Shaena Lambert has taught fiction and memoir with The Writers’ Studio at Simon Fraser University, The Humber School for Writers, The Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts (MISSA), the Hollyhock Lifelong Learning Centre, and the Vancouver Manuscript Intensive, as well as providing manuscript consultations and mentoring on a freelance basis.

Writers Shaena has mentored have gone on to publish their books to critical acclaim in Canada and internationally, and won or been nominated for major literary awards including the Governor General’s Award, the BC Book Prize, the George Ryga Award, and been chosen for Best Canadian Stories.

For inquiries regarding manuscript consultation and mentoring, please contact Shaena at

Darrel J McLeod author photo“I had to wait six months for time to become available on Shaena’s mentoring calendar, but having seen her at work in an intensive week long course, during which I experienced the phenomenal transformation of my writing under her coaching and guidance, I knew it would be worth the wait. Shaena takes the role mentor incredibly seriously and shows a rare devotion and commitment to the writers she chooses to work with – to their projects. She becomes deeply involved in the project, yet maintains sufficient distance to remain objective and gently guide and inspire, freely sharing her profound mastery of the craft of writing. The project I worked on with Shaena, my memoir Mamaskatch, went on to win the Governor General’s Award and was a finalist for several other prestigious awards. I credit Shaena for this amazing quantum leap in my writing career and I dream of working with her again to see what can be accomplished now.”

—Darrel J. McLeod, author of Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age. Winner of the Governor General’s Award for non-fiction 2018. Finalist for the Charles Taylor Prize and the BC Book Prize.

Janie Chang author photo“As a writing mentor, Shaena possesses that rare combination of empathy, intuition, and craft that lets her zero in on the strengths and weaknesses in a manuscript. Her advice improved the structure and storytelling impact of my first novel, which went on to become a published work in Canada and internationally. I can’t say enough wonderful things about her influence, which stays with me even now.”

Janie Chang, bestselling author of Three Souls, Dragon Springs Road and The Library of Legends.

Shaena Lambert teaching various attendees outside under a tent on a sunny at 2023's Tapping the Stream, Hollyhock, Cortes Island, BC

Last year’s writing retreat, Tapping the Stream, at the lush, restorative and deeply creative space Hollyhock, on Cortes Island, was a huge success. Writers write deeply into their works-in-progress — often making huge creative leaps — host a salon, talk deeply about craft, nurture their creativity and build community. All while letting their hair down, paddling in the bioluminescence, and spending time in the garden. Poets, memoirists, visual artists and musicians (if engaged in a writing project), and novelists. I co-host this annual retreat with renowned teacher and writer Betsy Warland, winner of the Vancouver City arts award and founding artistic director of SFU’s Writers’ Studio.

2024’s Tapping the Stream is now open for registration. It will take place June 21-28. Follow this link to find out more and/or to register.

“Tapping the Stream is the most wonderful workshop I have ever attended. The facilitators helped me get back to writing after a concussion and encouraged and inspired me to break through an inability to write, after 6 published books. Hollyhock is a magical and healing place for a brilliant and supportive workshop. It’s more than worth the investment.” —Judy Rebick, author and feminist

Carrie Saxifrage author photo“Shaena shares a deep knowledge of process and craft, broad intellectual reach, and unswervingly cleaves to what is important and true. Her manner is generous and full of charm. She gave my book just the exact touch it needed.”

Carrie Saxifrage, author of The Big Swim: Coming Ashore in a World Adrift, finalist for the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness.