pelee island book house writing PROGRAM


Taking part in a Pelee Island writing retreat gives authors the opportunity to focus on their work, free of distraction.  Each retreat offers writers the chance to work on their own and also take part in facilitated workshop sessions, which will combine group discussion and individual text critiques. 

There are 7-day retreats and weekend retreats at different price points, depending on the room you apply for. There are both shared and single rooms available. If you require your own space, apply early as the single bedrooms are usually booked first. The larger rooms can be arranged with either a single King bed or with 2-3 twin beds. Once an accepted submission is received, rooms are booked on a first come, first serve basis.

Your tuition fees include accommodations, catered meals, and workshops. Each workshop will have between 6 and 10 writers. If there is not the sufficient enrolment of 6 participants, then the retreat will be cancelled. Pelee Island residents will have the opportunity to participate in the workshop sessions, while staying at their own residence, for a reduced rate. This option is only available if enrolment has not reached capacity. 


A self-directed residency is a low cost alternative if you just need time away to focus on your writing. There will be no instructors or workshops, but you will have plenty of time to write, read, walk, and explore the Island, while in a community of writers. Shared bedrooms can have 2-3 people of your choice, or you can request a roommate of the same sex. If you desire to have your own space, then apply early, as the single rooms are usually booked first. There are single occupancy twin beds and single occupancy King beds in lake-view bedrooms available. There is a maximum participation of 10 writers.

Your tuition fees include accommodations and catered meals. Ferry crossing times and bookings are at your own discretion. If you share a room, your fees are cheaper than if you book a single room. Please submit your application through the "APPLY" page. There is no writing sample required.

PLEASE NOTE: The programs at the Book House are designed to provide writers with a place of natural beauty that allows for quiet reflection and the ability to focus on their writing. Rooms have no televisions, and due to the island location, internet service is limited. Of course, there is a social component to retreats and the hope is to connect with other writers through the experience of sharing your work. However, the lack of distractions and seclusion of the retreat house are what allows writers to concentrate on their work. With that in mind, be advised that no visitors/ partners are allowed to stay on the property to eat or sleep.    

Participating in a writing retreat is an act of intention—intent to put your creativity in focus, to declutter the mind of distractions and allow for thoughts and ideas to surface. The natural beauty of the island honours this energy. Time slows, waves crash and recede in their own rhythm. You can walk along the beach to collect sea glass or go to Fish Point to watch birds nest or foxes frolic. Communing with nature inspires personal reflection and clarity of thought.

"I must have time alone in which to mull over my encounter, and to extract its juice, its essence, to understand 
what has really happened to me as a consequence of it.” —May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude

Getting to Pelee Island

Ferry costs and booking times are at your own discretion. The ferry leaves from Leamington or Kingsville, Ontario, and from Sandusky, Ohio. If you want to bring your own car, then you must book well in advance. Walk on passangers can buy their ferry tickets right before boarding. Charter planes can be booked through the Griffing Flying Service, which fly throughout the day, from  Port Clinton, Ohio. The Windsor Flying Club has planes that fly to the island in the mornings, Monday-Friday, and leave from the Windsor Airport Terminal.  Someone will be waiting for you at the Pelee Island docks or the airport to transport you to the Book House. If you brought your own car, then you can follow us there.