Want To Improve Your Writing? Our Write Now Retreats Bring Award-Winning Authors To You!

Our intimate and creative group settings allow writers to develop their writing craft and manuscripts.

And our retreat also includes exclusive access to the Stratford Writers Festival!

Our 2018 lineup will launch shortly! Read through our FAQ section below for more details!

Each retreat offers you:

  • Three days of morning lectures and/or workshops with your instructor
  • One-on-One Consultation with your instructor
  • A Creativity Space to hone concentration and creativity techniques such as yoga, meditation, and writing exercises
  • Free time and space to write when and where you like
  • Exclusive access to the Stratford Writers Festival
  • Delicious meals and comfortable accommodations
  • Time to explore the artistic hub of Stratford
  • Support from fellow writers just like you


Have more questions? Read through our FAQ section below:

We support the Canadian literary community so if you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

During the Write Now Retreat you will:

-receive concrete and actionable instruction from an award-winning author who teaches regularly, whether through workshops, at University or college, or as Writer-In-Residence
-have access to a private one-on-one coaching session with your instructor where you can discuss your writing, get extra support for putting new strategies in place or ask any questions you want
-learn powerful creativity techniques that can benefit your writing practice and help overcome writing challenges
-enjoy the support of a community of like-minded, encouraging writers
-enjoy long blocks of uninterrupted time that allow you to write in an unhurried, unpressured way that produces the best work

One-on-One Sessions with your Writing Instructor. Each student will enjoy a one-hour one-on-one conversation with their Write Now instructor. These one-on-one sessions are, by their very nature, geared entirely towards your individual needs. If you are working on a manuscript, you can bring some of your writing for your instructor to review or have the option to send a maximum of 10 pages prior to the retreat (we will send you information upon registration). Or, you can have an in-depth discussion about your story idea, writing craft, or creative approaches. The one-on-one sessions are a great opportunity to have a very focused, comprehensive conversation with an expert in the field.

Group Instruction. Each day, there will be a two-hour morning lecture offered by the writing instructor, with an opportunity for questions and discussion.

Lunch Discussions. Lunch will follow the Group Lectures, and will be open to free-flowing discussions. Your instructor isn’t an official host, but will participate in these conversations.

Writing. While your mornings will be filled with lectures and informational sessions, the afternoons are open for writing and creative inspiration, allowing you the opportunity to put what you’ve learned into practice. You can find inspiration along the lake, or in the solitude of your room. Or, if you prefer, you can take in all that Stratford has to offer by hanging out in Market Square, savouring a coffee at Revel, or enjoying a play at the Festival Theatre. There are two possible writing spaces and environments at the Write Now Retreat Centre:

Quiet-Space Writing Lounge
A cozy room with a strict quiet space policy where silence is sacred. You can write in the collective energy of fellow writers who are also creating in stillness and tranquility.

Creative Writing Space
This space is for those who prefer to write in a collective creative environment, exchange ideas with others and explore the writing prompts and techniques offered to you. In this room we focus on creative inspiration as much as we do on writing technique. While this space is self-exploratory, we also hold scheduled creativity sessions that throughout the retreat will include yoga, meditation, free-writing and creativity exercises, all to get your creative juices flowing.

In summary, this retreat offers you:

-Three full days devoted just to you and your writing
Three nights accommodation
Three meals and two snack breaks, freshly prepared, in accordance with your dietary preferences
-An exclusive pass to the Stratford Writers Festival
-Long blocks of uninterrupted writing time, held in the company of supportive writers
-Daily small-group instruction that teaches you customized strategies for taking your writing to the next level
-Encouragement and motivation from a small, supportive community of fellow writers
Inspirational writing environments with multiple spaces for writing in solitude or company
-Peaceful and comfortable sleeping quarters with private bath, that restore your creative energy

Aside from learning writing techniques and enjoying private discussions customized to your individual needs during your consultation time, you will also gain:

-Clarity about which writing strategies work best for you.
-Time to get some writing done.
-Confidence in your ability to work through difficult parts in your writing.
-Relationships with other writers in the group.
-Courage to manage the mental and emotional blocks that can derail your writing.
-Motivation to return to your writing again and again after the retreat is over.
-Harness powerful creativity techniques that can benefit your writing practice and help overcome writing challenges

Each Write Now Retreat is designed to provide enough structure to keep you writing and enough flexibility to let you go deep into your work. During the retreat, your time is your own. You will spend most of it resting, drafting, reading, note-taking, thinking—whatever you need to do to move your writing forward. The retreat begins at 9 am on Monday morning and ends at 8 pm on Wednesday evening. From Monday through Wednesday, you are encouraged to participate in morning lectures, the creativity sessions, your one-on-one consultation, as well as meals that are served buffet, family style and plated. Apart from these times, writers are encouraged to follow their own impulse when deciding when to do what.

Write Now Retreat participants have an exclusive and full access weekend pass to the Stratford Writers Festival, including:
-Social Media for Authors workshop
-The Art of Blogging workshop
-An exclusive dinner with award-winning author Alice Zorn
-Two days of panel discussions

The only items excluded from this pass are the Songwriters Circle and the Literary Lunch.

The Write Now Retreat is open to all writers at every stage of writing, whether you simply have an idea or a full manuscript. Whether you are an emerging or published writer, you are welcome to join us.
To ensure an intimate environment, there are up to twelve attendees maximum, depending on the instructor’s preference. Tickets are limited, and are expected to sell out.
One benefit of writing retreats is the support and motivation that comes from being surrounded by other people concentrated on their writing. To maintain this environment and allow you to focus, we ask retreat participants to leave partners (who are not doing their own writing), children, and other family members at home.
Bring your notes, books, laptop, chargers, notebooks, pens, and pencils: all the sources and tools you like and need to get your writing done. The retreat space will provide bed linens, bath towels, meals, drinks, and snacks.
Dress comfortably. The retreat environment is friendly and casual, so you should be, too. We will offer a yoga session, so bring comfortable clothing for that. Stratford is also a walkable town, so bring walking shoes to exercise your body as well as your brain.
Currently we offer Writing Retreats in the fall, but we will be adding more retreats to our schedule. If this date doesn’t suit you, please sign up for our newsletter to be informed of future dates.

In Stratford, the Write Now Retreat Centre is at the Vintages Inn property, The Parlour Inn. Located in downtown Stratford in close proximity to the renowned restaurants and theatres, this charming setting is the perfect place to find creative inspiration while relaxing in comfort and enjoying luxury service.

Built in 1871, the Parlour Inn’s restaurant is decorated with classic features such as beautiful woodwork, tin ceilings and stained glass windows, all of which are a nod to its 19th century origins. In keeping with the character of the original building but with a modern touch, the guestrooms are designed with unique layouts, queen and king sized beds, whirlpool bathtubs and luxurious bedding.

All guestrooms are fully elevator accessible and include modern amenities such as bathrobes, bottled Water, High speed internet, Keurig coffee/tea machine, Premium bed linens, duvets, and Comforel™ pillows. Hotel amenities include features such as a 24 hr exercise facility, 24 hr front desk, complimentary on-site parking and a complimentary shuttle.

The Parlour is a boutique hotel and we have a limited number of guest rooms set aside, so depending on when you register, we may need to place you in a partner hotel, such as the Queen’s Inn, or in a B&B. Book early to ensure you secure your accommodation in the same hotel where all sessions are held.

Don’t worry, we’ve taken care of that for you. Your retreat fee includes a charming room and three meals a day, including snacks. The Parlour is a boutique hotel and we have a limited number of rooms set aside so depending on when you register, we may need to place you in a partner hotel or B&B. Rooms will be assigned in order of registration, so… the early birds gets the best rooms.
There are extended periods for breakfast and lunch buffets, with a set time for the evening meal. You can eat out if you prefer.
Once we receive your payment, you will be sent a booking form. Please state any food sensitivities and special diets there, and we will accommodate those.

There are many places around town suitable for writing. There are lovely parks and lakeside benches, and if you want to try one of the local coffee shops, there are several from which to choose. You’ll find the creative community at the following:

Revel, located across from the historic Market Square

Balzacs, on the main street

Edisons Cafe Bar

Yes! Afternoons and evenings are open for you to explore and write. Stratford has a strong arts community mecca so you can take in a concert or theatre show, or simply walk along the lake. If you want to take in more of the creative vibe and extend your stay a few days before or after the retreat, let us know and we can try and secure the same room for you.

From Toronto, take the 401 West towards Kitchener-Waterloo. Once you are approaching Kitchener-Waterloo, exit Highway 401 to Highway 7 towards Kitchener. Next, take Highway 8 towards Stratford. Signage to Stratford is clear.

There is also train, bus, and Airporter Service into Stratford.

You will find addresses and directions, as well as other helpful transportation information, on the website of the retreat space. In addition, you will receive a preparation packet from Write Now Retreat several weeks before your start date to help you navigate the trip.

The Write Now Retreat fee includes 3-nights accommodation, group meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), an exclusive Stratford Writers Festival pass, one-on-one consultations, daily instruction, and creative exercises. It does not include transportation to and from the retreat, transportation within Stratford, extra curricular activities, alcoholic beverages, other meals, or any shopping you do around town.

The cost of this all-inclusive retreat is $1,750/person + HST ($1,500/per person for shared accommodation)

We accept credit card payments via Paypal.

Bursaries are available (please contact us to apply).

What if I only want to attend the day session and look after my own accommodations?
This is an all-inclusive retreat, which allows you to get away from your everyday life and focus solely on your writing. You will be surrounded by a community of writers and we encourage everyone to be a part of that. If you choose to look after your own accommodations and join us for the day program and meals, the cost would be $1,500 and we can only offer a limited number so touch base soon.

Our policy is designed to let you change your mind without requiring us to lose the opportunity to work with another author.

Specifically, if you cancel a Retreat:
60 days or more prior to the start of the writing retreat, you receive: 100% credit of the cost of the retreat toward another writing retreat within 12 months.
31-59 days prior to the start of the writing retreat, you receive: 50% credit of the cost of the retreat toward another writing retreat within 12 months, and will forfeit the remainder.
0-30 days prior to the start of the writing retreat, you receive: no refunds or credits.
If we cancel a Retreat due to unforeseen circumstances, we will refund your entire payment.

We wish we could compensate people for unforeseen circumstances, but unfortunately we can’t afford to cover the extra costs incurred by these predicaments. If we have someone on a waiting list, we will be happy to accommodate, but otherwise we do not give refunds or discounts for late arrival, early departure, flight cancellations, travel delays, or illness.
We start a waiting list in case of cancellations, so contact us to be added to the list. We also take advance bookings for the next year, so contact us to secure your spot.

We have more answers! Please email us with your questions.

Have more questions? Talk to us before spots fill up!

Contact Us!