot. The balance will be due three weeks before the retreat starts. You’ll also have the option of breaking your balance into four monthly credit card payments if you set this up early enough. There is no fee for this service, we just like to offer it.


There’s an FAQ right here with loads more info. If you’re still wondering anything at all, drop Bree a line, she is a fountain of answers.





Can We Keep In Touch?

Can We Keep In Touch?

Every 2-3 weeks we email out a poem we love, a link to a new video writing prompt, and news of upcoming workshops. Can we send them to you?

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