Workshops and Retreats

Workshops

Retreats

WORKSHOPS

Thoughtful, Supportive, Insightful

Lauren is a wonderful coach! She was always thoughtful, supportive, insightful and ready with just the right readings and resources. These days, the fact that I’ve committed to keeping my writing time [when faced with childcare challenges], rather than just throwing up my hands and losing steam (as has happened in the past) says a lot about how far I’ve come in the two months I’ve been with her! I really *feel* like a writer who is actively engaged in her practice! I am so excited about what is to come, and I’m so grateful for all she’s done to help me along the way!

Tara Borin

Eternally Grateful!

I’m writing regularly on my own stuff now. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for 20+ years, but I’ve always had reasons why I couldn’t keep it up: the year-end is due, I have freelance writing deadlines, I have a 10+ item list of admin tasks; I’m a Mom; I’m busy! Lauren, very patiently, supportively, and non-judgmentally, gave me resources that spoke to my situation, put up a mirror to my “crazies”, and encouraged me to kick them down one by one. It was quite a journey and I’m eternally grateful!

Angie Gallop

Exactly What I Needed

I was stuck, and just could not make myself get to my desk and start working again even though I had projects waiting. Lauren’s course really kick-started me. I found the connection with the other participants and the conversations triggered by the course material to be enormously helpful and inspiring. I am back at my desk, committed to a regular writing practice again. Thanks, Lauren, this course was exactly what I needed to get working again.

Nancy Hall

A Clear Plan!

Before I did my blue pencil critique session with Lauren I wasn’t sure if I’d ever finish my novel. My revisions weren’t going well and I had encountered several structural problems I didn’t know how to resolve. After meeting with Lauren I feel excited about it again. She was incredibly insightful and helped me build confidence in my creative process. She provided me with the tools, knowledge and resources I need to restructure my novel. Lauren also helped me create a clear plan I can follow to accomplish my goals without feeling so overwhelmed.

E. B. Page

Ongoing Encouragement

I am so very grateful to you for your editing suggestions and your ongoing encouragement. I didn’t have the confidence to send writing off for publication last year, but your help this year built my confidence, strengthened my writing, and gave me courage to begin submitting my pieces – and now one is being published in an anthology! Thank you for these gifts!

Tabitha Nordby

Keen Eye, Light Touch

I came to Lauren faltering, even with the finish line in sight. Her keen eye, light touch, and deeply compassionate nature allowed me just the right support to move through the stuck place and finish my draft.  Lauren was undaunted by the challenging material in my story. She helped me see what I did well, and hand-selected lessons so I could improve the weaker parts of my text. My manuscript and I are both better now, thanks to Lauren’s skillful coaching.

Jessica Waite

Insight and Skill!

Thank you for a focused workshop that gave me new insight into how I can move forward with a plot that has been bothering me. Your suggestions and writing exercises helped to “jump start” my novel writing process. I feel re-committed to the work I want to do with my story, so I appreciate your insight and skill!

Kim Fahner

Highly Encouraging and Knowledgable

Lauren is a highly encouraging and knowledgeable teacher. Every time I take one of her classes, I come away with motivation that keeps me going.

Micheline Maylor

Excellent

An excellent workshop with lots of writing opportunity. Great value for money. Thanks, Lauren!

Diane Ferguson

woman standing alone overlooking a forest landscape

Phenomenal!

This workshop has been invaluable to me. I came out with so much more knowledge than I had going in, and I am feeling really inspired to jump into my characters. I thought Lauren was phenomenal! Thank you so much for the wonderful workshop!

Teresa Witkowskyj

A Keen Eye for Detail

Lauren’s blue pencil sessions have helped me to feel more confident and to progress as a writer. Her keen eye for detail and helpful insights have enabled me to bring more nuance and expression to my poetry. I have appreciated having both written notes and a ZOOM call for discussion. Lauren has a supportive, encouraging approach, and it is a joy to work with her.

Kerry Galenzoski

Concrete Direction

I had a couple of hard-drive’s worth of unfinished novels before I started Lauren’s mentorship program. I was about to give up on story-telling when Lauren analyzed what I was doing on a scene-by-scene basis. She found patterns in my work, and provided concrete direction. She also helped me to find a sense of calm in my practice. Now it’s like my brain is re-wired, and I am well on my way to a satisfying finished product. This mentorship program is like hopping on the bullet train after years meandering on a rusty tricycle!

Joanne Loney

Engaging and Immersive Workshops

I lead fun, creative, and immersive six or three-hour writing workshops (or multi-week courses) over ZOOM and in person for writing groups, libraries, conferences, retreats, the McNally Community Classroom and more. I’ve taught about revising creatively, writing scenes, grant writing, building a narrative arc, developing characters, emotional resonance in fiction, writing during difficult times, and more. View this PDF to see my offerings, including learning outcomes and rates. I can also create a curriculum geared to your group’s learning desires. Get in touch to book! 

 

 

RETREATS

 

 

Wild Writing in the Boreal

Held within the beautiful boreal forest of eastern Manitoba, this retreat is open to beginning, experienced, and emerging women writers. Co-facilitated with writer Donna Besel, the easy-going weekend is a chance to rest, write, and connect at  gorgeous Falcon Trails Resort in Manitoba’s Whiteshell Provincial Park. Our next retreat is April 19-22, 2024.

Delicious food, hot-tubs, wood-burning stoves, starry nights, beautiful nature, a raffle draw, our legendary Saturday night sing-a-long (following the open mic reading) and, of course, lots of writing, create a weekend to remember!

Visit our Wild Writing in the Boreal page for more details, including pictures and testimonials and check out last year’s itinerary and details about Falcon Trails at the resort’s website.

Praise from past participants

Wild Writing in the Boreal blew my expectations through the roof! The entire weekend was so full of love, honesty, and beautiful writing. Both Lauren and Donna are amazing, talented women that we are all lucky to be learning from. Never have I felt so grounded at a retreat, and I am walking away feeling knowledgable and motivated. – Kiera Anderson

Before the retreat, I always thought that writers were “other” people. Being a writer was something I didn’t think was attainable for someone like me. Listening to other stories that people wrote and sharing helped me realize that I can be a writer. – Marni Fisher

 

Nook & Cranny Writing Retreat

Held at the charming century-old Bell Aura Bed & Breakfast in Carman, Manitoba (one hour west of Winnipeg), this retreat is a weekend of creative play held on November 3-5, 2023

Within a book-and-art-filled gothic revival church turned inn, writers explore the nooks and crannies of their literary imaginations. Co-led with writer Ariel Gordon, the weekend features three workshops focusing on poetry and fiction.  

Delicious food, lots of time to write and explore the charming small town, and an open mic and fancy dress karaoke party make for an inspirational and invigorating weekend.

Visit our Nook & Cranny Writing Retreat page for more details, including workshop descriptions, room options, and costs.

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