Wild Writing in the Boreal 

at Falcon Trails Resort in Whiteshell Provincial Park

an annual wilderness writing retreat for women 


APRIL 28-30, 2023


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 

“Wild Writing in the Boreal helped me break through fears and write about what really matters. It is a very safe, encouraging place to be!”
“This retreat is truly a gem! A rich alchemy of sage leadership, delicious food, wonderful women, spectacular nature!”
“This retreat opened up so many doors for my writing going forward. The learning went beyond my expectations.”
“I feel more confident now to release my work for the world to see.”
“This retreat gave me the motivation I needed to kickstart my novel. Both Donna and Lauren were full of ideas which I will be able to use. Their stories made the sessions come to life. Also, they throw awesome parties!”
“This retreat gave me additional tools in my poetry cache. I also appreciate the way the group functioned as a small but safe community. And kudos to the kitchen!”
“The balance of useful instruction, expert advice, and hands-on writing was perfect. Lauren created an inspiring space where I felt safe sharing my work. The feedback I received has given life to my stories.”
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

Wild Writing in the Boreal is an intense, engaging experience. I’ve attended two years in a row and both times came away with the information I need to keep building my career as a writer. Donna and Lauren are extremely knowledgeable and engaging, and class sizes are small. It’s a safe place to share your writing with others.

They pulled me into a deeper level of writing than ever before and the connections made within the all-female group were extremely empowering for me as a woman. I made new friendships and professional contacts at this retreat and I can’t recommend it enough. Regardless of your level of skill or where you are on your writing journey, if you’re passionate about writing, this retreat is for you.   Elizabeth Page

About the Retreat

Wild Writing in the Boreal is an annual November writing retreat for beginning and experienced writers. It brings together women from Northwestern Ontario, Southern Manitoba, and beyond for a weekend of writing, sharing stories, and connecting in a warm, safe, easy-going, and gorgeous environment.

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

Our 2021 guest writer Ariel Gordon with one of her Tree Talk projects. Photo by Mike Deal.


Stay tuned for details about workshops, guest faciliatators, and rates for the next retreat (April 28-30, 2023). 

The Retreat Facilitators

Donna Besel grew up in West Hawk Lake. Her memoir, The Unravelling:  Incest and the Destruction of a Family, will be published by University of Regina Press in Fall 2021. Her short story collection, Lessons from a Nude Man, was longlisted for the ReLit Awards  and earned two Manitoba Book Award nominations. Her work has also won the Prairie Fire Creative Nonfiction prize, the Great Canadian Literary Hunt, and been longlisted multiple times for the CBC Literary Awards. In 2021, she was the recipient of the Manitoba Arts Council’s Rural Recognition Prize. In 2018, Caitlin Press published her essay in Love Me True: Writers reflect on the Ins, Outs, Ups & Downs of Marriage. She leads creative writing workshops for students of all ages and has done presentations in schools, libraries, writing festivals, and other venues. 

 Lauren Carter‘s most recent book is the novel This Has Nothing To Do With You, which won the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction from the Manitoba Books Awards, when she also received the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer. Her first novel Swarm was included in the CBC Canada Read’s longlist, and she has also published two poetry collections: Lichen Bright and Following Sea. Her writing has also been nominated for the Giller Prize and the M & S Journey Prize, long-listed several times for the CBC literary awards, and anthologized in Best Canadian Stories. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph and has taught creative writing across North America and online to students from around the world, including Syria, Qatar and California. Her fifth book, the short story collection, Places Like These, will be published by Book*hug Press in Spring 2023. Visit her at www.laurencarter.ca

Ready to Join Us?

Find out when registration opens so you can grab your spot!

Countdown the Sleeps Until Our Next Retreat!