Tides Retreat

The Tides Retreat (five days in length) is open to permanent residents of Nova Scotia who are 60 years of age or older and who identify as women and/or as other marginalized genders (including but not limited to Two-Spirit, trans, nonbinary, and fluid genders). Registrants are provided with the instruction, mentorship, and advice of a distinguished author.

Held at Jampolis Cottage in Avonport, NS, this retreat offers five writers over 60 some of the best elements of a writing residency, a writing workshop, and a writing mentorship:

  • Five days of overnight or day residence at Jampolis Cottage in Avonport, NS, including plenty of unstructured time to focus on writing and to connect with fellow writers
  • Four group workshop sessions led by the retreat mentor
  • A one-on-one feedback and advisory session with the retreat mentor

A catered dinner on the first evening will encourage the retreat mentor and participants to engage and get to know one another. A fully-stocked and -equipped pantry, fridge, and kitchen ensure that retreat participants have the freedom to make lunches and snacks for themselves.

The 2023 mentor for the Tides Retreat is Lorri Neilsen Glenn, the author and editor of fourteen books of poetry, essays, and scholarly work. Her recent title, Following the River: Traces of Red River Women (Wolsak and Wynn), is a blend of creative nonfiction, archival material, and poetry. Lorri’s award-winning essays and poems appear in recent anthologies including Gush, Waiting, Love Me True, Nova Scotia Book of Fathers, and In this Together: Ten Stories of Reconciliation, among others. Former Halifax Poet Laureate, Lorri is Professor Emerita at Mount Saint Vincent University and a mentor in the University of King’s College MFA program in creative nonfiction. Lorri’s memoir-in-pieces is forthcoming with Nimbus publishing in the spring of 2024. 

Registrants working in nonfiction and poetry are particularly welcome to join this year’s retreat.

The 2023 Tides Retreat was made possible by an anonymous donation made in memory of Budge Wilson. WFNS is grateful to the donor.

Required experience level: Eligible writers at all experience levels are welcome, and peer learning will be encouraged

Required preparation: Registrants will need to submit work-in-progress two weeks prior to the retreat start date (1250 to 1500 words of fiction/nonfiction or 4 pages of poetry)

Location: Jampolis Cottage (315 Bluff Road, Avonport)

Dates of 5-day workshop: Sunday, October 29 (starting 4pm), to Thursday, November 2, 2023

Registration fee for overnight participants: $509
Includes private accommodation at Jampolis Cottage and groceries for all meals. Limit of two overnight participants.

Registration fee for day participants: $329
Includes morning and afternoon use of Jampolis Cottage and groceries for all lunches. Limit of three day participants. We recommend day participants arrange nearby accommodation or ensure they live within a comfortable driving distance.

Registration for this retreat is full, as is the waitlist for overnight participation.

To join the waitlist for day participation, please email communications@writers.ns.ca.

Need to cancel? Our standard Registration, Cancellation, & Refund Policies apply.

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Registration, cancellation, & refund policies

Registration fees

All workshop fees are due upon registration and accepted online (PayPal or credit card), by phone (credit card or e-transfer), or by mail (cheque or money order payable to WFNS) sent to WFNS, 1113 Marginal Road, Halifax, NS B3H 4P7. If paying by mail, please email or phone ahead so that we can reserve your place.

Payment by installment: If you wish to participate in a specific workshop but cannot meet the full payment upon registration, we can arrange payment installments via post-dated cheques. Any payment installment plan must be discussed in advance, and the post-date cheques must be received by the start date of the workshop.

Cancelling your registration

To cancel your workshop registration, contact us at communications@writers.ns.ca.

  • We are able to provide a full refund of registration fees if you cancel at least one week prior to the start date of the workshop.
  • We are able to provide an 80% refund of registration fees if you cancel within one week of the start date of the workshop.
  • We are unable to provide a refund in any amount for a cancellation made on or after the start date of the workshop.

Please note that nonmember rates for workshop registration usually include General Membership in WFNS for the calendar year in which the workshop will be held. In these cases, the “registration fees” comprise the total price you paid minus $65 (the dues for an annual General Membership). When cancelling your registration after having paid a nonmember rate, please indicate if you would also like your General Membership cancelled, in which case we can refund any dues included in your nonmember registration rate.

Cancellation by WFNS

Insufficient enrollment: Should a workshop be cancelled as a result of low enrollment, registrants will be notified immediately and registration fees will be reimbursed in full.

Postponement: Should a workshop be postponed, registered individuals will be notified immediately and offered a full refund. The workshop will be rescheduled for the first available date, and subsequently, the cancellation periods pertaining to full and partial fee refunds will apply to the new start date.

Recommended Experience Levels

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) recommends that each workshop’s participants share a level or range of writing / publication experience. This is to ensure that each participant gets value from the workshop⁠ and is presented with information, strategies, and skills that suit their current writing priorities.

To this end, the “Recommended experience level” section of each workshop description refers to the following definitions developed by WFNS:

  • New writers: those with no professional publications (yet!) or a few short professional publications (i.e., poems, stories, or essays in literary magazines, journals, anthologies, or chapbooks).
  • Emerging writers: those with numerous professional publications and/or one book-length publication.
  • Established writers/authors: those with two book-length publications or the equivalent in book-length and short publications.
  • Professional authors: those with more than two book-length publications.

For “intensive” and “masterclass” creative writing workshops, which provide more opportunities for participant-to-participant feedback, the recommended experience level should be followed.

For all other workshops, the recommended experience level is just that—a recommendation—and we encourage potential participants to follow their own judgment when registering.

If you’re uncertain of your experience level with regard to any particular workshop, please feel free to contact us at communications@writers.ns.ca