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Writing The Personal

Writing The Personal: Image

Writing The Personal with Sonya Lea

September 14, 2019

Come and join us for a guided walk around the beautiful Emerald Lake, followed by a catered lunch at the lodge and then delve into a carefully crafted writing workshop led by writer and writing teacher Sonya Lea.

Registration Includes:

  • Group walk around the shoreline of Emerald Lake (Optional)

  • Catered Lunch in the President’s Room at Emerald Lake Lodge

  • 3 hour writing workshop with Sonya Lea held in a private room at Emerald Lake Lodge

  • Writing Paper & Pen

  • Max Group Size: 15-20


9:30am Meet at the Canoe Rental Shop at the beginning of the bridge

10:00am Walk begins

12.30pm Lunch in the President’s Room at Emerald Lake Lodge

1:30pm Workshop with Sonya Begins

4.30pm Workshop Ends

The Workshop

How do you tell a story that has been pushed underground? How do you tell a story that’s never been told? A story that might have been (or still is) a secret?

In this workshop, we learn to sustain the telling of a story when there’s pressure to remain likable. By standing in the truth, and acknowledging the necessity of our writing, we change the justness and health of our communities. We take a stand for those who aren’t living with our privilege or resources.

This event is held in safety and confidentiality with respect for your emerging words. We will together participate in generative writing exercises from prompts and discussion. If desired, we will share and witness each other’s words. Limited feedback, all authority given to the writer.

The Walk (Optional)

Emerald Lake is a spectacular and serene turquoise glacial lake in Yoho National Park surrounded by mountains. The hike is an easy 5.2km around the entire shoreline of the lake.

We plan to take it at a relaxed pace so you can enjoy the stunning views as we walk around, allowing you to truly get into a creative mindset before the workshop begins.

The Location

Emerald Lake Lodge is the only property on secluded Emerald Lake, surrounded by the breath-taking Rocky Mountains. The lodge is twenty minutes west of Lake Louise. Originally built in 1902 by the Canadian Pacific Railway, this historic property includes 85 comfortable units situated in 24 chalet-style cabins. The units feature cozy duvets, wood burning fireplaces and balconies or patios with magnificent views of the property.

What should I bring to the event?

Weather in the mountains can be unpredictable so it’s good to be prepared.

  • Backpack

  • Good walking/hiking shoes

  • Sunblock

  • Rain Coat

  • Insect repellent

  • Thermos/Water Bottle

What are my transportation options for getting to and from the event?

Emerald Lake Lodge is located 20 minutes west of Lake Louise in Yoho National Park and about 2.5 hours from the Calgary International Airport. Head towards the Town of Field, B.C. The turnoff to Emerald Lake is 1 km west of Field. Follow the road for 8km until you reach the lake parking area.

What is NOT included in the event?

  • Transportation to and from the event

  • Travel & Medical Insurance

Writing The Personal: Courses & Programs
Writing The Personal: Team
S Head Shot.jpg

Sonya Lea

Writer & Writing Teacher

Sonya Lea writes on memory and identity. Her memoir, Wondering Who You Are, about what happened after her husband lost the memory of their life, was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. Wondering has won awards and garnered praise in a number of publications including Oprah Magazine, People, and the BBC, who named it a “top ten book.” Her essays have appeared in Salon, The Southern Review, Brevity, Guernica, Ms. Magazine, Good Housekeeping, The Prentice Hall College Reader, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, The Butter, and more.

Lea creates retreats and teaches writing in the USA and Canada, including in Banff, Canada's first national park. She also teaches at Hugo House in Seattle, online at Corporeal Writing, and to women veterans through the Red Badge Project. She speaks at conferences, universities and festivals.

Her short film, Every Beautiful Thing, won two awards for direction, and several awards for score. She has also written screenplays.

Originally from Kentucky, she lives in Seattle and the Canadian Rockies. 

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