Openhearted Writing Retreat

Writing retreat with Heather Plett
August 10-14, 2019

Your stories have the power to inspire, heal and unite. They can help form communities, heal wounds, and initiate social change. 

This writing retreat is for everyone who believes in the power of the written word. Whether you write for publication or for your own journal, there is something here for you.

The retreat will take place on August 10-14, 2019 at Linwood House on the Sunshine Coast, B.C., Canada.

What makes this writing retreat unique is the depth to which it will take you in your personal exploration. As you dive into your own stories, you will discover things about yourself that you never knew before, you’ll be invited to tell the truth in a way that gives you freedom, and you will have the opportunity to heal old wounds that have kept you from growing.

Once you have explored those stories for your own benefit, you will begin to consider the benefit those stories might have for others. You’ll explore what it means to have a unique voice that sets your writing apart from anyone else’s and you’ll practice using that voice in a variety of ways.

This retreat emerges out of a lifetime of my own writing. My journal has been my companion through many of life’s challenges and triumphs. When a major life event changes me, I make meaning of that event on the pages of my journal. Once those words have helped to heal and grow me, I find a way to share them with the world in an openhearted way. That sharing has changed lives.

“As a writing instructor and coach, Heather used various methods to help bring out the writer in me. She showed examples in poetry and prose and encouraged my to find my ‘voice’. I have developed more confidence in what I write today, because I took this course.” – Segun Olude

It started in university, nearly thirty years ago, when I wrote my first play about a sexual assault that had happened a few years earlier when a man climbed through my bedroom window. After that event, my journal was my therapist and healer, and eventually those words made their way into the script of a play that was performed onstage. When I witnessed the power of my words to heal not only me but the people who saw that play, I knew that I was onto something important. Since then, I have been teaching other people to find their own healing and then to extend that healing to others through their openhearted writing.

This retreat will provide a nurturing environment in which you can crack open your heart and bravely tell the truth about your own stories. You will walk away changed.

You should come if you are:

  • in search of personal healing
  • want to explore the power of journal-writing for healing and growth
  • want to share your personal stories to help others heal and grow

In this retreat we’ll:

  • learn to be more openhearted in our writing,
  • dig into our personal stories and consider what value they might have for others,
  • explore resistance and fear and find ways to address it, and
  • discover more about our own unique voices and what those voices have to say.

“I am so grateful for the experience and wisdom from your Openhearted Writing Circle, Heather! Rich, deep, loving and safe environment from which to create. You made it safe for me to be who I was in any given moment. I found it powerful and inspiring. I thought I had lost my writing mojo, but I experienced a connection to words again. I loved everything about it: structure, pacing, substantive handouts and your personal stories about your process. It was nice to have time away from the group to write. I had time to take care of myself–eating breakfast, taking a walk…and realized that is part of my writing process!” – Joy Agcongay

This retreat will combine personal writing time with community learning and sharing time. We’ll practice being in circle together so that we can learn from each other and grow our own courage in sharing our stories. There are lots of spaces on the beautiful grounds of Linwood House where you’ll be able to curl up with your journal and pen, surrounded by the deep quiet of the natural world. The beach is a short drive (or a long walk) away, and we’ll make sure there are opportunities for long walks along the shore. (Few things inspire my writing more than long walks, beaches, and woods!)


We have timed this retreat so that it is immediately before the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts, Canada’s longest running summer gathering of Canadian writers and readers. For an additional cost, you’ll have the option of staying at Linwood House for the duration of the Festival. (Contact Linwood House directly to make those arrangements.)

Hi there! I’m Heather Plett and I’m delighted to welcome you to this retreat. I have been writing all of my life and have had a blog for over 14 years (almost as long as blogs have existed!). I’ve had my writing published in various publications all over the world and will soon have a book (or two) published. As the founder of the Holding Space Coach/Facilitator Program, one of my greatest joys is to hold space for people who are doing deep personal work, diving into their own stories to find the treasures there. I look forward to our time together in beautiful British Columbia.

Registration cost:

Earlybird – $1185 CAD (approx. $884 USD) (before June 30, 2019) (Option: 3 monthly payments of 414.75)

Regular – $1305 CAD (approx. $975 USD) (Option: 3 monthly payments of $456.75)

(includes 4 nights accommodation and meals – from Saturday evening to Wednesday morning)


NEW: There are 2 scholarships available, for a portion of the registration fee. If you would like to come, but your financial resources are limited, please send a message letting us know how much you can afford and why you think it’s important for you to be there, and we’ll be in touch.

About the location: Linwood House is located on the beautiful Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, near a small beach town named Roberts Creek, north of Vancouver. It’s a ferry ride away from Vancouver. If you’re arriving by air, you can take a shuttle or taxi to the ferry terminal, take the ferry across to Gibsons, and then someone from the retreat centre can pick you up at the ferry terminal. If you’re arriving by car, you may want to book your ferry passage ahead of time as there are often lineups in the summer months. (For more information on how to get there, contact Gwen at Linwood House.)

This retreat are purposefully being kept small and intimate – with a maximum of 12 people, for high quality connection and learning. Book early to hold your place in the circle. Most people will enjoy a single room (unless you register with a friend and request a shared room). Indicate your need (along with any dietary needs) on the registration form.

Cancellation Policy: A full refund will be offered, less a 15% administration fee, up to 30 days before the start date of the retreat (July 11, 2019). No refunds will be offered after that time.

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