Open Road Media and Tumblr name Haven in the top 5 retreats in the US!..click here
Haven Retreats in the Chicago Sun Times...click here
Head Butler raves about Haven retreats... click here
Interview with Bill Kenower of Author Magazine... click here
"My creative life has always been my safe haven. My refuge. My sanctuary. Since childhood, I have retreated into my self-expression, namely on the page."
Find your voice.
In journals, letters, essays, novels, memoirs...I have examined this beautiful and heartbreaking thing called life, always with the intention of shining a light on an otherwise dim corner to provide relief for myself and others. Writing is my practice, my prayer, my meditation, my way of life and sometimes…my way to life. I want to help you find your unique voice that no one else on the planet has except for you!
Find your stories.
You know what they are. You lead with them when you meet people, when you’re talking on a plane, when you gather with old friends. These are the white hot topics that you are hungry for. At Haven, we free-fall into them bravely and come out the other side with new perspective, new understanding, and even new stories.
Find where you are stuck.
People tell me all the time: “I’m just not creative. I don’t have the time. I’m afraid to be that vulnerable. I’m not good enough, anyway,” which means that their inner critic holds court in their minds and they have learned to bow to it, supplicant. It doesn’t have to be like this. Everybody is creative. Every second we live is a moment of creation. What we say, what clothes we wear, how we think—all creative acts. At Haven, you allow yourself to fully engage in the creative journey you are already on, whether or not you are aware of it. You will walk away with a new commitment to using writing in your life whether it’s in a book project, short form writing, or a more fulfilling journal writing practice.
Whether or not you are a writer, Haven meets you where you need to be met.
I designed the retreat that I would want to attend. That means that everybody at Haven values the written word. Some are working on a project, some haven’t written since school days. It doesn’t matter. Haven is meant to meet you where you need to be met. The one thing we all have in common at Haven is that we are seekers on some level. That’s what makes it so powerful. We step outside of good/bad/right/wrong and into the world of possibility and the world of Yes! I fiercely believe that creative self-expression on the page should be up there with diet and exercise as a transformational tool in the realm of preventative wellness…whether or not it adds up to a published work.
Take a powerful stand for yourself.
When we give ourselves permission, we can find profound freedom in our creativity. That’s why I lead Haven Writing Retreats. I want to help people in their creative expression no matter where they are in their writing. I believe it heals. I believe it can change lives and even change the world. While the wilderness of Montana holds the space for our inspiration, I hold the space for my retreaters to step into the wilderness of their writing-- in a nurturing, safe, inspiring setting…and explore. Each time, I see people leave re-fueled, with clearer intention, and an empowered passion to create what they want to create whether it’s a love-letter to future generations, a novel, a memoir, or a way to simply heal their lives.
If you don’t do it for yourself, who will?
It is such an honor to help people bloom, get unstuck, move through blocks, have breakthroughs, and mostly to see what happens when a group of people take a stand for their self-expression in the woods of Montana. The experience is profound. Our creativity can be our greatest free zone. And I want to help make this possible for you.
For more info email me: Laura@lauramunsonauthor.com
Haven Writing Retreats in gorgeous Whitefish, Montana: Named in the top 5 writing retreats in the US by Open Road Media!
2015 (now booking)
February 25-March 1 (FILLING FAST)
June 3-7 (FULL with WAIT LIST)
June 17-21 (FULL with WAIT LIST)
September 9-13 (FILLING FAST)
September 23-27 (FILLING FAST)
Haven joins the incredible Ranch at Rock Creek for an exclusive activity-based writing retreat!
April 29th - May 3rd, 2015
Dig deep into your creative self-expression on the page. Ride horses and write in miles of wide open Montana Country. Do yoga under the Big Sky. Cook with Relais and Chateaux executive chef. Luxuriate and re-fuel at the Relais and Chateaux, Forbes Travel Guide Five Star-rated resort. Let the wilderness of Montana inspire the wilderness of your voice! For all inquires, email Laura@lauramunsonauthor.com
Join me for three days of writing and inspiration at Mii Amo spa, Enchantment Resort, Sedona, AZ
September 17th - 20th, 2015
The #2 ranked destination spa in the US
For more information (and to book a Montana Haven Retreat), email me at: laura@lauramunsonauthor.
To check out Walking Lightly Ranch, click here
I attended Laura Munson’s Haven retreat, the FIRST time, in February 2013. It was a very difficult time in my personal life, but that didn’t scare Laura! Or the other attendees. As the below author did, I cried and I wasn’t the only one. That’s what happens when someone holds your heart in their hands and helps you allow the walls you’ve built to melt away. I attended Laura’s retreat, the SECOND time, two short months ago in September. I was joined by two fellow retreaters who were with me the first time.
The second time was as magical and moving, if not more so, than the first. One hundred pages into a memoir I had all but given up. It wasn’t right for me. I just couldn’t do it. It was too hard and my writing was too boring. Laura held me by the hand, literally and figuratively. I returned home refueled and recharged ready to do battle with my, “I’m not good enough voice” and win!
Man or woman. Experienced or not. I encourage you to let Laura and the Haven experience works its magic on you no matter where you are in your creative process.
--Tracy Yokas, CA
I ventured to Haven, a wannabe writer without a clue how to begin. For years a story, my story, fermented just beneath the surface emerging on rare occasions only to remind me of how overwhelming and intimidating my prospects were. With Laura's gentle encouragement and belief in my potential, I was inspired to begin. I put pen to paper on that gorgeous first day at Haven and have been writing almost every day since. I feel something missing when I don't. I am a writer!"
--Nancy Glenn--Ashburn, VA
“I learned more about the craft of writing and the art of reading in five days with Laura than in my entire experience as an MFA student. I would be annoyed by that if I was not so blown away by my experience at the Haven Retreat.
I was beyond nervous about doing something so big and indulgent for myself that I almost talked myself out of it a hundred times. I am not a "real writer" so who am I to deserve a writing retreat? I should be saving money, how can I justify spending money on a hobby? What if I don't click with anyone and I am the odd duck out while everyone else is making connections and having breakthroughs?
Now, having just unpacked my bags, I cannot believe I almost let these doubts keep me from doing what feels like the best, most rewarding risk I have ever taken. I am in awe of the fellow writers I met at Haven, and flabbergasted that these insanely talented people had the same doubts about doing this incredibly powerful thing for themselves.
If you are reading this you are a real writer and you absolutely deserve to do this great big thing for yourself. I promise from the bottom of my heart that you will not regret this.”
--Erica Hedrick, Venice, Italy
To say the Haven retreat changed my life is an understatement. I went to the retreat to process my grief as I slowly lose my mother to dementia. What happened at the retreat astounded me– I found that I have so many words deep, deep inside, not just about my mother, but about lots of life issues, and they came rushing out. And I surprised myself because I liked those words! I began to realize there is plenty more to come. The work is to organize, refine, and develop a piece so that my reader can feel it with me and say, “Ah, yes….I know what she’s talking about!”
--Katie Nixon, West Hartford, CT
I saw Laura at a women’s conference in Boston where she spoke about getting unstuck by getting out of your own way and self-expression. At this event, I learned of the Haven Writing Retreat. Hearing Laura speak was eye opening for me at a time when I was soul searching for joy in my life. Even though I had a month old baby and finances were a challenge, I took a big risk and attended the retreat. What Haven provided was an outlet of dedicated time for me to reconnect with my own self-expression through writing. Laura’s passion for writing and the love for her work made me feel comfortable amongst a diverse group—some professional writers, some just starting out, some with project ideas, and others who had only written in personal journals, like me. Haven made me realize the power of my words and how my journaling has made a meaningful difference in my life over the years. My experience left such a lasting impression on me I was inspired to share my joy for journaling with the world and started a new career through a business called Let’s Write Life. When I signed up, I was told that Haven would change my life…and it truly did!"
--Latonia Francois, MA – Owner of Let’s Write Life
I signed up to attend a Laura Munson Haven retreat after completing my first book (The Angel in My Pocket. Viking. Release July 2014). The process left me creatively and emotionally exhausted and I was looking for inspiration for my next writing project. The scenic setting on a quiet lake in Montana along with the small group of talented and thoughtful attendees made for an extraordinary learning experience.
Laura is a pro at teasing out the most essential elements of each of our works and voices. She encouraged gently but firmly and called us all to be our best all within a very comforting and secure environment.
I left Haven brimming with ideas. My heart soul and mind were all better having attended a Haven writing retreat.
Laura gives deeply of herself to each of her retreat attendees. I feel honored to have spent four days in her care and my writing is much better for the experience.
-->Sukey Forbes, best-selling author of Angel in my Pocket (Viking, 2014),Westin, MA
I traveled to Haven not knowing what to expect. Never in a million years had I pictured myself attending a "Writing Retreat." The experience, though, was amazing for me! I learned so much from each person in the group, and also about myself. And, I found what I needed to find. So it is with much thankfulness and a big open heart that I return home. Thank you, Laura.
--Pat Beers, Princeton, NJ
I've been a writer my entire life, but it took attending Laura Munson's Haven retreat to really have the confidence to get out of my own way and own my gifts. This retreat was an amazing experience that allowed me to cultivate my craft, as Laura's unique workshop activities, encouragements, one-on -on meetings and feedback pushed me and taught me where I was stuck. If you are a writer suffering from the common bouts of writer's block, low confidence, insecurities or uncertainties--GO to this retreat! You will come back a changed person. I know I did.
--Lindsay Henry, MI
I'm excited to announce that I've been accepted into a great MFA Fiction program in Chicago! Attending Haven played a huge role in boosting my confidence as a writer and encouraging me to pursue a future in writing. Thank you Laura Munson for all of the help, support, and encouragement throughout my MFA application process!”
--Grace Fondow, Oak Park, IL
Laura's work changing the Suffering Artist paradigm into Empowered Artist is going to reshape the world. If she has to do it one writer at a time, she will.
--Cindy Webb, Helena, MT
Laura Munson was a master at bringing out my voice, and the voices of all my fellow writers. Her retreat was one of the most empowering experiences of my life. I learned about writing, but I also learned about myself in ways that were unexpected. In addition, we all formed an amazing bond with each other! The totality of the place, the people, the work and the food was priceless.
--Wendy Hill, Westwood, MA
The retreat was a perfect balance of comfort and fear. Laura Munson creates a safe place for writers of every level to uncover their true voice, sometimes for the first time. Witnessing it was as close to a miracle as I've ever come.
--Lynn Trudell, Ithaca, NY
Haven Retreat was one of the most important growth experiences of 2013 for me. As a published author working on my second book, I was looking for a way to take my writing to the next level. I found it in the form of one of the most exciting, enthusiastic and successful writing coaches: Laura Munson.
I especially liked the fact that she knows that one size does not fit all and gave us the ability to adopt her ideas and adapt them to our own style, personalities and goals. She understands the challenges writers face and in her chocked-full fast-paced four day retreat she was able to take me and the other participants to a place of greater writing effectiveness. I’d highly recommend her retreat to anyone wanting to perfect their craft.
-- Byron E. Thompson , Tubac, AZ Author of “Build Your Dream: 12 Essential Tools for Successful Living”
Laura's retreat re-ignited my creative spirit. Her intuitive guidance, along with imaginative writing exercises, group readings and individual feedback, helped me re-focus and re-energize. I am more committed than ever to my craft.
--Mary Novaria, Los Angeles, CA
Laura Munson can help you breakthrough writing blocks, make your writing sing and pull those stories out of you and she does. I left Montana inspired and on fire to write.
--Erika Putnam, Boise, ID
The universe is always sending out messages-songs and stories that need to be told and heard. A retreat with Laura Munson and the wonderful crew at the Walking Lightly Ranch tunes that channel in loud and clear. Run there with your heart wide open. Receive. Be forever blessed.
--Dixie B. Sarasota, FL
This retreat was truly a haven. Laura probed our individual voices, developed our writing skills, and facilitated our group interactions to make the experience remarkable. I realized you don’t have to be writing a book to gain from this retreat; you just have to want time to reflect. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
--Peter Black, Boston, MA
Laura Munson transformed my attitude toward writing – from thinking that no one would be interested in my story to feeling rejuvenated with confidence and desire to complete it. The peaceful setting of Walking Lightly Ranch and three days of sharing with the other incredibly different yet like-minded and funny women filled me with inspiration and motivation, and gifted me with 9 new friends of the heart and written word.
--Christie Coombs, Boston, MA
Laura cracked me open in ways I so needed- both personally and as a writer- and created a space that was both safe and challenging at the same time. I left Montana forever changed.
--Christa Allen, Fairfield, CT
Laura's writing retreat inspired me to take myself seriously as a writer for the first time. When I signed up, I did not know what to expect from a New York Times best-selling author; yet, to my delight, I found her to be as down to earth and available as she is in her popular memoir. She easily created an environment of safety and mutual support for the participants while pushing us to stretch in new directions on the page. Continuously extending herself to offer encouragement and valuable feedback on our writing, she also provided vital information on the nitty-gritty of the publishing business. I left the workshop with the confidence and information I needed to take the next steps in publishing my work. Thank you, Laura.
--Judy Walenta, Sebastopol, CA
The time spent in retreat with Laura at the breathtaking Walking Lightly Ranch was truly a blessing of fellowship, learning, laughter and fun. It was amazing to watch total strangers come together for four days and open heart, mind and soul to each other and see the gifts that flowed forth. Laura has a beautiful and very effective way of using her compassionate wisdom and gentle guidance to help others deepen and strengthen their writer’s voice.
--Gene Manning, Nashville, TN
Not once did Laura ask me then or now to buy her book or a mug with her name on it, containing tea made in Whitefish that promotes good grammar. Not once did she fill me with false hope or expectations that ‘THIS retreat will launch my professional writing career! This is exactly what I needed to succeed!’ Going on a retreat is not promising enlightenment – you must find that for yourself. Montana is where I found my courage, my bravery.
--Patty Young, Westchester, NY
“I went to Haven as both a writer and a health and wellness coach, and I was thrilled with my experience from both points of view. As a writer, my creativity was reawakened, nurtured, and honored. As a coach, Haven provided me with several powerful new writing tools to use with my coaching clients and a new perspective on the important role creativity plays in a healthy, vibrant lifestyle. In addition, Laura’s abilities as a facilitator were remarkable to witness—from her careful choices of evocative writing prompts to her skillful leading of the group. I wholeheartedly recommend Haven to my fellow writers and coaches.”
-- Laura Prochnow Phillips, Chapel Hill, NC www.evolveihc.com
Are you in the corporate world, pining to be refreshed both professionally and personally through the act of writing? Read this amazing testimonial from a Haven Retreat alum. You might find sponsorship from your company!
"If you are an ambitious manager and/or leader hungry for inspiration, change and personal growth, Laura Munson’s Haven Retreat will inspire you to motivate others, build positive change, set your direction and calibrate your compass, manage others with tough empathy and dig deep. My experience with Laura and my participation at Haven Retreat in Whitefish awakened the woman, the leader, the writer and the quiet and tired person inside. In just five days, I learned to trust my inner critic and run free with my pen and paper, sharing amongst a group of Haven participants from the Americas and Canada collaborating with tools of listening, trust and creativity that inevitably unleashed the power of fresh ideas and rediscovery. Haven builds confidence, provokes positive change and growth around ideas, setting direction on a personal course that compliments every avenue in life (career, family, relationships, conflict, pain and happiness). Laura’s retreats also included elements that require individual introspection, group teaming, personal health and very valuable excursions locally that tie personal and professional growth like a beautiful holiday bow and leave you forever changed."
--Melissa A. Azulay, New York, New York
Two years ago I arrived at Haven knowing no one, and I left with lasting friendships. I keep in regular contact with many of these friends, and the support that I've felt from them is unbounded.
--Kristin Meekhof, MI, author of A Widow's Guide to Healing: Gentle Support and Advice for the First 5 Years
Haven in Montan is a magical experience. Trust yourself and the voice that calls you to the "skinny brances" where life is explored, learning is experiential, and meaningful circles emerge.
--Donna Naquien, Covington, LA
To attend one of Laura's retreats is to be swept into a magical writing world. Enveloped in the
majesty of Montana, there is no criticism, no competition, no judgement. If you have any self
doubt, it fades away as she weaves her spell of delight with her approach to writing. As a
beginner, I was hesitant to enroll in a writing course. Visions of my college days came back to
haunt me....then I read the description of her retreat and was hooked...you just need to be a
From the moment I met her, I felt safe. Safe to explore this new pursuit with joy and enthusiasm.
Five days later, I had more information and insight than I could have gathered in semesters. I
had the crafting tools to start a writing practice...all of this in an amazing environment with other
extraordinary women to be my support system.
I have been a teacher for a long time and Laura's ability to reach her students on their individual
level, all while keeping a class on task, is unparalleled. She does it with a grace and warmth that
is rare in the teaching world. The value in what she has to offer is very hard to find in other
places. So go to Montana, go to a Haven Retreat. You won't be sorry and you will wonder why
you didn't go sooner!!!
--Pamela Price, Charleston, NC
Read what Haven Alums are blogging about Haven:
Haven featured on radio:
With Dr. Christiane Northrup on Hay House
Kink FM with Sheila Hamliton
Here is a recent interview which illuminates the power of the Haven experience:
Upgrade Your Story - Interview with Laura Munson
Think Piece Publishing - Interview with Laura Munson
Diet. Check? Exercise. Check? What about Well-being…
Come find your voice at Haven. 2015 now booking.
Writing Retreats Walking Lightly Ranch - Whitefish, MT
Haven has enjoyed two incredible seasons of retreats at Walking Lightly Ranch with hundreds of attendees, beginning in September of 2012. Please enjoy some of their testimonials. Our 2015 schedule is listed above.
Other Haven Retreats
Tubac, AZ - November 2013
Sitka Center of the Arts Otis, OR - September 2012
Radiant Retreat Tulum, Mexico - March 2012
Telluride, CO - January 2014
Boston, MA - January 2014
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - April 2014
One Day Workshops
Ragdale, Lake Forest, IL
Story Studio, Chicago, IL
The Loft, Minneapolis, MN
Thunderhead Writier's Collective, Bozeman, MT
Texas Conference for Woman
Podcast Massachuettes Conference for Woman
Podcast Pennsylvania Conference for Woman
Podcast Writing Workshop Pennsylvania Conference for Woman
Do you want to write something that has its readers do this?
I did. And I want to help you