Wild Writing in the Boreal 

an annual wilderness writing retreat for women

APRIL 19-22, 2024


held at Falcon Trails Resort in Whiteshell Provincial Park, on Treaty 3 territory, the traditional lands of the Anishinabewaki ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᐗᑭ and Michif Piyii (Métis) people.

“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.”

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 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

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

About the Retreat

Wild Writing in the Boreal is an annual writing retreat for beginning, emerging, and experienced writers. Women from Ontario, Manitoba, North Dakota, Minnesota, and beyond have gathered for four years for this wonderful weekend of writing, sharing stories, and connecting in a warm, safe, easygoing, and gorgeous environment.

Delicious food, hot tubs, wood-burning stoves, starry nights, beautiful nature, and new friends, as well as our Saturday evening open mic and after party and our Sunday lunch raffle with fabulous prizes, create a weekend to remember! 

Past workshops have included sessions on character development, revision, and other explorations in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. 2024’s workshops will be better than ever–as befits our fifth birthday! Check out detailed descriptions of classes (PDF) with Lauren, Donna, and our guest writer Lorri Neilsen Glenn (when you register through the resort you’ll be able to choose which ones to take), who we are so excited to have join us from Halifax! 

Our retreat in 2023 ended with a reading on Sunday night celebrating Lauren’s new book Places Like These, a short story collection published by Book*hug Press.

We’ll be launching Lorri Neilsen Glenn’s gorgeous and powerful memoir The Old Moon in Her Arms: Women I Have Known and Been in 2024. 

2024 Guest Writer: Lorri Neilsen Glenn  

Lorri Neilsen Glenn’s forthcoming hybrid memoir, The Old Moon in Her Arms, will be published by Nimbus in 2024. Lorri is the author of Following the River: Traces of Red River Women, an award-winning work about her Indigenous grandmothers and their contemporaries. The author and contributing editor of fourteen titles of nonfiction and poetry, Lorri was Kjipuktuk’s (Halifax’s) first Métis Poet Laureate. She is Professor Emerita at Mount Saint Vincent University and teaches in The University of King’s College MFA program. Lorri has mentored writers across Canada and in Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Greece and Chile and has served on several national and regional juries for poetry and creative nonfiction. Lorri was born in Winnipeg, grew up on the prairies and now lives in Kjipuktuk in Mi’kma’ki. Find her: T @neilsenglenn and IG @river2seashore 

The Retreat Facilitators

Donna Besel loves writing of all kinds, and does workshops and presentations for schools, libraries, universities, conferences, and retreats. She grew up at West Hawk Lake in Whiteshell Provincial Park and her “boreal stories” have appeared in various publications and earned national recognition. Her work has won the Prairie Fire Creative Nonfiction prize, the Great Canadian Literary Hunt, and has been longlisted multiple times for the CBC Literary Awards.The forests of Eastern Manitoba, where she has always lived, provide endless ideas and settings. Her first book, a collection of short stories called Lessons from a Nude Man, earned several award nominations. In 2021, the University of Regina Press published her memoir, The Unravelling: Incest and the Destruction of a Family.

Lauren Carter‘s latest book, the short story collection Places Like These was recommended as a Spring 2023 read by the Globe and Mail. Her last novel This Has Nothing To Do With You 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 debut novel Swarm appeared on the CBC Canada Read’s longlist. She has also published two poetry collections: Lichen Bright and Following Sea. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph and has taught creative writing across Canada and in Mexico and coached writers from around the world, including Syria, Qatar, and California. Visit her at www.laurencarter.ca

Ready to Join Us?

Contact Stephanie at Falcon Trails for booking details
Email: groupsATfalcontrailsresort.com
Phone:  (204) 349-8273

Countdown the Sleeps Until Our Next Retreat!