$312.60 – $888

Author Mentorship Retreat — A book-writing bootcamp

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Xenia Island Retreat, Bowen Island, BC

BC V0N 1G2


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Monday, August 7th – Thursday, August 10th, 2017

Early bird special: Register by June 22 and save $50!

Held on Bowen Island, British Columbia, Canada at Xenia Creative Development Centre —
The most idyllic setting for a writer’s retreat. 38 acres of forests and valleys nestled between two pristine lakes brimming with wildlife.

If you are being called...

TO WRITE A BOOK, PLAY, BLOG, ONE-PERSON SHOW, ETC. THEN YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS this opportunity to begin or renew your commitment to your written works with Author, Playwright, International Speaker, Psychotherapist and Writing Coach, Junie Swadron.

This particular writer’s boot-camp is being led by one of the kindest, most non-judgmental instructors you will ever want to meet. However, rumour has it she’s intending to once again crack her whip (of feathers) to make sure you go home with a manuscript you are delighted with, proud of, and chomping at the bit to go the next steps—whether that’s writing your latest chapters or knocking at your editor’s and publisher’s door!

You do NOT need to begin as a seasoned writer.

Junie teaches a process that engages you with your authentic writer’s voice immediately that will, in turn, make sure that your book’s a page-turner. You just need to know why you are passionate about what you want to write, allow the inner calling that led you to write it to envelop you, and let the writing do the writing. And Junie will get you there from the moment you say YES to this process, with a specially designed questionnaire that brings you fully into the heart of your work.

Maybe your book is still simply a concept, a seed incubating in your mind. It’s enough. We will build from there. No matter where you are on the continuum from having your work half finished or haven’t quite started yet—we begin where you are.

“Junie made me believe I could write anything, and that made the world of difference. I now write with eager anticipation to see what flows out of my pen!” —Pat Woodall

About Junie

Junie’s has coached thousands of students over her 22-year career as a writing coach to find their authentic voice. She has an innate ability to listen beyond the spoken word into the psyche of the budding author to bring out spaciousness so that the deeper truths reveal themselves beyond the internal sensor and onto the page.

IF YOU ARE SERIOUS about having your voice on the page become your voice in the world, whether it’s in the form of a book, a series of short stories, travel blog, memoir, play, or if you are an entrepreneur ready to bring even more credibility to your service with a published book, then don’t overthink it. There are only 12 spots available which will sell out very quickly! So sharpen your pencils and join other budding authors on an exciting journey to make your dream come true!

What’s next?

As soon as you register the games begin!

As stated above, you will receive my (Junie’s speaking in her own voice now) in-depth questionnaire designed to bring you clarity about your subject so that you can begin the process immediately. You will become intimately involved before we even begin so by the time we gather as a group at Xenia, what has been gathering momentum in your journal and gestating in your psyche will be ready to be written with new inspiration and direction.

What you can expect

First of all, you can expect the most exquisite natural setting imaginable to write, relax, reflect, share and become receptive to what the magic of Xenia holds for you personally.

Dotted between the trees are beautiful cottages designed for elegance and comfort, making your time seamless and luxurious. Everything that you will need as well as anything you could possibly wish for to get your writing project well on its way are here for you.

It is a time of no-time. You leave your watch at the door along with all other worldly responsibilities. Here you are nurtured in every sense of the word while you focus your attention to what you are birthing—Your Book!

Included in the package are home-made delicious and nutritious meals cooked by Saria, who I affectionately call our ‘den mother’ because she simply loves to spoil the guests.

And then...

  • A meet & greet, along with a delicious welcoming dinner.
  • Our first meeting in the gathering place yurt to set your intentions, describe your works and where you are in the process. You will share your enthusiasm as well as your fears, concerns, perceived weaknesses, known strengths and what you need the most.
  • We will complete the evening with a guided meditation followed by a silent labyrinth walk to further awaken your imagination and bring you deeper into the heart of your intention.
  • And then three more days of instruction, working on your writing, and relaxation with fellow authors! Meet, Write, Share, Discuss, Walk, Reflect, Silence, Share, Dance and Rejoice!


  • One 1:1 session with Junie in The Oracle, an elegant cottage in the woods surrounded by trees and a babbling brook
  • Meet regularly with your assigned buddy


  • My feedback is very specific and I will teach each participant what to look for as well.
  • Learn to listen deeply and with reverence to your own works and to the works of your fellow writers.
  • Clarity about what’s working well and what is not, what could use re-writing or simply tweaking regarding characters, continuity, redundancy, length etc.
  • Does the story move from A to Z, start to finish? Does the order need changing?
  • Are all sections needed, useful, do they add to the story? Is there anything left out? Is each individual section clear?
  • How else can ideas be brought forth to be most effective? Stronger descriptions, dialogue, settings, emotions?
  • I will feel into your story and ask you to go deeper in some cases if you are skimming the surface and as a reader I would want to know more.
  • Are the ideas, arguments or instructions presented clearly? Will the reader be able to follow them? Are they being expressed in a language readers can follow?
  • Consistency—is what you said in chapter 8 related to chapter 3, consistent with facts, content, etc?
  • Memoir—are you speaking in your true voice? Where might you be holding back? Are you writing chronologically, thematically or is it a collection of stories reflecting parts of your life?
  • We will help you work with your resistances and blocks to help you gain confidence so that you continue to access the parts of you that motivated you to write it in the first place.
  • I work intuitively, so there is no set ‘formula’ as to what to expect. However, what I do best is help people to uncover their true voice and express it in a way that leaves them feeling empowered by it.
  • I always suggest, especially with a memoir or personal story, that the first round of writing is for you, even if you have a specific audience in mind. This way, you will not be editing and judging what you are saying. You can feel safe to write the truth as you feel into it.
“Junie, it seems so simple and natural when you do it, but I don’t know anyone who hears and says back so clearly when I read my writing or speak my truth. You are the mirror who shines a light in the darkness just when I’ve convinced myself to give up again. Thank you.”—Susan Beach


Not only do I bring my expertise as a writer, author, playwright and writing coach for 22 years, I also bring 22 years as a psychotherapist and life coach. I address concerns and emotions that arise during the process of writing and sharing. It is not unusual, especially when writing personal life stories, that one feels vulnerable and exposed. Often it is a process of finding one’s voice for the first time. I honour your journey and hold a sacred space for the process to unfold in the most loving, compassionate and organic way – always at the pace that you wish to proceed.

The joys of working in a group with other budding authors!

Each of you has a good sense of what it’s like to want to write a book. The excitement, the anticipation, the work involved, the courage and the vulnerability to put your words, thoughts and reflections on the page with the intention of them being let go into the world. This is an exquisite turning point: bringing what has been an idea gestating inside of you into the light to be lovingly witnessed by others.

Each of us is there to support one another every step of the way with reverent listening and respectful feedback. It is a joy and a privilege to be listening to another’s work in progress, honouring the process and in turn, being the recipient, to experience how it feels to be fully seen and heard, acknowledged and respected. To know how it feels to have your work lovingly witnessed. To be a part of a group of caring fellows who genuinely want you to succeed and who champion you in every way is a true expression of the sacred.

“When I began the group I was feeling stuck and uninspired. The author mentorship program provided the impetus to work on new material which created momentum (and progress). The support and feedback of the group was invaluable, making reflections available for writing still fresh on the page, applauding the successes and lovingly calling for more if the best was yet unwritten.” —Rob Mason


As a follow-up to the retreat, there will be an opportunity for you to continue moving forward with your fellow participants through regular live calls on Zoom as well as in a private Facebook group to share your writings, your stops and starts, your inspiration and encouragement. In this way you will continue to get support from myself and your peers, those who you have come to know intimately as budding authors walking alongside you.

SPECIAL BONUS: As well, Angelyn Toth, the owner of Xenia and steward of the land, is partaking in this author mentorship program and will share passages of her book Radical Trust, which includes the miraculous story of how Xenia came into being.

Still not convinced?

I know that putting your voice out into the world in the form of a published work is a big deal. It’s a reflection of you—your imagination, thoughts, opinions, and often your tender heart! If you are not used to being “out there” it can actually be terrifying.

Maybe you are thinking:

  • Who am I to say this? I’m not an authority
  • It’s already been written
  • There are already enough books on the subject
  • I don’t want to hurt anyone
  • I’m afraid of peoples’ judgements
  • I don’t know how to write
  • I can’t spell
  • I’m too old to start now; it’s too late
  • It will take too long
  • It’s too difficult
  • Or some other judgement

You’re not alone! These common concerns will be dispelled right off the bat, I promise you!

Uncovering the truest expression of yourself—my own publishing story

In spite of my resistance, writing a stage play to dispel myths and stigmas about mental illness was just one of those things I was called to do, and I eventually did it. Producing it and having it out there for people to watch was a different kettle of fish. I was terrified. Especially since I upped the ante. Not only was I writing a play about a certain genre, I was going all out!

After the performance, in front of approximately 500 people at an international mental health convention in Vancouver, I delivered a speech that exposed my deep dark secret of having bi-polar illness. I was shaking. I thought it could bring about the end of my successful career as a psychotherapist in private practice and as mental health worker with the Canadian Mental Health Association.

In spite of how scared I was, I knew it was the ONLY choice if I was going to be true to myself. I had run the gamut of hiding in shame. I was done. I was choosing to take back my life no matter what others might have thought, said, or done. It was the bravest act I had ever carried out and biggest gift I could have ever given to myself. I no longer have to pretend. I set myself free!

This play is a winner. June Swadron and her writing team and actors engage the audience immediately and throughout with what it’s like to have a mental illness in contemporary society. We feel the anguish and confusion, we witness the denial in co-workers and family, we experience the shame of the sufferer and the multiple losses and we learn painfully about the limitations of our treatments.Yet this production is not cynical or depressing. It is moving, inspiring and intensely evocative. A gift. A call-to-arms. A must-see for every Canadian citizen.” Dr. Michael Meyers, President of the Canadian Psychiatric Association

As you can see publishing is a really big deal for me. My play was the first thing that went public and yes, it was scary. My book came next, and then with the next one I could hardly wait. I am currently writing my third.

Going forward with our works of art catalyzes a life force energy that creates the momentum that begins to feel unstoppable. It lifts us in ways that are indescribable! And that’s the shift that’s possible for us all!

When people asked on my first book, “Was it a labour of love?” I’d say, “Take out the word labour.” It was pure love. Because that is what it can be like when you have a loving mentor and coach, holding your hand to the finishing line. And that is my promise to you.

What’s your story?

Do you want to tell it as a memoir, play, fiction, stand-up comedy, serious of poems, creative non-fiction, a musical? Perhaps you simply want to start a blog about something you are animated about. Are you an entrepreneur offering a service that helps others? Having a published book and sharing your story of why you became passionate about it in the first place, gives hope to others who are going through something similar. This will give you greater credibility as an expert in your field. Maybe you want to write your life story for your children and grandchildren and don’t want to actually publish it, that’s great. This workshop applies to you too!

This I know for sure

I love my work because I get to hear the enthusiasm and joy that comes from people who were willing to take off their cloaks of fear and declared:

  • “I can do this!”
  • “I AM a writer!”
  • “I love what I have written.”
  • “I can’t believe that just came out of my pen.”
  • “I had no idea what I was going to write.”
  • “I feel so much better.”
  • “I have so much more clarity.”
  • “I have a direction.”
  • "I did it! I wrote my book!"

Mostly, I hear, “Thank you!”

My motto

It is because of the feedback I have been given over the years, along with what I have observed, that I have come up with this true statement which has become my motto:

Your soul meets you on the page and something shifts. You strengthen. You begin to stand taller. And soon you begin to notice that your voice on the page has become your voice in the world.

Ready to Take the Leap and write your book?
Join Us at Xenia on Beautiful Bowen Island, Monday, August 7th – Thursday, August 10th, 2017 for this all-inclusive retreat!


Arrive Monday August 7th
Take the 2:35 ferry from Horseshoe Bay (West Vancouver) to Bowen Island.
Enjoy a 20 minute ferry ride to Snug Cove on Bowen Island.
There will be cars waiting at Snug Cove to drive you to Xenia if you are walking onto the ferry.

Once you’ve arrived at Xenia, you will be assigned your cottage. Then you can unpack, relax, walk the grounds, meet and greet others in the lounge, and we will have a sit-down dinner at 6:00 pm.

Monday we’ll gather for dinner
Tuesday and Wednesday we’ll be served breakfast, lunch and dinner
Thursday we’ll have breakfast and lunch
Help yourself to tea or coffee and healthy snacks every day

Leave Thursday, August 10th on 4:15 pm ferry to Horseshoe Bay

It's an all-inclusive 4-day writer's bootcamp in an idyllic setting where everything is taken care of!

More about Xenia Creative Development Centre: www.xeniacentre.com

What's included?

Your tuition plus beautiful accommodation in a gorgeous setting, six delicious home-made and nutritious meals and healthy snacks, camaraderie with fellow authors, and a retreat in nature!

Your investment

$888.00 (includes tuition, meals, and accommodation)

Early bird special: Save $50 by registering by June 22: $838.00

Payment plan available (see ticket sales):

3 equal instalments of $312.60 each

–1st Instalment June 15th

–2nd Instalment June 29th

–3rd Instalment July 29th

Questions? Contact Junie at junie@junieswadron.com or phone 250-813-0183.


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Xenia Island Retreat, Bowen Island, BC

BC V0N 1G2


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