Porphyry Weekend Writing Retreat

with Jean E. Pendziwol

Thursday, July 18 –


 Sunday, July 21

$1395 + HST


Join the international award-winning author of The Lightkeeper’s Daughters for a four-day facilitated writing retreat on Porphyry Island.  Jean E. Pendziwol will work with an intimate group of select writers to advance their skills and explore language and creativity through daily instructional sessions with plenty of dedicated writing time. Participants will receive individualized feedback on a work in progress submitted ahead of time and will have the opportunity to share their work and receive critique from other members of the group. With accommodations in the former lightkeeper’s residence, access to walking trails, the proximity of Lake Superior and opportunities to explore beaches, forests, and bogs, this retreat will encourage participants to unplug and will provide an environment to develop craft and be fully immersed in the creative process.

Your Instuctor

Jean E. Pendziwol

Bestselling Author

Jean E. Pendziwol is the author of eleven books including the Canadian bestseller The Lightkeeper’s Daughters. Shortlisted for the HWA Debut Crown and selected by the BBC Radio2 Book Club, Jean’s debut novel, set on Porphyry Island, is available in 13 languages and 19 countries around the world. She was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the TD Children’s Award Book of the Year for Once Upon a Northern Night (Illus Martine Gourbault)Her first children’s book No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids (and dragons) is an all-time bestseller for publisher Kids Can Press and was selected to be part of the McDonald’s Canada Happy Meal Literacy Program. She lives in Thunder Bay.

Included in this tour

Join us for an exciting ride to Porphyry Island in the Superior Rocket. With 500 horsepower, the Superior Rocket can reach speeds of 80 km/h in open waters. This breathtaking trip really showcases the power and wonder of Lake Superior.

-Accommodations are rustic and homely. Pack your sleeping bag and pillow for this authentically remarkable natural retreat.

-The dwelling you will be staying in accommodates 6 people

-There is a quaint room with a double bed — perfect for couples who would like a little privacy

-The other room has 2 single beds and 1 bunk bed.

-These accommodations are not fancy, but they are comfortable and welcoming. If you like being immersed in nature, you are sure to have a genuinely relaxing stay on Porphyry Island.

-Sail Superior supports sustainable technologies, and so it’s fantastic that Porphyry Island includes on-site solar and generator power as well as running water.

-WiFi is also available for people to post their adventures online or connect with the rest of the world.

See bio and retreat schedule for more details on session topics

Coming Soon...

Trip Specific

  • pencils, pens, notebooks
  • laptop and charging cables, supplementary charger (power for charging will be limited throughout the day)
  • camera, sketchbook, guidebooks (birds, flowers) if interested
  • book to read


  • Layered clothing – Lake Superior can be cold even in July.
  • Warm mid-layer jacket and a windproof/waterproof jacket
  • Socks, underwear, shirts, pants, shorts, etc. (not too many)
  • Rain gear - jacket, pants, hat.
  • Good hiking boot/shoe
  • Sun hat with tie for the boat trip and wind
  • Sunglasses
  • Bug spray and motion sickness meds if you are prone
  • NOTE: Limited power is available on the island
  • NOTE: WiFi is available in the lightkeepers house although in a limited capacity


  • Sail Superior will provide all passengers with floater suits and goggles for the trips to and from the island

NOTE: There is not a ton of space for luggage on our zodiac boat. Try to only bring a mid-size bag or suitcase in addition to your backpack or roller bag.

And A Great Attitude!

To Apply:

send a sample of your work (maximum 2500 words, double spaced in a word document with 1” margins) to


Successful applicants will be contacted to complete the registration process.