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2nd - 3rd July, 2021, Maleny Qld


We are saddened to advise that due to COVID uncertainties and increased risks of our speakers and attendees travelling from other locations, coupled with reintroduced venue restrictions, our team has taken the difficult decision to cancel this retreat. We apologise for any inconvenience. At this stage we are not able to offer an alternative date but we will update this page if the event is rescheduled. 





Join us this winter in the beautiful Sunshine Coast hinterland town of Maleny and be fully immersed in a weekend of creativity and celebration. You will have the opportunity to connect with others and to explore your memories and life experiences through three different storytelling forms during our retreat, or just join us for the day. You could even stay on for the annual Maleny Celebrating Books Sunday author talk.


Our retreat offers inspiring mentors and highly interactive workshops and activities that encourage insights into your life experiences and strategies for developing your storytelling and writing skills. Feel empowered to find your unique voice in one of 3 different life story genres as you experiment with various ways of sharing your stories for print, publication or social media. No experience necessary.











Places are restricted to ensure a personalised experience for all participants.

Attendees must be 18 years of age or over at the time of the retreat.



Retreat Location: Tranquil Park Resort

483 Mountain View Rd, Maleny QLD 4552


Workshop Location: Maleny Neighbourhood Centre

17 Bicentenary Lane, Maleny QLD 4552


The Retreat Experience


  • An opportunity for writing and reflection away from the usual demands of life in a beautiful and inspiring location.

  • Guided Activities and Workshops to develop your voice and creative life writing skills in 3 genres: Poetry, Creative non-fiction, and Digital Storytelling.   

  • Access to 3 specialist Life Writing Mentors across the duration of the retreat to discuss your life writing project.

  • Free time for writing or to explore the neighbourhood and town.

  • A unique opportunity to connect with other aspiring writers in your community and make like-minded friends.

  • A safe space to share your story and/or receive constructive feedback if you choose.

Full Retreat Package


  • All listed inclusions in ‘The Retreat Experience’ above

  • All 'Workshops and Activities' listed below

  • One night’s shared accommodation* (your own bedroom in a 2 or 3 bedroom apartment)

  • Use of all venue facilities to write in peace and seclusion or mingle in the lounge or on the deck over a sunset drink prior to dinner (check-in available from 2pm Friday). 

  • All meals included:

            Friday night Welcome Dinner (cash bar available for drinks)

            Saturday morning Poetry Breakfast

            Saturday Tea/coffee breaks and Lunch 



  • Own transport is required for travel to/from/between venues

  • *If you know someone attending who you wish to share a room with, just let us know on your booking form

  • Private rooms may be available at an additional cost of $60 (email us at to check availability)


Full Retreat Package cost  $275 pp



Bookings now closed - see remaining options below.

If you are interested in the Full Retreat Package, please email us at

Places may still be available (pending venue room availability).        


BYO (build-your-own) Retreat Package 

Choose your own inclusions:


  Saturday 9-5 Day Pass - $120 pp

  • All four (4) workshops listed below from 9am - 5pm Saturday.

  • Meals included: Saturday Tea/coffee breaks and Lunch

  Single Workshop Tickets - $35 pp 

  • Your choice of one (1) of the workshops listed below from 9am - 5pm Saturday.

  • Meals included: Tea/coffee break


  Add Friday Welcome Dinner from 6pm - $45 pp (cash bar available for drinks)

  Add Saturday Poetry Breakfast from 7.30am - $25 pp



  • Own transport is required for travel to/from/between venues

  • No accommodation included


Select your inclusions here:



Tickets on sale until 1 July, 2021 or until sold out.

                                 Workshops and Activities         


  Friday Self-guided Walk (Location: Mary Cairncross Rainforest Discovery Centre, open 9.30am - 3.30pm) 
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ACTIVITY 1: Self-guided Rainforest Walk (optional/weather-dependant)

If you would like to begin your retreat unwinding in nature, or doing some nature-journalling, choose from a selection of very easy walking trails in this 55-hectare sub-tropical rainforest, located not far from our retreat venue at 148 Mountain View Road, Maleny. Mary Cairncross rainforest is home to many amazing plants, animals and will delight you with it's tranquillity and beauty. Allow 1 to 1.5 hours if you wish to walk the entire trail. A gold coin donation is appreciated upon entry.

If you would like to be part of a small group meet-up, please RSVP your preferred time upon registration.

  Friday Welcome Dinner (Location: Tranquil Park restaurant):
Dinner Party

ACTIVITY 2: Welcome Dinner from 6pm

Check in to Tranquil Park any time from 2pm and spend some free time writing or exploring, then come together over a shared meal and spark friendships with your fellow retreaters around the aspects of life where our stories intersect. Join us for this group dinner in the Tranquil Park restaurant where you will have an opportunity to celebrate your achievements and strengths that you have chosen to write about over the weekend. If you are not staying at Tranquil Park, you can still join us by purchasing a separate ticket for the Welcome Dinner.

  Saturday Poetry Breakfast (Location: Tranquil Park restaurant):

ACTIVITY 3: Poetry Breakfast from 7.30am

Join us for a group breakfast, as the sun rises over the magical Glass House Mountains, where our own Nicki Cassimatis will perform some of her uplifting poetry for you. Feel free to bring along one of your own poems to share, or a poem by one of your favourite authors to entertain us. There is no obligation to share but everyone is welcome to participate. If you are not staying at Tranquil Park, you can still join us by purchasing a separate ticket for the Poetry Breakfast.

  Saturday Workshops (Location: Maleny Neighbourhood Centre):
  If you are not staying at Tranquil Park, you can still join us by purchasing a separate Saturday 9-5 Day Pass or Single Workshop Ticket
  Time overlaps include a half hour tea/coffee break for sharing and networking with others either before or after the workshop.
  Please click on the photos if you would like to know more about your Mentors:
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WORKSHOP 1: Tree of Life 9.00am - 11.00 am

with the Createplace team

You will be guided through reflections to unlock significant and/or memorable events and moments from your past, present and hopes for your future. You will then use artistic techniques to create a visual tree of life to guide you in your storytelling. Begin from your roots, then branch your way up to your shared hopes, dreams and wishes to the place where buds of inspiration emerge.                      

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WORKSHOP 2: Poetry : Your journey to beauty and joy 10.30am - 12.30pm

with Nicki Cassimatis | Grad Cert Mental Health, Grad Dip Education, B Arts

​Do you want to succinctly capture, distil and validate your experience? Poetry can be an invaluable tool for personal growth and development. In this workshop, you will be guided through a range of written activities and introduced to various techniques and approaches to explore the role of beauty and creativity within the ‘ordinary’, through playful curiosity, sensory reflection and the written word. Turn your life experiences into beautiful poetry to read aloud or present as a visual artwork.


WORKSHOP 3: Creative Life Writing 1.30pm - 3.30pm

with Dr Leanne Dodd | PhD – Arts & Humanities, Grad Cert Tertiary Ed, B Com, Dip Art Therapy

​Do you want to write about a significant event in your life? Life writing can be a rewarding and potentially cathartic experience. In this workshop, you will be guided through writing exercises that will help you identify positive outcomes and empowering perspectives from your experiences, then equipped with a range of writing strategies to structure your story in creative non-fiction. Re-imagine your future and share your strengths and courage with others through your story.

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WORKSHOP 4: Digital Storytelling: It's for Everyone! 3.00pm - 5.00pm

with Elena Volkova | M Arts - HDR, Transmedia Studies, Grad Dip – Museum Studies, B Arts

​Have you ever wanted to create a short film about your life? In this workshop designed just for beginners like you, learn to voice your own story using images, video and a short personalised script. You will be guided through all stages of the work, including script development, selection of visual materials, voice recording, audio editing and the final production of your story in a digital format you can share it on various forms of media (you can just watch the demo or bring your own laptop to have a go yourself).

  Things to Do in Maleny (not included in Retreat Package):

Why not make a weekend of it?

For a list of attractions and things to do in Maleny, click HERE

Maleny Celebrating Books will be holding their annual Sunday morning author talk with four acclaimed Australian authors at the Maleny Community Centre from 10am. For further information or to book tickets ($20), click HERE 

Meander through the Maleny Sunday Markets held every Sunday at the Maleny RSL until 2pm, click HERE 

Spend the remainder of the weekend exploring the hinterland, catching up with new friends or working on your writing in the serene surroundings of Maleny. 


Retreat Outcomes

We hope you will leave the retreat having made good friends, and feeling energised and enthused about your future writing. If you are interested in ongoing mentorship aimed toward publication, just chat with us during the retreat or contact us at to discuss your needs.


                                                             Subject to minimum numbers (refund policy applies)    

                                                             Download Terms and Conditions

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