The Writers' Haven: Gabriola Island Workshops and Retreats

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Workshops, Retreats, and Mentoring Sessions

A workshop group in discussion

Patricia's approach:

The purpose of coming together to exchange creative work is to keep opening the channels by which we share our human experience. To do this, it's essential to establish an atmosphere of mutual respect, for each other and the process itself. I have developed a technique I call creative listening, which is a very useful tool for a writer to have and essential as a participant in a group. We learn to notice the connections, rather than the flaws, to become aware of where the story is coming from, and where it may want to take us. I have always found that participants learn as much from each other as from the instructor, once this atmosphere of trust and confidence is established.

I prefer to keep class sizes small - with an optimum of 10 to 12 participants - in order to maximize a free exchange between writers, and to ensure that each member of a group has enough space to develop at her or his own pace. You are free to keep your writing private, shared only with the course leader, but encouraged to share your experience of the creative process itself, its challenges and rewards. All participants are asked to respect the intimacy of the writing circle, placing the integrity of the individual above all matters of taste, opinion, and value judgements.

Winter 2009

Just Write

Drop-in Life Writing Sessions

Having trouble keeping a commitment to your own writing? Too many other calls on your time and energy? Start the creative juices flowing with a drop-in session: no homework, no preparation, just turn up and exercise your writing muscles. As in a life drawing group, each session offers you several starting points, where the "model" might be a still life of household objects, a sepia-toned photograph, a piece of music, the view framed by a window. Each is designed to stimulate images in your inner eye, waking associations that will allow patterns to emerge. Timed writing provides a framework: where you take it from there depends on how the exercise affects your own creative process. Discussion of the writing process itself may help to clarify where you get stuck, where you can let go of preconceptions and just write - and keep on wriitng.

Ongoing: Sundays, beginning February 1, 2 - 4 p.m.

Location: Private home on Gabriola Island.

Fee $15.00 per session, or pay $60 for 5 sessions, any Sunday through April. For more information, call Patricia directly at 250-247-8990.

E-mail: writershaven AT uniserve DOT com

[NOTE: to outwit spam pirates, replace AT by @ and DOT by a period and close spaces, as in]


Give yourself a break. Free of the demands of daily routine, let the tranquility of a Gulf Island setting give you room to breathe and time to devote your attention to the work you care about. Whether you are launching into a new project or returning to an old one to lift it to another level, or simply looking for stimulation to move forward with your writing, a retreat at The Writers' Haven may be just what you need.

The length of your stay is governed by your schedule and the stage of your project. You can choose to stay for three days and have daily consultations for an hour or stay for a week or a month and divide the time with your mentor into several longer sessions at the beginning, middle and end of your stay. If you are unsure of what process will work best for you, call to discuss your project so we can devise a format that will work best for you.

Retreats should be arranged at least one month in advance, in order to ensure that your mentor can be available for consultation throughout your stay. A manuscript or project proposal must be submitted with registration.

A basic fee of $50.00, payable in advance, includes an initial reading of the manuscript or an outline of the proposed project and an hour's consultation to establish a schedule of work. Further sessions at $50 per hour will be arranged to suit individual needs.

Individual Coaching

Can be arranged at any time of year, online or in person; fees per hour of consultation or per manuscript, depending on the services required. Generally most useful to the writer when a draft is completed; I respond with 4-5 pages of analysis of strengths and weaknesses, with recommendations for the next stage of the process; a follow-up conversation, by e-mail or phone or in person, is offered to allow the writer to ask questions or respond to suggestions. Fee for online coaching and/or editing services: $50/hour.

Screenplay and Stageplay Development

For information on services and fees, go to Script Development

Registration and payment in full must be received three weeks in advance of a course, with a non-refundable deposit of $50.00 if you are forced to cancel. A full refund will be sent to you if a course is unavoidably cancelled by the Writers' Haven.
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This page copyright © 2009 Patricia Ludwick
1890 Starfish Place
Gabriola Island, BC
Canada V0R 1X6
Phone: 250-247-8990

E-mail: writershaven AT uniserve DOT com

[NOTE: replace AT by @ and DOT by a period and close spaces, as in]

Last revision: February 2009