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2020 Writing Retreats at Ghost Ranch

“I can shake off everything as I write;
my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”
Anne Frank

Putting pen to paper can be a cathartic and transformative ritual; couple the ages-old rite with the powerful and centering landscape of Ghost Ranch, and an incredible opportunity arises. One that can create new perspective. Or calm the mind. Or maybe even change your life.

We are offering several writing retreats that will allow you the literal and figurative space to shape ideas into words and words into prose. 


Write for Your Life: An Amherst Writers and Artists Workshop
January 26 – January 31

This is a lively, in-depth writing retreat, based on the acclaimed Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA) method developed by Pat Schneider, described in her book, “Writing Alone and With Others” (Oxford University Press), and offered by more than 1,000 workshop and retreat leaders internationally.

Together as participants in Write for Your Life!, we will foster a community of support, enabling you to write freely and go deep. Unique to this workshop is that we will write in community in a setting that supports creative risks. We will write in response to suggested prompts, and you will receive feedback on what is strong and memorable in your first-draft writing.

Writing Your Story of Loss & Transformation
February 23 – February 28

Have you experienced a profound loss that changed everything? You long to share your story, but don’t know how to begin to articulate something so holy and mysterious, so beautiful and terrible? You are not alone. Whether we experience the death of a loved one, a serious health diagnosis, or the loss of a job, a community or a way of life, radical change can shatter our foundation and open us to vast new inner landscapes. Enjoy five days of writing exercises, deep dialogue and meditation. Emerge from Writing Your Story of Loss & Transformation with a revitalized connection to the core of your experience and a fearless voice to tell about it.

Writing The Wild: Eco Poetry In A Time Of Climate Change, A Poetry Intensive
March 22 – March 27

This writing intensive will concentrate on writing eco poetry inspired by the landscape and cultures in and around Ghost Ranch. Each class will include a writing prompt and discussion of model poems.

Each day will include an encouraging discussion of participant poems. The generative poetry writing intensive will focus on writing techniques such as figurative language, sound imagery and uses, line breaks, fresh imagery as well as how to write eco poems and eco justice poems without being didactic. For inspiration, we will take short hikes to explore the incredible wild beauty of Ghost Ranch. American Book Award-winning poet, editor, environmental activist, and Black Earth Institute Fellow, Pamela Uschuk will lead the intensive.

Writing for Self-Discovery: A Women’s Retreat at Casa del Sol
April 19 – April 24

Come to a safe space to find your most authentic voice and your truest words in writing. We’ll use contemplative practices such as meditation, silent hikes on your own, guided journaling, and art to coax your awareness, self-compassion and creativity. Emerge refreshed from the weekend with a renewed sense of yourself and artifacts from your journey.

Feminine Heart: Spiritual Writing & Chanting
June 7 – June 11

Inter-spiritual author and speaker Mirabai Starr and renowned “Kirtan Wali” (devotional singer) Nina Rao come together to lead an ecstatic immersion into the waters of sacred music and transformational writing in honor of the Divine Mother. We will explore the wisdom of women mystics across the spiritual landscape, respond to evocative writing prompts, sing simple call-and-response chants from the Hindu and Buddhist traditions, and share our reflections in both small groups and the full workshop community.

Fall Writing Festival 

October 4 – October 10

Maps, Journeys, and Geographies
Likely Suspects: Writing the Comic Murder Drama
Saints and Aint’s
What the Poem Wants
Finding Resilience thru Poetry and Nature
Art of Aging: Contending with Time in the Personal Essay

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