Just when we had planned to lay low for a year, since we and our fellow travellers have postponed our writing retreat to Scotland until 2021, we were approached by the kind folks at the award-winning, international quality Kingsbrae International Residence for Artists (KIRA) and asked to host a writing retreat at their facility this autumn.
Since then, we have visited Saint Andrews by the Sea, New Brunswick, multiple times to meet with staff at KIRA to talk about COVID-19 safety measures and how we can make this writing retreat work without compromising safety or the quality of what we offer. We’re pleased to announce the result: a New Brunswick-only, Go and Write! Kingsbrae retreat, September 26-October 3, 2020. This retreat is now full, but we are offering a second Kingsbrae retreat, October 4-11, 2020.
If you’ve wanted to get writing this year but haven’t quite gotten unstuck, you’re not alone. Most writers seem to be saying the same thing – “I finally have time to write, but I’m too anxious to write.” At the Go and Write! Kingsbrae retreat, you’ll have the physical and mental space you need to get writing. You’ll have time for your mind, soul, and heart to wander and heal. You’ll find encouragement and guidance, compassion, and mentorship with retreat leader Dr. Gerard Collins. And while you’ll be a safe distance from your fellow writers, it won't be like the lockdown months that saw us light years apart.
The KIRA facilities may as well have been built for our times. The 7,000 square foot historic residence is impeccably-maintained, with only five bedrooms available, each spacious and with its own private bathroom. And steps away from our residence are six freestanding writers’ studios, Wi-Fi-equipped, for our participants’ exclusive use during our stay.
Retreat goers will also have free access to the iconic Kingsbrae Garden, and some meals will be included. The Kingsbrae Café, with multi-award winning chef Alex Haun, is about a 2-3 minute walk from the residence and studios, and there are several restaurants in the seaside town; it’s slightly longer to get from the historic KIRA residence to Water Street, but it’s a lovely walk and it only takes about 10 minutes.
We will also be touring Minister’s Island on our first day, and taking a guided Ghost Walk one evening.
We’ve spent quite some time discussing KIRA’s COVID-19 operational plans and safety measures with Kingsbrae’s management, and we’ve also spent time in the town itself to see what local businesses are doing to ensure physical distancing and other protections. We’re pleased with the level of precautions that KIRA and Kingsbrae Garden, as well as the town of Saint Andrews have taken. Many shops in Saint Andrews require masks, and there may be other times when masks are necessary, so all participants should bring their own. We will also have disposable masks for anyone who forgets or loses theirs.
$1,239 per person based on double occupancy
$1,399 per person based on single occupancy
We’re all going through it and adjusting in our own way. The lockdown that started in March and lasted several weeks meant isolation and difficulty, daydreaming, and, in many cases, wishing we had the time and space all to ourselves to do some real writing – to capture this historical moment and its effect us on, our family and friends, in the way we know we are capable.
This retreat isn’t just about pandemic stories, but it will be an opportunity to get it all out there, if you want – to get your stories and poems, memoir and nonfiction pieces, down on the page for posterity. You’ll find yourself among people of like mind, with no expectation to socialize, but with the understanding that we’re all in it together, and that now, more than at any other time in our collective lifetime, it’s important to speak our truth, to capture the times – both the small details and the big-picture perspective.
Go and Write! Kingsbrae offers you a rare opportunity to leave the rest of the world behind, to sit in safety alone in your own writing studio or bedroom in a large turn-of the century mansion of a huge estate where you can be lost in your own thoughts for hours – even days – and come out with a clearer sense of what it’s all about, what you’ve been through, and where you go from here.
This is the only kind of writing retreat there can be right now: one that allows for distance, space, and, above all safety, so that your imagination can soar, you can stretch yourself, receive individual instruction from an award-winning publishing author, and come away feeling revitalized.
Only five bedrooms available. Private writing studios. Huge meeting areas so we can sit a safe distance apart and talk to one another. Sprawling estate and gorgeous gardens where you can sit by yourself for as long as you want, garner ideas and figure out where you’re going with your latest writing.
Message us for more information and to register, or email [email protected]
For more photos of our incredible venue, visit the Go and Write! Kingsbrae Facebook link.
What's included in this retreat:
Writing retreats for the wandering soul.
GO AND WRITE!