Home Upcoming Events The Art of Aging: Contending with Time in the Personal Essay with Marcia Aldrich G221032

The Art of Aging: Contending with Time in the Personal Essay with Marcia Aldrich G221032

We have all aged, no matter what our age. For most of us aging is a land we never wanted to visit. Some may live in denial, but most of us are trying to acclimate ourselves to this new reality. Much of our literature concerns the stories of youth and beginnings. This workshop believes the experience of aging has its own stories that are worth our attention.

In this communal setting, we will ask what are the stories we want to tell of our experience and begin telling them. Writing about aging is of course writing about time; how much do we get and what shall we do with it.

  • Where are we in the stream of time and what anchors us, relationships, beliefs, purpose?
  • What are our challenges and can we write about them in compelling, artful ways?

Through in-class exercises and prompts, we will explore our own truths, quirky, funny, dark, challenging, and perhaps unresolved.

Through readings of what others have written and discussion we will explore many aspects of growing older, what our culture tells us, feelings and attitudes, physical and mental health, the role of humor, relationships and loneliness, finding purpose, and even death, with the goal of producing essays that can be workshopped, revised, and shared.

At this time masks are optional in indoor spaces. Proof of covid vaccination or negative test within 72 hours of arrival at Ghost Ranch. Both policies are subject to change. Sample: Lodging options for 6-night workshops range from dorm-style $684 to private bath $1,074 which includes room and meals for the first person occupying the room. If you are sharing the room with a family member or trusted travel companion, the second occupant should register for their workshop separately and choose the "commuter" or "2nd+ person sharing a room option" in lieu of a lodging option. This will help ensure that all participants are included in meal counts, and placed in the correct workshop in order to receive the pertinent follow-up information.


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If you need shuttle service, please reach out to Kevin at White Buffalo Shuttle 831.359.8077/ |  nivek @cruzio.com

No notes for this event

Virtual Events: Payments made for Virtual Events are non-refundable. If you are unable to attend the event, recordings will be made available to you after the event. For events with multiple sessions, every attempt will be made to make the session(s) available to you before the next scheduled session.

In-Person Events: During this Covid-19 pandemic period, written notification must be received no later than 45 days prior to the start date of your workshop in order to receive a refund, minus a $100 processing charge. No refunds will be processed after that time. We reserve the right to announce a change in leadership or cancel any program 45 days prior to the first day of the workshop. In that event, you may transfer to another workshop without charge or we will refund the full workshop payment. Many participants have found it helpful to purchase travel insurance. This cancellation policy does not apply to January term. If the cancellation is Covid-related and is received less than 45 days prior to your start date, your funds will be left on deposit for another ghost ranch workshop or future stay or you can make it a full donation to support us through this unique business period.

Ghost Ranch Scholarship Request

Thank you for your interest in applying for a Ghost Ranch scholarship. The typical scholarship amount is $100-350. We are able to grant more scholarships in the winter, spring and late fall seasons than we are in the summer months. 

You will receive a copy of your scholarship form after you submit it and should hear back from Ghost Ranch about your application within a 10 working days. If you have additional questions, please reach out to Robin Keck, robingk@ghostranch.org.



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What day/time does the workshop start and end?

In-person workshops begin with check-in at 3:00 p.m. and a ranch orientation in the evening on the first date listed for the course and end at 10:00 a.m. with checkout on the last date listed.

Virtual workshops will have a varied schedule that is identified within each workshop description.

During Covid safety period - single occupancy lodging is the standard
  • During Covid-19 periods, all lodging types will be single occupancy at no additional charge. Of course, you can share a room with a spouse, partner, family or another person that shares your full-time residence. The extra folks that share a room will pay for workshop registration fees and meals.
What is the difference between a room with private bath, a room with semi-private or shared bath, and a room with communal/dorm bath?

Private bath refers to the type of bathroom, not single occupancy

Private Bath Room: There is a bathroom in that one room that is not shared between or with any other rooms. The highest rate tier of Ghost Ranch lodging.

Semi-private/shared: There is a bathroom between two rooms that is shared by the occupants of the two adjoining sleeping rooms. These rooms will only be used as family or group suites, not to be shared by unknown neighbors as in the past.

Communal/dorm: There is a communal bathroom/shower in the lodging building and participants will need to exit their room to reach these facilities.

Click here to learn more about lodging at Ghost Ranch



  • Marcia Aldrich
    Marcia Aldrich

    Marcia Aldrich is the author of the free memoir Girl Rearing, published by W.W. Norton and selected as a Barnes and Noble Discover New Writers Series. She has been the editor of Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction, one of the premiere literary journals featuring personal essays and memoirs. Companion to an Untold Story won the AWP Award in Creative Nonfiction, selected by Susan Orlean. Several of her essays have been included in the Best American Essays series. She is the editor of Waveform: Twenty-First-Century Essays by Women published by The University of Georgia Press. Waveformessays.wordpress.com.. She was named Distinguished Professor of the Year by the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan.


Oct 08 - 14 2022



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