LOOKING for inspiration? Yearning for a relaxing weekend to hone your skills? We have the opportunity you've been looking for.


In the grand tradition of OIW, we want to invite you to  our annual spring writing retreat from April 24 to 26, 2020.


The 2020 Annual Spring Writers Retreat & Workshop will once again take place at the amazing Cove Inn, in Westport, Ontario.  The Cove Inn is a quaint boutique style hotel situated in Westport on the shores of Rideau Lake.  Check out The Cove Inn here.  

2020 Annual Spring Retreat


Cancelled Due to COVID

Susanna K.jpg

OIW is extremely lucky this year to welcome New York Times, USA Today and Globe and Mail bestselling author Susanna Kearsley as our facilitator.  She is a former museum curator who for the past 26 years has been making her living doing what she loves—restoring the lost voices of real people to the page, interweaving historical intrigue with modern adventure.  Her books have sold over a million copies in the U.S.A., been published in translation in more than 20 countries, won the Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize, and finaled for the UK’s Romantic Novel of the Year and the Crime Writers of Canada’s Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel.  She lives east of Toronto.

To learn more about Susanna's work, please visit her website. 

Susanna's program - Up Close and Personal - will focus on characters - building them and moving them around.  Participants will explore:


Building Character: Hemingway once said, "When writing a novel a writer should create living people." This workshop takes that advice to heart. Whether you spend time carefully creating profiles for your characters before you write them, or let them develop organically out of the story, we'll explore ways you can go even deeper—to write three-dimensional people who breathe on the page and connect with your readers.


Straight Talk About Dialogue: Transcribe an actual, real-life conversation onto the page and you'll end up with rambling gibberish. We'll take a nuts-and-bolts look at the technical aspects of crafting effective dialogue, and the multiple ways it can work for your story.

Once More, With Feeling. Layering Emotion Into Your Work: It’s one of the trickiest tools on the writer’s workbench. Ignore it, and the most well-plotted scene ends up flat and forgettable. Use it with too heavy a hand, and a scene meant to be moving can tip over into melodrama. Wield it well, and it can elevate a book from merely “good” to “memorable”—the kind of book whose characters and story linger in a reader’s mind and heart long after they have turned the final page. Whether you’re just starting to plan your story, or are revising one—fiction or non-fiction—we’ll cover the use of this tool from a variety of angles, showing you ways to employ it at every stage of the writing process, from choosing your overall subject to choosing a small, single word.

Point A to Point B: The Art of Transitions: Learn how to build your scenes into a seamlessly-connected story by dealing with the passage of time, getting your characters from one place to another, moving from one narrator to the next, and tackling all the troublesome transitions in between.

Accommodation two nights and six meals:   Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast, lunch and dinner and Sunday breakfast and lunch.


Single: $280.00 +tax 


Double $240.00 per person +tax 


Space is limited. There is a mixture of single and double accommodation, two beds and one bed (queen) rooms. If you have mobility issues please inform The Cove at time of booking. Book early. This is an old hotel and there are stairs that can’t be avoided.

Please book directly through the Cove Inn website or to contact the Cove Inn by phone, call 1-888-268-3466​.  The rooms have already been reserved by OIW for the weekend, so please advise that you are booking as part of the OIW Retreat.



Annual Two-Day Workshop: Book separately through the OIW website.


Cost: $190 for members/ $250 for non-members.

Workshop registration: Online with payment through PayPal (you do not have to have a Paypal account to do this.) 


As an alternative, cheques can be made payable to OIW or cash paid at the next OIW meeting.  This is payment for the two-day workshop (workshop only, not accommodation).  Hotel booking is separate. See details about accommodations above.

After you have paid please send an email to Susan Jennings at oiwandsusan@gmail.com and she will send you all the necessary registration details.

For more any additional information about the Retreat, please contact Susan Jennings at: oiwandsusan@gmail.com