Body Soul Writing Retreats


These annual week-long Residential Body Soul Writing retreats provide spaciousness to move, dream, and write according to your own rhythm.


Our daily lives are often so rushed and busy that we lose touch with our own depths. There’s no time for the intuitions, inklings, and inspirations that come to us when our imaginations are free to drift.

In a sacred circle of women, we will write and share, meditate and move, dance and draw, ripen and deepen, as we explore our stories with wild and audacious abandon. We will invite, attend, and welcome our stories and poems onto the page as mirrors of our soul’s journey.

If you are involved in an ongoing writing project, this retreat offers an opportunity to immerse yourself and carry it forward.

To write is to note down the music of the world,
the music of the body, the music of time.
— Hélenè Cixous

Workshop sessions take place in a large, beautiful room overlooking Loon Lake, an hour’s drive from Vancouver. There is unscheduled time every day to relax and write, walk around the lake, and enjoy a cup of tea and conversation with other women in the group. Evenings include open readings and discussion of the writing process.

Join us for this time of nourishing retreat, creative exploration, and soulful companionship.

Bring your hopes and dreams, your imagination and curiosity, and an open heart and mind. Ideally participants will have taken a course or workshop with Marlene previously. If space permits, anyone new may contact me to arrange an individual consultation hour ($150) in lieu of a previous course or workshop.

Next Body Soul Writing Retreat:

Writing the Body, Dancing the Soul
March 16-20, 2020

You are invited to join Marlene for a Five Day Residential Writing Retreat for Women at Loon Lake Lodge, a beautiful oasis of peace and tranquility in Maple Ridge, an hour’s drive from Vancouver.

→ Brochure coming soon

Body Soul Writing Retreats with Marlene Schiwy, Vancouver, BC

Previous Retreat Brochures:

Let your body become the music.
Let her sing. Let your pen walk in the twilight
between consciousness and unconscious.
There, it will find
such images, such ideas
as you could never find.
— Marion Woodman

Participant Reflections

“I so appreciate the way you always care for us - the welcome letter in the room, the apple, the chocolate, the surprise on our seats when we arrived, the flowers, the slow speed and tone of the days and listening to each person speak into the room the first night. Loved how you used the book’s page numbers to get us writing. And the poems. We always need the poems to connect to the soul and into the present and your choices are so apropos. They always surprise. You bring fresh material no matter what workshop you are leading. You build a feast of readings to springboard our writing. The opening circle with the song played into my head long after those days. I love ritual and it is a stunning melding of voice and movement. Having you read excerpts from your book and about the Camino was a highlight for me. Hearing about the gypsy gave me full permission to step into my own, and so much more. I thank you for that. You create powerful magic when you bring women together like this to write and play and move. There is a perfection in it that is quite like artwork at its best. Thanks and much love.”  (ML)

“Marlene has a special talent to beckon me into a fuller life. The diversity of poetry, music, art, and writing prompts opens a unique creative process. Being in residence at Loon Lake with a room of my own was conducive to a continual stream of consciousness. The natural beauty of lake and forest is a valuable asset to draw us into the great knowing lodged in our bodies. I came away with a deeper sense of my own authority. I assessed my own strength and inner knowing, realizing I don’t need others for affirmation although our small community of woman was very generative. Marlene’s passion for small group retreats is evident in her integrative ways of Body Soul service. It’s a beautiful experience being in Marlene’s company.”  (BQ)

“The Loon Lake retreat was very significant for me. It felt like an opening was created; some fresh new energy could come through. The wild woman stirred in me and I got to a point where I could express and share freely. Very precious. Amazing how the bodily experience of dance and free movement activates the blood, emotions and mind to create. I also appreciate how you modeled the mirroring experience. You emphasized sacredness, acceptance and deep respect for the two other people. We became a close unit, each having a turn to feel loving appreciation, deep interest and soulful support. Thank you for your sensitive facilitating and leadership. You have just the right combination of direction and stimulation to get us going.”  (JR)

“The Spring and Fall writing retreats at Loon Lake were opportunities to minimize the distractions of my everyday, allowing me to listen - and to write - the longings of my soul. From the moment I arrived, the forested lake offered the canopy to be still, to connect with nature and be present in the moment’s offering. Koerner Lodge is cozy, offers amazing nutritious meals, and the private room and bath meant I could really retreat into my own space. The common lounges also offered a place to connect with others over a cup of tea. The Lake hikes were a great option to stretch my legs, or to self-propel the barge across to the other side! A typical day starts with breakfast in silence, followed by the gentle circle dance, and then the day unfolds into writing, creating, moving, music and meditations. Full with poetry and inspiration the circle of women becomes a sacred temenos where dreams are moved into consciousness, and symbols unfold into stories. Marlene’s facilitation is always skillful, and a lot of thought to detail is evident throughout the day and evening sessions. Time for quiet reflection and individual writing was nicely balanced with the space and time to share with others. I look forward to participating in future writing retreats with Marlene.”  (TN)

“It is the gestalt of all of the pieces that make this such a wonderful workshop, including the open silences, the different writing and movement explorations, the deep discussion, and the caring environment. I hoped to explore more of my personal journey and this course was worth diamonds. It was a wonderful retreat with a quality of peace and inspiration I will take with me.”  (SA)

“Thank you again for a fabulous retreat! As I mentioned, it had been a long dry spell of not writing for me and I find it simply amazing what emerges from all our depths when the cauldron is stirred and the container is safe. With regard to the latter (stirring and safety) you've truly got a gift for that and the proof, as they say, is 'in the pudding'!”  (AP)