Haven I: The Retreat

The Haven Writing Retreat stands alone as a rich layered experience which will help you find your voice and stories, and express them on the page in a safe, nurturing setting in the stunning woods of Montana. Laura Munson is a New York Times best-selling author who cares deeply about helping people find the power of their expression through writing. You do not have to be a writer to come. Simply a seeker, who wants to dig deeper into your self-expression using the transformational, and even therapeutic tool that is the written word. If you are a writer, Haven will help you complete that project you’ve wanted to finish for so long, or help you to bring your stories into form: memoir, novel, essay, short story, poem, screenplay, play, cookbook etc. Laura has worked with writers of all genres at Haven from best-selling authors to beginners, and over and over writers say that they learned more about craft at Haven than in any other program, all through experiential writing rather than a typical class setting. The retreat then is also a workshop, designed to meet you where you need to be met. (While the Haven Writing Retreat is a stand-alone, complete experience, there are advanced Haven programs for book writers. For more info, go to the Advanced Haven Programs drop-down.)

There is nothing like Haven Writing Retreats, where you get:

A community for five days at a private ranch and retreat center on 500 acres of pristine Montana wilderness, with a group of ten, the people who facilitate the retreat, and your own private room

A three hour morning class: wherein you get to dig deeply into your most charged themes, scenes, characters (real or imagined) and breathe them alive through the Haven Guided Writing Exercises design

A three hour evening class: in which you get powerful, inspiring feedback for your writing, informed by our interaction in the morning class and the Haven Feedback Approach

Afternoon free time to write in the Lodge, your room, or anywhere on the ranch’s gorgeous property which includes lakes, docks, gardens, porches, outdoor fire-pit, or by the cozy stone fireplace in the main Lodge living room.

Additional (optional) writing prompts hand-delivered to your room

A one hour one-on-one with Laura

Delicious healthy meals and a hosted evening Social Hour with Laura

The option of submitting 30 pages of material a month prior to the retreat for Laura to extensively edit (line edit, thorough comments, and overview)

The opportunity to take part in Equine Assisted Learning, yoga, and guided group hikes around the gorgeous ranch property and abutting State land

The opportunity to be a part of the thriving Haven Alumni private internet group with over 300 members interacting about writing, sharing their own work, supporting their blogs or other publications, meeting with alums in their area (Haven alums are all over the world!), and enjoying Laura’s weekly writing prompts for more inspiration

The opportunity to participate in Laura’s Haven Winter Blog series where she picks a theme and publishes alums’ work on her Haven blog, using her large social media platform, (including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and others), with links to your sites

The opportunity to be included in her Haven Alum Corner on her monthly newsletter which goes out to thousands of people where she features new writing by Haven Alums

The opportunity to apply to Haven II (a six person five day workshop for Haven alums who are writing books), and Haven III (one-on-one editing, mentorship, and publishing industry support with Laura for those who have completed Haven I and II)

The opportunity to return to Haven I with a different focus, for those who are not interested in pursuing Haven II and III

Lifelong friends

“I designed the program I would want to experience, and that every writer I know longs for. It’s the answer to the questions that I asked for so long: does anyone care, can somebody help me, do I have to do this alone? Haven offers everything you need for a healthy and inspired writing practice and completion in the writing projects you desire. I’ve seen it change lives over and over again.”

--Laura Munson

The Schedule

7:30-8:30 Breakfast

9:00-12:00 Morning Class: Intensive experiential writing with built-in craft instruction using the Haven Guided Writing Exercises design

12:30 Lunch

1:30-5:00 Free time

Work on your writing project if applicable

Enjoy the optional Haven activities: Yoga in the yoga pavilion, Equine Assisted Learning, guided hike

Utilize the optional additional daily writing prompt

*Your pre-assigned one hour one-on-one session with Laura will be during this window

5:00 Laura hosts Social Hour (wine, non-alcoholic beverages, and appetizers offered)

6:00 Dinner

7:30-9:30 Evening Class: Readings—people share their writing and get feedback (readings are optional, but encouraged)

10:00 Retire

*Classes are not optional.

The Location

Just miles from Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake, and Whitefish Mountain Resort, is the charming town of Whitefish, Montana where I have made my home for twenty-five years. I have written books here, mothered here, and wandered around in this deep wilderness on foot, horse, skis, kayak, canoe, river-raft, dogsled etc. Montana has been my best teacher, especially for my writing, and I want to share it with you. Like no other place I’ve been, Montana gets under your skin and stays there even when you are far away. Its terrain, sometimes rugged and daunting, sometimes soft and beckoning, sometimes just plain heartbreaking…is that of the written word.

I lead my Haven Writing Retreats at the beautiful Dancing Spirit Ranch, which is a private family compound and retreat center, set on 500 acres, and unlike any retreat center I’ve seen.

All books published by Haven Alums

booksFor more information, please email info@lauramunson.com to arrange a phone call with the Haven team.

To read testimonials click here.

To watch video testimonials click here.

To watch The Haven Video click here.


Pre-Order my new novel for yourself, or someone you love, and have it delivered hot-off-the-press on publication day! (March 3rd, 2020) Order from your local bookstore, or click here.
Makes a great holiday gift!

"It's the rare novel that nails the tone and tempo of what it feels like to embed with kindred spirits and share stories, joys and fears from the heart. Every reader will relate to this beautiful story in powerful and personal ways."
-Lee Woodruff, #1 New York Times bestselling author of In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing

"I love this wonderful novel about women, friendship and our deep-rooted need for community. Laura Munson has created a memorable and deeply relatable character in Willa Sylvester. You'll want to give this book to your best friend the minute you finish reading it."
-Ann Leary, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Sense

"Willa's Grove is the book my heart needed right now... It's a love letter to female friendships, to the power of vulnerability, to the strength of community, and daring to live authentically. An absolute must-read."
-Julie Barton, New York Times bestselling author of Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me from Myself