Writer’s Retreats

Live-In Writers Retreat with Richard Wagamese


A five-day live-in writing retreat with award-winning and acclaimed Ojibway author and storyteller, Richard Wagamese. All inclusive – accommodation, meals, snacks, hot tub, pool table, satellite television, wireless internet, with access to golf, hiking, swimming and evening storytelling and community building through story.


Beautiful Howard’s Haven chalet in the stunning Sun Peaks resort in British Columbia.


 Book now for June 20 – 25, July 25-30, August 22-27 2013. Space is limited to ten writers per session. May also be available throughout the year depending on demand and my schedule. Please inquire about availability.


For emerging or established writers who want to empower their words through the practice of traditional First Nations oral storytelling, ceremony and spirituality.

 The Program:

Level 1 – June and July only

Over the course of five days you will learn to create spontaneous oral stories. Then you will learn to transfer those skills to the page to write fluidly, freely and uninhibitedly. You will learn the process that Richard uses every day – a process that has enabled him to write and sell eleven titles in seventeen years to major Canadian publishers in one draft,  ranging from novels to memoir to poetry.

Richard will teach you the principles of First Nations oral storytelling. You will be introduced to spiritual ceremonies that will empower the storyteller within you, experience your vital spiritual connection to the land and discover The Channel, the empowering story telling energy within you.

You will guided through exercises that free your mind to create spontaneously. Then you will be guided through specific exercises that take that spontaneous energy and transfer it into writing. You get the rare opportunity for extended one-on-one time with a recognized, award-winning writer and one of Canada’s foremost Native authors and storytellers.

 Cost:  $1750.00 Cdn. A $500.00 non-refundable deposit is required to book. Limited to 10 participants at a time.  Money Order, Visa and Master Card accepted. Travel to and from Sun Peaks not included.

 Level 2 – August

For those who have taken Level 1 and are on the road to creating short stories and novels this is the next step forward. Using the techniques learned in Level 1 as a guide, Richard will introduce you to the exact writing techniques he uses every day to create writing that sells. He will teach you how to craft strong narrative arc, how to work with your ideas, how to create compelling and unique characters, develop an ear for strong dialogue and create sentences that are active, rich and imminently readable.

In Level 2 Richard functions as a mentor/editor and walks through your story with you. Each day has independent writing time and one-on-one time with Richard as well as group work and readings. Writers need to bring a work(s) in progress or an idea they want to develop during the course of Level 2.

 Cost: $1500 Cdn. A $500.00 non-refundable deposit is required to book. Limited to 10 participants at a time. Money Order, Visa and Master Card accepted. Travel to and from Sun Peaks not included.

 What Participants Said:

 Attending Richard’s Writer’s Retreat has been one of the most powerful experiences of my life. The writer’s retreat was a course about writing that I have never experienced in all my years of university writing courses. I used to write set plots and characters but through Richard’s guidance I was able to open a channel which allowed me to unleash truly original ideas. Richard is a patient, kind, generous, and humorous teacher and Richard’s wife Debra is equally engaging and cooked delicious meals every morning, day and night. I was pampered and when I got back to work my coworkers commented how relaxed and rejuvenated I looked. Richard facilitated a sacred process which I will always carry with me and the whole experience I know will make me a better writer.

 Brenda Prince

Middle of the Sky Woman

Vancouver BC (2011)


Going to the writers’ retreat with Richard in the lovely, welcoming home he shares with Debra was the best thing I had done for my creativity and writing for a very long time. The opportunity to free my mind and challenge myself to new perspectives, ideas and processes was priceless. The sheer pleasure of spending five days doing nothing but writing and story-telling with two wonderful writers by my side is going to be very hard to beat! It was an exhausting, liberating, exhilarating and joyous literary adventure that I would do all over again in a heartbeat.

Katherine Gordon

Garbriola Island BC (2011)


The writer’s retreat was a paradigm-shifter; it took everything I thought I knew about writing and turned it on its head. Richard transformed my process from a painful extraction of slow words emerging onto a blank page into a pure creative torrent of fully-formed storytelling. I arrived at the retreat as a chrysalis of tightly wound creative energy, and departed as a butterfly in full poetic flight.

Whether you are new to writing, or well-entrenched in your own creative process, Richard’s retreat will re-chart the channel to the core of your creativity and allow you to spin stories out of seemingly thin air. He will teach you to astound yourself with your ability to witness the tales hidden within every thing and release them onto the page, where they take flight with imagination. The metamorphosis you will experience is invaluable, and will alter your perception of your self forever.

So go. Astound yourself.

April E. Snowe

Kamloops BC (2011)


The Writer’s Retreat was easily the most innovative workshop I have ever been to.  There were many instances that felt very surreal, where I would take a step back in my mind and think to myself, “wow – am I really here, doing this?!”  The activities were designed to get us writing “without thinking” and I was surprised at the creativity and stories that were within me.

At Richard and Debra’s home in Paul Lake I felt like I was in a peaceful haven, and the daily hikes connected me with nature in a way that I do not experience living in the city.  The setting was beautiful, calm, and serene and this helped to clear my mind for the writing experiences.  I felt cared for, valued, and respected the whole time I was there.

I know that this experience will improve the way that I teach Indigenous literature and writing to both my high school and college-prep students.  This experience has also opened the door to possibilities for me as I look forward to doing more with my own writing.

Anne Tenning

Victoria BC (2011)


Stories help us understand who we are and where we come from.  Yet often our stories are held back, locked down by stones we don’t know how to move.  Storywalk is about a return to spirit.  This is that creative intuition that knows no obstacles, that frees the story to slip past stones like water, powerful with life.

Alannah d’Ailly

Waterloo ON (2012)


Richard has a gift of personalizing his stories allowing them to captivate and move us beyond our worlds.  He connects us with humanity; no judgment no ridicule only kindness and love. He reminds us of our abilities through his gentle humble nature.  The writers retreat in July renewed my spirit giving me the confidence I needed to go out and brighten the world with my own stories. The experience is magical. There are no words to describe the energy and love; you must participate to fully appreciate it.

Jean Bota

Red Deer AB (2012)


Storywalk offers participants simple steps and processes to move towards greater and deeper expression. The Storywalk journey is about removing the  limitations of language. The retreat helped me find the magic in words again! Life changing! Pure Magic!

Carol Anne Hilton

Victoria BC


About Richard Wagamese

I am a published author with 13 titles published by major Canadian publishers. I am a First Nations person from the Ojibway Nation in Northwestern, Ontario, Canada. As a professional writer since 1979 I have written for newspaper, radio television, magazines and book publishing. I love the culture of books and the people who populate it. 2012 recipient of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Media & Communications. View all posts by Richard Wagamese

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