The SWG’s most popular retreat is at St. Peter's Abbey, a Benedictine monastery set in a serene rural location a short tree-lined walk from the village of Muenster. St. Peter's operates a greenhouse and gardens on its grounds. It is also affiliated with the University of Saskatchewan and offers first- and second-year courses at their college.
St. Peter's has a pleasant, timeless atmosphere that promotes both work and relaxation. During the summer, retreat participants are accommodated in private rooms in Scholastica Residence, a former convent, and are served wholesome, nutritious meals often prepared from the monks’ own organic garden ingredients. The residence contains a small, fully equipped kitchen and a separate lounge. Participants also have the use of a portable screened gazebo in the yard of the residence. The residence has five bathrooms with showers and/or bathtubs. Writers are allocated the largest rooms since these also serve as a working area. Artists have private sleeping accommodations, plus a separate work space.
During the three week winter retreat, writers and artists are housed in the Abbey Guest wing in private rooms. Bathrooms are shared. A spacious kitchen and separate lounge are also available. Because this guest wing sometimes houses other individuals, silent working hours cannot be guaranteed.
A reference library specifically designed for writers and artists is set up in the lounge of the Abbey Guest wing. Participants also have full use of the extensive college library. Internet access for research and e-mail is easily available through the college's library, and wireless internet is also available in the guest rooms.
On-site recreation facilities include a large state-of-the-art fitness complex with a gym for badminton and racquetball, and a hockey arena/skating rink. Free laundry facilities are available to the participants during both retreats.
Some comments about the St. Peter’s Retreat:
The St. Peter’s Abbey retreat is everything that the other “real” world is not: unhurried, nourishing, solitary, supportive, forgiving. It provided exactly the environment I needed to achieve a new level in my writing.
- Megan Findlay
To be able to think and write and think and write for great stretches of time-what a privilege!
- Brenda Baker
Every book I’ve written over the last 20 years had its start at St. Peter’s Abbey. For me, it’s a sanctuary from the distractions of daily life and a catalyst for writing. I also love the chance to meet other writers from across the country. I learn so much from them.
- Lorna Crozier
For more information about the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild Retreats, please contact email@example.com.