Writers Retreat. Somatic Experiencing®

Deadline January 18, 2019 NOW CLOSED

a one-of-a-kind writing retreat with extraordinary teachers in a spectacular setting

SUN JUNE 9 - FRI JUNE 14 2019 (5 NIGHTS)

We approach writing by inviting participants to unwrap their writing and their experience of writing. Using both unique and tried-and-true creative tools and approaches to contemplation, observation and structure, the workshop discusses individual processes and the place of writing in one’s life. It provides one-on-one dramaturgy and guided reflection, and plenty of time to write in an inspiring and comfortable setting. Participants are encouraged to bring consciousness to the habitual in order to be open to transformation.  

Application is limited and competitive. We accept a maximum of 7 participants each year to ensure individualized attention.

June is the season for whales and icebergs! We'll have guided excursions around the beautiful Conception Bay area.


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This workshop is appropriate for creative artists, choreographers, performers, directors etc. or writers working in any field: fiction, non-fiction, scriptwriting, poetry or academic writing. It can be very helpful for those who need to present publicly such as authors on tour or academics presenting papers.

You may be eligible for assistance from arts funding agencies. See, for example:




Lois Brown - photo by Lisa Porter

Lois Brown - photo by Lisa Porter

Congratulations to Lois
on her recent induction into
Encore Dance Hall of Fame

LOIS BROWN is an interdisciplinary artist. She has won numerous awards including The Canada Council’s Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award for outstanding achievement in theatre and YWCA’s Women of Distinction Goodwill Award. She was Dramaturge and Artist-in-Residence at Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal from 2011 to 2013. Recent work includes curation of a micro-festival Injury, Illness, Pain, Sadness, Grief and Performance. Lois’s production of her playWhen the Angel of Death says ?how are you… about PTSD was named best play of 2016 by The Overcast. Her current investigations include democratization, following the objects or things, autonomy, and patience and boredom in long-form structured improvisations. Lois holds a Masters from Memorial where she has taught directing and acting.


Congratulations to Dr. Lori Clarke who has successfully defended her PhD dissertation.

Lori Clarke

Lori Clarke

DR. LORI CLARKE is an artist and performer who has collaborated with dance and theatre artists and writers, integrating somatic work, sound design and music for stage and screen for more than 25 years.  Lori’s individual and group work is a contemplative focusing and grounding in body-centred, integral practices - an approach particularly helpful for those experiencing loss and healing from trauma. Lori holds an MA Somatics from the California Institute of Integral Studies (1995) and has a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies from Memorial University of Newfoundland. She is a Certified Professional Member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner (SEP) and assistant at trainings of the Foundation for Human Enrichment, Somatic Experiencing® Training Institute (SETI). See Lori's academic practice profiled here.

Lisa Porter

Lisa Porter

Retreat owner LISA PORTER crafts a safe and welcoming environment conducive to the creative process. A performing artist who works in film, dance and voice, she is interested in how we understand agency-our ability to affect change in the world. Lisa has a BA, English and a Masters of Philosophy, Humanities from Memorial. She also serves up a mean moose stew. 




Delicious healthy meals prepared by host Lisa. We use fresh, quality ingredients. Breakfast (self serve), lunch, dinner and snacks provided. Vegetarian, gluten free, allergen-free choices available.







Iceberg in June.jpg

APPLICATION DEADLINE (2019 - now closed)
January 18, 2019


Check in:  4 pm Sunday. June 9, 2019
Check out: 11 am Friday June 15, 2019


Guests stay on location in Ochre House Retreat in one of our beautifully appointed rooms or at Baccalieu Cottage, a charming 3 bedroom heritage house with 1 full and 1 half bathroom less than a 10 minute walk away. 

Double occupancy is only available for participants who choose to share with a friend - i.e. we will not put you in room with someone you don't know. Both participants must apply and be accepted. Room request allocation is first come first serve. 

North Bedroom, Ochre House Retreat

North Bedroom, Ochre House Retreat

Baccalieu Cottage

Baccalieu Cottage

Room               Bed      Ensuite  DO/SO
Ochre House Retreat
South Room    double    yes     
North Room    double    yes     
Mezzanine       2 singles  yes    
Choir Room    double     no     

Baccalieu Cottage
Room 1           queen      no      
Room 2           double     no       
Room 3           single       no       



Air fare not included. Nearest airport: St. John’s, YYT. (1 hr 45 minutes drive) Ground transport from St. John’s to Ochre Pit Cove can be arranged .


Space is limited and competitive. For application please submit:
1. A letter outlining your bio and current practice.
2. A sample of your writing. (200-300 words)
3 Your accommodation request. (See above) 
4. You contact information including address, email & phone.
Submit to: info@ochrehouse.ca with the subject line: Writing With Care.


50% to confirm registration.
50% on or before March 9, 2019.
Cancellation: Refunds will be issued as follows:
100% less $50 administration fee if cancelled on or before March 9, 2019. 
No refund if cancelled after March 9, 2019.
Payment Method: We accept e-mail transfer, credit card, Paypal and cheque.

This retreat requires a minimum number of participants to proceed. We reserve the right to cancel by March 10, 2019. Successful applicants will have fees fully refunded. 


There was no shortage of writing, writing exercises, reading, focused discussion, mindful exercise, free time, lively conversation and sweet little road trips. [...] If writing is your thing, no matter what you believe your level, regardless of your writing experience, Writing with Care is the place for you.
The writing retreat at [Ochre House] provides a creative escape in a stunning setting. The workshop has the right combination of structured activities and free time for writing and exploring, making it both relaxing and productive. I feel I progressed not only in my writing, but also in fighting against some of my own mental roadblocks and demons. I recommend the experience highly!
— Caitlin Sandford, 2016
Writing With Care came along at an important time for me artistically. It offered me the opportunity to slow down and explore process and practice; time to digest the work/discussion, write, explore, walk, talk, be silent, rest; access to feedback on work in development; dialogue, dialogue, dialogue; a warm, comfortable, inviting environment. It was a magic combination facilitated by three exceptional people that fed my hungry soul, put a compass into my artist-hand and said “Go.” And – added bonus – the food (made thoughtfully and with love) was excellent.
— Esther Purves-Smith, 2015
I had the best most peaceful connected delicious week with sweet encouraging friends and facilitators. I recommend this very sweet retreat.
Writing with care unlocked a universe inside me, complete with edible planets and complex aliens. the most interesting alien(s) of all being myself, my selves. This retreat is for those who write, those who long to write, those who may never write anything. It’s for anyone with a hunger to hear the inner voice, to commune with the ocean within while contemplating the ocean that lies just across the road. be not afraid, come with your heart in your hand. lori, lisa and lois will be waiting for you.
The Writing with Care Retreat offered gifts I hadn’t realized I needed. It gave an opportunity to write and reflect in community. I saw whales and icebergs and ways of living that are being lost. I left Ochre Pit Cove a better man.
— Dave Hansen, 2016