Whidbey Island, Washington, March 1 – 4, 2018

Four days among the owls and the alders with a dozen writers and no technology. Together we will explore the liminal, witness each other’s stories, and live in community.

Sonya Lea leads you in writing exercises designed to leave behind pretence. We will write honestly and directly in a safe setting oriented to your emergence. We will work in whatever form you’re working—fiction or nonfiction—and we’ll focus on a variety of forms and point of view through a series of exercises. This program includes reading work by master writers, and developing craft skills. A few reading assignments will be given in advance of the class.

• Nourishing organic meals
• Japanese soaking tub
• Outdoor shower (indoor tub & shower too!)
• Cordwood sauna
• Acres of wetlands to roam
• Shared bedrooms, kitchen, and deck in Marsh House

We welcome writers at all stages. Some writers come with manuscripts well underway. Others may have a notion of a piece. This retreat is intimate, and our focus is entirely on your work. There will be times for silence on this retreat.

$750 pp - $800 sliding scale

$100 deposit
Remainder due by February 1, 2018
After February 1st, non-refundable.



Banff, Alberta, Canada, June 22 - 24, 2018

How do we author our story as we're living it? How do we restore ourselves in these chaotic times? What stories are trying to emerge? There’s nowhere more spectacular than Canada’s first national park to inquire about the essential questions of your work. Join us on the longest day of the year, in magnificent mountain light, where near Summer Solstice we’ll experience nearly seventeen hours of daylight.

$500 per writer includes workshop and daily lunch | Contact me for recommendations for hotels, lodges & hostels now!

Inquire about Wild Writing In The Canadian Rockies in October 2018.


Moraine Lake near our home in Banff.

Moraine Lake near our home in Banff.


NEW! E-Course

In conjunction with Lidia Yuknavich's Corporeal Writing | Registration open in 2018 | Contact Sonya for details.

Writing Sex

November 11, 2017 | Hugo House | All Levels. | Register Here | This workshop is against writing sex scenes and for writing compelling sex as if we are wholly made of sex; using sex and the body as a way of writing experience. A character’s messy truth is revealed through shame, humor, desire, frankness, obfuscation, and so much more. We will read Lidia Yuknavitch, Marguerite Duras, Erica Jong, Mary Gaitskill, Ian McEwan, and Mary Gordon. Focus is on generative writing and sharing work. ONE SEAT LEFT.

Writing Liminal Experiences

November 18, 2018 | Hugo House | All Levels | Register Here | Liminal means threshold, and liminal experiences are transitional—a suspension in identity, time, or community. We’ll write our way into dreams, ritual, wilderness, birth, death, visions, ghosts, tricksters, crossroads, revolutions, and all kinds of collapses of the status quo. You’ll come away with tools to help you work with the liminal in writing. SOLD OUT.

Retreat In The City

February 24 & 25, 2018 | Full Days | Hugo House | All Levels | Register Here | Can't make it to the wild? Tired of competitive retreat centers? How about designing your own writing retreat in the city? Disconnect from social media, family responsibilities, and anything else that keeps you from your writing. Join me in a class designed to break through barriers to completing your book. This weekend includes prompts, group discussion, private mentoring and time to complete a chapter or an essay. We'll offer silence, and mutual support in a setting designed to generate material.

March 24 & 25, 2018 | Half Days | Hugo House | All Levels | Register Here


Private Consultation | $100/hour

Book Proposal Development | Three to five meetings with assignments | Includes education, research assistance, notes on each section, recommendations.| $100/hour

Manuscript Consultation | I read your manuscript and observe the work as a whole. Our focus together is on your story's perspective, narrative style, characterization, dialogue, language and style, and/or any other areas that call for attention. I help you preserve your voice and vision| $50/hour for reading, and $100/hour for meeting.


Red Badge Project's Writing for Women Veterans
Ongoing Six-Week Course
Thursdays 11am-1pm

Federal Way Veteran Center
32020 32nd Ave S #110, Federal Way, WA 98001
(253) 838-3090

These courses are for active-duty women service members and women veterans. They're for anyone who would like to be with an intimate and private group focused on writing about trauma and life experiences. You do not have to know anything about writing. The group is safe and confidential. We specifically focus on women writers and artists. Dr. Kelly Dickinson at FWVC registers everyone for this program. Red Badge raises funds from donors so there is no cost to any writer attending. If you'd like to know how we work, please consider attending a day-long workshop.

Free | Registration Required



We would like to send twenty WOMEN VETERANS to a weekend retreat each summer. If you would like to sponsor a woman to attend, The Red Badge Project is a non-profit organization.



If you'd like to be considered for a scholarship for any of my in-person or e-courses, please write me a letter indicating your name, contact information, and tell me why you want a scholarship.