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2016 Banff Retreat

Our annual Banff Retreat is on February 5 – 14, 2016, and is now open for registration! This self-guided retreat is a great opportunity to connect with fellow writers and enjoy uninterrupted writing time at The Banff Centre, the world’s largest arts and creativity incubator. Writers at any stage of their career or writing project are welcome to join in.

Retreat now sold out. To be put on a waiting list, contact [email protected].

Steven Ross Smith
Steven Ross Smith

Our 2016 Writer in Residence is Steven Ross Smith, who will be on site at The Banff Centre to provide individual consultations. Steven Ross Smith is a poet, fiction writer, essayist, arts reviewer, editor and literary activator who has published twelve books and appeared on several recordings. He was a member of the sound-performance ensemble Owen Sound from 1975 – 1985. His poetry book fluttertongue book 3: disarray, won the 2005 Saskatchewan Book of the Year Award. Pliny’s Knickers, a collaboration, won the 2006 bpNichol Chapbook Award. His recent poetry book is Fluttertongue 5: everything appears to shine with mossy splendour. Forthcoming is Emanations: Fluttertongue 6 from BookThug in October 2015. Smith has performed and/or published in England, Russia, Portugal, USA, and Canada. Most recently his work appears in Vallum, CV2, Poets & Writers, and WestWord. He was the founding Director of Sage Hill Writing Experience in 1990, and from 2008 to 2014 he served as The Banff Centre’s Director of Literary Arts. He has been a writer in residence, mentor, and workshop leader in many contexts in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta over three decades. For more information, visit or Steven’s blog Follow Steven on Twitter @SonnyBoySmith.



  • SOLD OUT – Full Retreat (February 5 – 14): $1,155 WGA members, $1,225 non-members (non-member rate includes one-year membership)
  • SOLD OUT – Half Retreat (February 5 – 9 or February 10 – 14): $695 WGA members, $765 non-members (non-member rate includes one-year membership)
  • Additional night: Participants registering for either of the half retreats have the option of staying for an additional night on Tuesday, February 9 for an additional payment of $92, subject to availability.

Full and Half retreat fees include accommodation in a private room (with a desk), a meal plan, use of the Banff Centre amenities including complimentary access to the Sally Borden recreation centre, welcome and farewell receptions, evening readings and access to the Writer in Residence.

Wish to extend your stay further? Self-directed Writing Residencies run year-round at The Banff Centre and provide the time and space for focused work. Extend your stay before or after the WGA retreat by applying for a Self-directed Residency via Please note that access to the Writer in Residence and other WGA specific retreat activities e.g. receptions, readings, etc. is not included in the Literary Arts Self-directed Writing Residency offered by the Banff Centre.

How to Register:

Registration is first-come, first-served, so register early to avoid disappointment. To register with VISA or MasterCard, phone 780.422.8174 or 1.800.665.5354. Payments may also be made by cheque. Registration forms may be sent by mail, email, or fax. Please do not fax or email credit card numbers.

This retreat is now sold out. To be put on a waiting list, please contact [email protected].

What to submit:

  • Completed and signed registration form.
  • A short bio of approximately 150 words. Just give us a sense of who you are and what your writing background is. This will be shared with participants on arrival.
  • Deposit (retreat spots will not be held without a deposit payment).
  • If you wish for the Writer in Residence to review a manuscript, it must be submitted in advance of the retreat.

Deadline to submit all materials and full payment is Thursday, December 10, 2015.

The Writers’ Guild of Alberta
11759 Groat Road
Edmonton, AB  T5M 3K6

Email: [email protected]

Fax: 780.422.2663 (attn: Writers’ Guild of Alberta)

If you have questions, please feel free to contact the Writers’ Guild of Alberta at 780.422.8174 or 1.800.665.5354 (toll free in Alberta) or by email at [email protected]. For more information about the Banff Centre, please visit

Cancellation Policy:

If you cancel: You will receive:
On or before January 5, 2016 100% of the registration fees you have paid, minus a $50 administration fee
January 6 – 25, 2016 50% of the registration fees you have paid
After January 25, 2016 No refund

This retreat is now sold out. To be put on a waiting list, please contact [email protected].

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