NEW – Writing Retreats in Victoria, B.C., Canada in Summer 2019 (to be announced)
Writing Retreats in Mexico in Winter annually- January to March (below)
Annually Mexico retreats happen at the Retreat Centre at a town just north of Manzanillo, Mexico!
Click hyperlinks to access Mexico Retreat Topics below or scroll down:
What Retreats Include
About the Instructor / Coach
Costs– Accommodation, Airfare, Food, etc.
What you need to know to be part of this retreat
1 Week Retreats (7-day)
Retreats start on Monday and go to Sunday. 10 person maximum. We keep group size small so quality and individual attention is high. Participants often come a day or two early so they are refreshed for morning class ( accommodation fees are separate to allow for extra days).
NEXT Retreat DATES for 2019:
We are now filling our Mexico Writing Retreats!
January 7 – 13, 2019
January 21 – 27, 2019
Feb. 18 – 24, 2019
March 18 – 24, 2019
Please review questions/info at bottom of page before calling for more information at:
- 5 Daily Group Classes in writing and publishing – non-fiction and fiction
- Continental Breakfast with classes
- Two to Three one-on-one coaching sessions in writing and publishing – appointments made over 7 days
- Accommodation choices to fit your budget including onsite
- A complimentary copy of “Your Plans For Writing a Book”
- Guided fun events that may have nominal costs
- Social Events and networking with writers
- Bicycles to use for Retreat House guests
- Farewell Dinner event
- Optional Tours if you stay a few days longer
Retreats with Kathrin Lake, Writing Coach and Author of Writing with Cold Feet and The A to Zen of Writing and The Happy Hammock.
Kathrin Lake is an author and writing coach with over 20 years experience teaching writing to adults in a way no one else does. Kathrin is an award winning playwright, screenwriter, author, former newspaper editor and has helped hundreds of people write their first books and published works, and helped many more get over their fears and procrastination around writing. You may find her books on Amazon.
“Every Winter, I take people on a retreat to my beautiful small town in Mexico to show them how to start to take their dream out of the box and write their book or another large writing project they thought they couldn’t get to.” – Kathrin Lake
Many of these people were not authors before they worked with Kathrin…now…
“I got my passion for writing back and what I accomplished is both valuable and sellable… the group was great, and we contributed and supported each other (so important !). The town was great and rustic. Loved the people. Loved the food. Loved the weather. Kathrin as a facilitator is extraordinary and for me personally gave me exactly what I was looking for. Confidence… Coaching on how to have my dialogue and the “gory” scenes work. Also great coaching on next steps for getting an agent and a publisher. The retreat was basically everything I wanted and more!” – Ellen Chauvet, author of When Darkness Falls
“The town is a really good choice for the retreat. The timing worked well, too, and I appreciate the flexibility of being able to attend for just one week. The accommodation was perfect, and you really gave a lot of attention to detail. I finished a novel, and already have the first chapters and synopsis agent-ready! So, the retreat worked for me. I would never have finished the
novel without the kind of support we had – I could write all day, then meet up
with people, so I never got lonely!” – Julie H
“I liked Kathrin Lake’s reminder to include stories. I tend to be a “just the facts, ma’am” writer, and Kathrin helped me move past that. In fact, I started my query letter to literary agents thinking “what story should I lead with?” and jumped into the most compelling one! Today one of those agents asked for a sample chapter and bio. O happy day! O so much work to do now! I’m happy I met Kathrin!” – Laurie PK
“I really enjoyed the whole experience. Being a part of a group of writers who share a common goal was a valuable experience that yielded new contacts and connections that I treasure. To me, the town was a little scruffy, but felt safe and comfortable fairly soon after arrival and seemed a good choice for such an event, especially because of the
familiarity and friendships. Kathrin and Jim were great hosts, warm and personable, offering suggestions for activities and creating a bond between the participants by providing opportunities for the group to socialize together while allowing freedom for individual options. As a facilitator, Kathrin was insightful, and helpful, and kept the classes interesting.” – Jacquelyn Johnston
“I thought the town was a friendly place, and I felt completely safe there, even at night. I also appreciated the apartment being so central. Kathrin’s guidance was extremely helpful, especially in the areas of character development. Asking me what my characters were like made me realize they needed more meat on their bones. I enjoyed the writing exercises in our class too. Jim and Kathrin were excellent hosts. ….Thank you for the delicious meals you prepared for us and the recommendations you gave for restaurants (Mexico Lindo’s was my favourite).” – Kelly Madden
“This is exactly what I needed to move me forward and get me going in the right creative direction. I enjoyed meeting an amazing group of dynamic, creative and energetic group of writers. Kathrin’s classes gave me the inspiration and knowledge to move me forward. She was refreshing, inspiring and I could ” hear” what she was saying. It spoke to me. Thank you so much Kathrin!” – Bev H
We recommend you use your points to get best values on a return flight to Manzanillo, Mexico on the West Coast. The retreat is in a coastal town 30 minutes to the north of the Manzanillo airport so a taxi ride away. For best values try Alaska Airlines or their partner airlines or WestJet and Air Transat (Canadian). We do not recommend you book flights through Mexico City unless you speak Spanish or are very familiar with the area. Some people do go to Puerto Vallarta and book a bus ride down… if you are planning that or coming into any other airport other than Manzanillo, let us know in advance. Ground transport and taxis are not included.
Plan for range from low budget to $75 /night. However…
We have limited upstairs deluxe rooms with private bathrooms (such as The Nopal Room) on site at Casa Creatividad , our retreat centre. They are discounted rates for retreat participants – budget for only $55/night! So put down your deposit and reserve one of those rooms as soon as you can. Many participants book up to ten days (a day or two on each side of the retreat). Other accommodations are within a two block radius. Our accommodation has WiFi but not cable TV – this is a creative hiatus. Tell us your budget. We will discuss your accommodation needs and find you something appropriate. Please don’t book yourself a place to stay without consulting with us. We know the town, the distances and all the accommodation and can let you know if there are any downsides to what you are planning and in some cases can get you a better deal. If you want to upgrade, more expensive and full service hotel accommodation is readily available with pool, TV and all usual amenities very close by. From Casa Creatividad the beach is within a few blocks walk as well as the town. This will be true for anywhere else you might stay.
Included food is the Continental breakfasts and refreshments during classes and an evening Farewell dinner will be given at the Retreat House. Other evening meals and readings are enjoyed at the many excellent restaurant choices around the corner and the costs are not included. We prefer to move the evening meal around and you can also have the fun of discovering your own favorites within a comfortable walking distance because there are several fabulous restaurants here. In Mexico, food at restaurants is generally much cheaper, and there are no taxes. For reading night meals we may have some reservations and possibly a discounted group rate.
What you need to know to be a part of this writing retreat
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY:
You should be able to answer Yes to all the below and understand the format of the retreat has been working successfully for several years:
- No matter what your writing experience level, you are writer who has some questions, blocks or doubts about some aspect of your writing and you want to learn or refresh your knowledge in a small group, and also from one-on-one customized coaching. Yes/No.
- Writers come working on both fiction and non-fiction work including memoirs and creative non-fiction. The focus and exercises are adjusted for the group, sometimes dividing them up, but often we look at basics of story structure that applies to non-fiction as well as fiction. Does that work for you? Yes/No
- The group works as a team and supports one another when in a group and your positive attitude and input is expected. Does that work for you? Yes/No
- Kathrin, as the coach, will book or confirm the coaching sessions for the day at the end of each daily class. Understood? Yes/No
- You should try to choose one project you want to work on at this retreat. Sometimes if you come with more than one this will narrow organically, but you will get more out of the retreat if you can choose or formulate in advance. Understood? Yes/No
- You are expected to do some homework related to your project and you will also be expected to write and share in class. Does that work for you? Yes/No
- We do one semi-public reading night which we want your attendance but is optional to read. It is also optional to go out together for any other evening meals (except for farewell meal and reading night meal), but you will be reading to your classmates in class and Kathrin will create a safe space to do so. Understood? Yes/No
- One class is devoted to exploring the latest publishing options (including blogs) and answer all related questions. Does that work for you? Yes/No
- You must have no history of serious mental illness and must enjoy working in groups. Yes/No
- Everything is very close to town and it is a better experience if you are able-bodied enough to walk 5 to 10 blocks a day, though we also have bicycles and cabs are cheap and plentiful. Let us know if you have trouble walking or climbing stairs. Also acknowledge that you are 100% responsible for your own health as you would be at any other time and place. Understood? Yes/No
- You are not squeamish about being in a foreign country where things may be unfamiliar (no, you don’t need to speak Spanish). Understood? Yes/No
- You understand disruptions, political debates, excessive drinking and any divisive, prejudice or non-supportive behaviors will not be tolerated? Yes/No
- You want to have fun too! Yes/No
ONLY $200 CAD deposit to reserve at early bird rate
Refund of Deposits / Cancellation Policy
Retreats need to be reserved with a $200 deposit which will be fully refunded on a cancellation done by patron 50 days before the beginning of the retreat. The balance or full facilitation fees will be expected 30 days before the beginning of the retreat and an invoice will be sent to you. Should you have to cancel after that date the refunds for the full retreat fees are as follows:
Cancellation more than 50 days before due arrival date, 100% refund
Cancellation 49 to 30 days before due arrival date, 50% refund
Cancellation 29 to 21 days before due arrival date, 25% refund
Cancellation 20 days or less before due arrival date, 0% refund
NOTE: In lieu of refund, should you not be able to attend the retreat yourself, you may substitute another individual that can say YES to all questions asked on the website vancouverschoolofwriting.com, Retreats page, at bottom “What you need to know to be a part of this retreat.”