Four New Mexico writers workshops are set to inspire

Writers are great lovers. They fall in love with other writers,” Natalie Goldberg says in Writing Down the Bones: Feeling the Writer Within. “That’s how they learn to write. They take on a writer, read everything by him or her, read it over again until they understand how the writer moves, pauses, and sees. That’s what being a lover is: stepping out of yourself, stepping into someone else’s skin.” Attendees of the Santa Fe International Literary Festival may not be just fans; they may be students seeking inspiration and instruction. If Goldberg’s 8 a.m. meditation and author talk on Sunday, May 21, or her Monday, May 22 literary day trip with Katie Arnold aren’t enough to sate this hunger, a handful of New Mexico writers workshops offer retreat-like environments for going deeper with the craft.


In a stark Abiquiú landscape known for inspiring Georgia O’Keeffe, Ghost Ranch offers workshops on a variety of topics, from painting to environmental justice. In 2023 its calendar has already included a writing retreat for women and nonbinary writers, a place-based writing workshop, and a session aimed at expanding the practice of journaling to other creative practices to enhance expression. ghostranch.org


Mabel Dodge Luhan (1879–1962) was known as the host of thought-provoking salons frequented by the likes of D.H. Lawrence and Willa Cather. She was also an arts patron and writer in her own right. Today her Taos home is an inn and conference center that hosts workshops on topics ranging from mixed-media art to illuminated travel journals. In 2023 it hosts workshops in poetry from Ellen Bass and Marie Howe

(May 23–28), a work-focused intensive from Judyth Hill (Aug. 6–11), and a women’s writing group with Nancy Hill (Aug. 21–26). October brings a session dedicated to deepening the writing life with Barbara O’Neil (Oct. 15–20) and a writer’s retreat with Jennifer Loudon (Oct. 22–28). mabeldodgeluhan.com


This Santa Fe–based and online learning establishment offers a Writers Lab that has featured Pulitzer Prize–winning writers. It prides itself on tightknit workshop environments that allow attendees to learn from both their instructors and their peers. Early 2023 workshops have included those devoted to memoir writing and improving drafts of magazine-length works and books. Still ahead for the year, poet Matthew Sigel offers an online workshop in creative writing on May 8–25, and photographer Eddie Soloway presents a workshop aimed at sparking creativity on June 4–9 on the Maine coast. Rounding out the 2023 offerings, Natalie Goldberg presents Three Simple Lines: Writing Haiku and Meditation on Aug. 7–11. santafeworkshops.com


The Society of the Muse of the Southwest (SOMOS) taps into Taos’ creativity bona fides. The nonprofit hosts author readings, workshops, and conferences. The seventh annual Taos Writers Conference runs July 7–9. Tommy Orange, author of Pulitzer Prize finalist There There, serves as keynote speaker and instructor. Other sessions cover memoir writing, character development, writing query letters, and story structure. somostaos.org

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