Kingsbrae Fall 2021

A Return to Kingsbrae, Fall 2021

September 24 – October 1

October 3-10, 2021

***The first week of September 24 – October 1 has filled, so we’ve been invited to host a second week, October 3-10.***

We’re so pleased that the kind folks at award-winning Kingsbrae International Residence for Artists (KIRA) have asked us to return to offer back-to-back, week-long writing retreats at their facility in St. Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick, this fall.

We are opening this fall retreat to all regions, as per provincial recommendations, but with some additional precautions in place due to the ongoing worldwide pandemic. Please see below.

CONTACT US to register, or if you have any questions.

About the retreats


The fall of the year is a great time to rededicate yourself to your writing, whether you’re new to the craft or an established, professional writer. A week-long retreat, guided by Dr. Gerard Collins, an award-winning professional author and university professor, solidifies your intentions and sends a strong signal about your commitment to yourself and your writing.

The KIRA facilities may as well have been built for our times, considering the current necessity for personal space. The 7,000 square foot historic residence is impeccably-maintained, with only five bedrooms available, each spacious and with its own private bathroom. And steps away from our residence are six freestanding writers’ studios, Wi-Fi-equipped, for our participants’ exclusive use during our stay.
View of writers’ studios from the porch
writing matters

Go and Write! Kingsbrae offers you a rare opportunity to leave the rest of the world behind, to sit alone in your own writing studio or bedroom in a large turn-of the century mansion of a huge estate where you can be lost in your own thoughts for hours – even days – and come out with a clearer sense of what it’s all about, what you’ve been through, and where you go from here.

Our participants range from those who’ve just started writing to those who’ve published extensively, and previous attendees have included playwrights, poets, novelists, television producers, short story and memoir writers, and everything in between. Writers can register as individual participants, or they can find another person to attend with them to share their room, studio, and costs. Spouses / partners are welcome to join us, but they must register for the entire week – this helps us maintain the creative bubble that we cultivate so carefully.

Gerard on the front porch at KIRA

We will host private group readings on some evenings throughout the retreat, where you’ll have the opportunity to share your writing with your fellow participants, if you like – without pressure. We will also have two writing workshops, facilitated by Gerard, and each participant will have two one-on-one sessions with Gerard as well, where you’ll have the opportunity to talk with him about your writing projects, goals, and challenges. You will also be encouraged to share an excerpt of your writing with Gerard in advance of the retreat – he will review this carefully and prepare thoughtful and compassionate feedback in his written commentary, which he will return to you after discussing it during your first one-on-one meeting.

Kingsbrae Garden Café

Retreat goers will also have free access to the iconic Kingsbrae Garden, and we will enjoy three gourmet lunches at the Kingsbrae Café. Award-winning Chef Alex Haun oversees dining at Kingsbrae Garden, a 2-3 minute walk from our residence. Here, Alex and his culinary team create artistically-inspired plates using the freshest garden ingredients and products from all over New Brunswick.

The town of St. Andrews by-the-Sea is just a 10 minute walk from our historic KIRA residence, and there you’ll find shops, pubs, and restaurants. The famous Algonquin Hotel is just down the road from our estate, with a restaurant and pub onsite.

Writing in the Kingsbrae Garden apple orchard – ideal for bookworms

This is the only kind of writing retreat there can be right now: one that allows for distance and space so your imagination can soar, you can stretch yourself, receive individual instruction from a compassionate, award-winning publishing author, and come away feeling revitalized.

About your hosts

Gerard and Janie, Go and Write! Ireland 2017.
Photo credit: Amy Cameron

Dr. Gerard Collins and Jane Simpson are writers and partners not only in Go and Write! but also in life. Gerard, who has his PhD in American Gothic Literature, is the author of The Hush Sisters (2020), which recently won the Indie Book Award international prize for a suspense novel, and his novel Finton Moon was nominated for an IMPAC Dublin Award. Gerard has taught creative writing workshops at the invitation of Newcastle University in the UK, at Lily Dale Assembly in New York and, closer to home, he was recently invited by the Frye Festival to teach a Masterclass in creative writing. He teaches English Literature, by distance, at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Jane’s writing has won awards in poetry and short fiction, and has been published in Riddle Fence and Grain Literary Magazine; she is the Executive and Artistic Director of an arts and culture centre and handles many of the administrative, coordinating and marketing duties of Go and Write!, while Gerard facilitates the workshops, writing commentary, and one-on-one consultations with every writer.

Here’s where you can learn more about your hosts, Gerard and Jane.


We are asking that all retreat participants be fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada, and preference will be given to vaccinated individuals. If you will not be fully vaccinated by the start of the retreat, please contact us – depending on your circumstance, we may consider making alternate arrangements for your dining and common area use. Non-vaccinated participants would be required to wear a mask in common areas and be seated separately for group meals, and would be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours in advance of the retreat start date.

If the retreat needs to be cancelled due to COVID-19, or if you develop COVID-19 in advance and are not recovered by the beginning of the retreat, you will be issued a full refund.

Here are other precautions we’re taking:

  • Thorough sanitizing of residence and artist studios prior to our arrival, and regular sanitizing of high-touch areas within the residence throughout our stay.
  • Low number of participants to allow for easy physical distancing – only five bedrooms available, each with private bathrooms.
  • 7,000 sq-ft residence.
  • Standalone, 300 sq-ft individual artist studios for your exclusive use.
  • Workshops and one-on-one meeting locations will be flexible depending on the weather, keeping comfort and physical distancing measures in mind.

$1,499 CAD per person based on single occupancy
$1,259 CAD per person based on double occupancy

CONTACT US to register, or if you have any questions.

What’s included:

  • 7 nights at the well-maintained and spacious KIRA historic estate, with private bedroom/bathroom
  • 2 writing workshops
  • 2 individual meetings with writer in residence Dr. Gerard Collins to discuss your work
  • Written feedback on a piece of your writing, submitted in advance
  • 1 group supper
  • 3 gourmet lunches at the Kingsbrae Café
  • 7 continental breakfasts at the estate – fresh fruit, bread, coffee, tea etc. daily for your self-serve breakfast
  • Private standalone writing studio
  • Group readings with conversation on several evenings
  • A key feature unique to this retreat: fewer participants means more space for you and more time with the writer in residence

Register by contacting us.

A few notes

Airfare is not included and travellers are responsible for arranging their own flights. Please note that the number of spots available on this retreat is limited due to the number of rooms at the Kingsbrae estate and our desire to offer an intimate experience to our writers.

Costs are in Canadian dollars, taxes and gratuities included.

We are staying in a historic residence with no elevator; participants will be required to climb stairs.

Travel insurance is highly recommended for those visiting from afar. Travellers are responsible to research the implications of COVID-19 on travel restrictions at home and abroad. We ask those joining us to be fully vaccinated.