IRL Creative Nonfiction Retreat with Pandemic University Faculty

PanU invites you to our inaugural writing retreat — a transformative weekend in Edmonton, where you'll immerse yourself in an all-inclusive journey to develop and hone your nonfiction practice through seminars, group discussions, and personalized one-on-one mentorship.
May 10–13, 2024 (0 of 15 spots available)
SOLD OUT – Join Waiting List for 2025

Costs (all meals included)

No accommodations: $750 🇨🇦 (9 spots available)

Shared accommodations: $1,000 🇨🇦 (3 spots available) 

Single accommodations: $1,250 🇨🇦 (3 spots available)

Payment plans are available on request. Email

Hosted in Edmonton, Alberta from May 10 to 13, 2024, this boutique retreat will hone your creative nonfiction writing through seminars, workshops, and one-on-one time with our award-winning writers Omar Mouallem, Jana Pruden, and Christina Frangou.

Through practical learning, group discussion and one-on-one direction and feedback, our immersive three-day retreat will help you elevate your writing practice with new skills, and a deeper understanding of memoir, literary journalism and essays craft. You’ll also enjoy catered meals and social events, and build long-lasting relationships with your peers in an inclusive, supportive and collaborative environment.

Altogether PanU’s all-inclusive retreat will offer an unforgettable experience that goes above traditional writing retreats, and leaves you inspired and energized, and with a different understanding of your writing practice.

The retreat is at a luxury home in west-central Edmonton with optional but limited accommodations. We’ll give you the address after registration and we’re more than happy to assist with finding external accommodations nearby, though travellers are responsible for their own transportation to Edmonton and the retreat house.

  • Seminars covering a broad range of creative nonfiction skills including research, scenic narrative, and structure
  • Personal mentorship with PanU instructors
  • Peer group workshopping
  • Excellent food, drinks and accommodation
  • Social events
  • Option to share your work at retreat wrap party
  • Writers in the Edmonton area or able to travel to Edmonton on May 10–13, 2024
  • Established and emerging creative nonfiction writers 
  • Writers looking to hone their skills while building community

Not sure it’s for you? Feel free to reach out and ask us directly:

RETREAT SCHEDULE (detailed schedule and mentor booking form will be provided upon registration)

Date: May 10-13, 2024
Location: Boutique private residence with accommodations and event space in Edmonton, Alta.

Friday evening (starts 5 PM)

Arrival, settling in, catered reception and panel discussion with faculty

Saturday (starts 8 AM)

In between catered breakfast and lunch, dive into the craft through scheduled lectures and seminars by PanU faculty; group breakout sessions with exercises and workshops; and individual mentorship meetings. We’ll then move to dinner reservations (meals included with registration but drinks are not).

Sunday (starts 8:30 AM)

See the city during a morning jog or walk with PanU faculty before returning to the retreat house for a catered brunch. After another round of lectures, peer workshops and one-on-one time with your mentors, we’ll have a catered family dinner, book exchange and wrap party.


Coffee, light breakfast and goodbyes.


Travellers are responsible for their own transportation to Edmonton and the retreat house. The exact address and directions to the venue will be provided after registration.


Due to limited space and complex logistics, our retreat’s refund policy is more restrictive than our online programming. Cancellation requests must be made by May 3, 2024, to be eligible for a refund, however, refunds are not guaranteed. Refunds will only be offered if and after the vacated spot is filled by another participant. No refunds whatsoever will be offered after May 3, 2024.Violations of the IRL Code of Conduct (below) may also result in your removal from the retreat without compensation. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.


Although PanU is technically a fake university, we’re committed to upholding values of artistic integrity, quality education, and creating a safe and respectful environment for all writers during our online and IRL events. As safety concerns of our community are paramount, a PanU representative will be present around the clock to ensure the well-being of all retreat attendees. Abusive behavior towards fellow participants or instructors, bigoted remarks, or plagiarism will not be tolerated and may result in immediate expulsion from the retreat without refund. The final decision regarding participation in the retreat rests solely with the PanU staff. Should you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at Thank you for joining us in fostering a supportive and enriching environment for our community.