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Fearless Creativity: Austin Writing and Meditation Retreat May 28 – June 1, 2023

May 28, 2023 - June 1, 2023


WHAT: A 4-day writing and meditation gathering that’s specifically designed to:

  • Support you to get a lot of writing done
  • Review meditation as a stand-alone practice and a support for creativity
  • Give you the time and space you need to write
  • Offer insights from my 15-year career as both a writer and a teacher
  • Leave you with a 3-step daily at-home meditation and writing practice
  • Demonstrate how your wisdom and creativity respond when you take a break from the busy-ness of everyday life

In addition, there will be an optional evening gathering for all who wish to explore the enneagram!

It is a rare and precious thing to take time for yourself and your voice in this way. Bring your journals, laptops, writing projects, ideas, and intentions.

WHEN: May 28 – June 1, 2023

WHERE: My house in Austin, Texas

COST: $1,750.00

Limited to 13 participants.

(including 1 full scholarship)

Applications are now closed. 

If you would like to join us in October for another in-person event, you can learn more about the Buddhism & The Enneagram retreat in Austin, TX here.


This program is for…

Writers of all kinds, including those who say “I’m not a writer.” (If you’re writing, you’re a writer.)

I have taught Fearless Creativity at residential retreat centers for over a decade. Past attendees have included memoirists, novelists, poets, bloggers, songwriters, screenwriters, and people with a professional commitment to a writing project (like a textbook or a how-to manual).

Participants have completed stories, figured out plot points, started new projects, surprised themselves with a new creative direction, and finally written about what is most important.

This program is for you if you long for the time and space to listen to your own voice and sink into a project with the support of a teacher, a specific schedule, a community, and lots (and lots) of tacos. Not to mention, beautiful weather in Austin.

How does it work?

This program is by application to make sure that our gathering works for all.

We will meet each day at my sweet, sunny home in Austin, Texas. Our days will begin with meditation and then we will settle in for writing. (A detailed schedule is below.) Between the living room, kitchen table, two guest bedrooms, large screened-in porch, and my small meditation and writing studio in the backyard, we will each find a comfortable spot to work.

Where will I stay?

You are responsible for getting yourself to Austin and finding accommodations. Once your application is accepted, I will provide a list of nearby Airbnbs and hotels at a variety of price points.

The house is an easy 15-20 minute drive from the Austin airport.

What about food?

Lunch is included (there will be vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options). Coffee, tea, water, juices, and light snacks will be on hand throughout the day.

Breakfasts and dinners will be on your own. I will provide a list of great restaurants in a variety of neighborhoods, at a variety of price points.

On the last evening, Wednesday, you are invited to a dinner together (included in your fee).

What is the schedule?

The schedule is designed to give you a combination of structured time, personal space, and connection with your fellow writers—and some time to enjoy Austin.

MAY 28

6:30p – 8p Opening session at my house: introductions, overview, discussion


MAY 29

630a – 730a Optional swim at Barton Springs!

9a – 1030a
Meditation, journaling (instruction will be given)

1030a – 1230p
AM personal writing session

1230p – 2p
Lunch (at my house; included)

2p – 230p

2:30p – 4p
PM personal writing session

4pm – 5pm
Discussion: how did your day go?

Dinner: on your own


MAY 30

630a – 730a Optional swim at Barton Springs!

9a – 10a
Meditation, journaling

10a – 12:30p
AM personal writing session

12:30p – 2p
Lunch (at my house; included)

2p – 2:30p

230p – 4p
PM personal writing session

4pm – 5pm
Discussion: how did your day go?

Dinner: on your own OR option to stay for an evening discussion of the enneagram


MAY 31

630a – 730a Optional swim at Barton Springs!

9a – 10a
Meditation, journaling

10a – 12:30p
AM personal writing session

12:30p – 2p
Lunch (at my house; included)

2pm – 2:30pm

2:30p – 4p
PM personal writing session

4p – 5p
Discussion: how did your day go?

5:30p Dinner together at True Food Kitchen (included)


630a – 730a Optional swim at Barton Springs!

9a – 10am
Meditation, journaling

10a – 12p
AM personal writing session

12p-130p  Lunch (at my house; included)


Cost and other details

Included: The retreat fee is $1750 and includes practice and study that unfold from Sunday – Thursday. We will spend about 25 hours of retreat time together. Lunches, snacks, tea, and coffee are included as well as dinner on Wednesday, May 31st. (We will go somewhere with options for vegetarians.)

Not Included: Other meals, travel, and accommodations. I will make a list of great places to eat and listen to music—Austin is such a wonderful place and I want these retreats to be both deeply serious and completely joyful.

Retreat is a precious opportunity to disconnect from the day-to-day and give your wisdom mind and loving heart a chance to relax, open, and discover something deeper. I look forward to accompanying you on the journey.

These retreats are small and personal to ensure a cohesive group.


To apply for a scholarship:

Scholarship applications are now closed; all applicants have been notified of award status.

From past participants in Susan’s in-house retreats:

I had an incredible experience attending the meditation retreat with Susan Piver held in Austin this June. I was skeptical that a non-facility event would create a similar atmosphere and connections made at a facility designed for retreats. The intimacy of being in someone’s home and Susan’s abilities made this the best retreat I have attended. We became a group of people that might not have ever joined to gather under any other circumstances that bonded under Susan’s guidance and we all accomplished what we needed to for that time. It was a special retreat that will stay with me. –Joell, Longwood, FL

Being in Susan’s home with 12 others opened me and my heart…It was the perfect container and helped me to connect the way my meditation practice has supported me and carried me through some of the hardest times of my life.  It is what has opened my heart and softened me in a way that allows me to bring love and compassion to people and experiences in a way that I don’t think I would have been able to otherwise. –Barb, Livonia, NY

Will I need a car?

It depends where you stay. I live in the heart of South Austin right on a bus line. It is also easy to call Uber or Lyft. The house is 2 miles from downtown Austin, so plan accordingly if you’d like to stay there.

What should I bring?

Bring your journal, laptop, and comfortable clothes for lengthy sittings and writing sessions. I will supply meditation cushions, chairs, and whatever is needed for group meditation practice.

If you want to go swimming with me in the mornings, pack a bathing suit and towel. (There will be time after our swim to go back to where you’re staying to shower and change.)

What is included in the price?

  • 4 program days of writing, meditation, and community (and fun…you can’t come to Austin and not have fun)
  • Meditation instruction and conversation about spirituality
  • 4 lunches (healthy, with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options)
  • Coffee, tea, juices, water, light snacks throughout the day
  • An evening enneagram workshop
  • Dinner on the evening of May 31st
  • Meaningful conversation with Susan and your fellow writers
  • A chance to finally get your project moving

What is the refund policy?

A refund will be offered (minus the deposit) if you cancel by April 25, 2023.

What if I have other questions?

Email us! Happy to answer any questions.


Where is your house? What neighborhood is it in?

The house is on Powell Circle in South Austin, just south of Oltorf and South First streets.

Residential and quiet but very close to restaurants, shops, and the nightlife of South Congress Ave (aka “SoCo.”)



Can you hook me up with a roommate to help defray some of the expense?

Maybe. The application form has a space to indicate if you’d like a roommate. If there is more than one of you who does, I’ll introduce you and you can take it from there.

Will Susan read and critique my work?

No. I will supply the time, space, environment, and rhythm for you to write your heart out, but I am not a writing teacher. Rather, I’m a well-published author who has some sense of the vagaries of the writing life (including the path to being published). I’m happy to share what I’ve learned along the way to support you.

If there are those who want to get together on their own in the evenings to share work, that is an option.

I love the idea of a morning swim. Will it be cold? How will I get there and is there a fee?

Barton Springs is a huge in-town, spring-fed pool and it is truly my happy place. The water is 68 degrees year-round. There is a huge parking lot. It is a short Uber/Lyft ride from either my neighborhood or downtown Austin. (Especially at 6:30am!) There is no fee before 8:00 am.

Will I have to come to your house in my wet bathing suit?

No, there will be time to get back to wherever you’re staying to shower and change.

Where will we go to eat on May 31st?

We will be going to True Food Kitchen in Austin.

Hope to see you there! Love, Susan

If you have any questions, please contact us, here.


May 28, 2023
June 1, 2023
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