The True Secret of Writing: A Sit, Walk, Write Retreat

Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States

Oct 1 - Oct 4, 2018


SCHOLARSHIP:None Available

CONTACT: Writers Lab at Santa Fe Workshops
PHONE: (505) 983-1400, ext. 111

Settle into autumn and let the season of harvest and of transformation inform and support your writing as you learn what it means to show up for yourself and your writing, and learn to show up, shut up, and write.

This True Secret of Writing retreat invites us to settle into autumn and let the season of harvest and of transformation inform and support our writing. Just as the yellowing of aspen trees reminds us of the passage of time, it also encourages us to see each moment as an opportunity to continuously turn, face, and accept the vibrancy of our own existence, no matter how ordinary and boring we think it may be. In this retreat we cultivate a field of kindness toward ourselves and our imperfect lives so that we can write what disturbs us, what we fear, what we have not been willing to speak about—what we really thought/think about our fathers, the guilt of not measuring up to a lover’s expectations, our lifelong desire for approval, our great pleasure in summer, our need to see the world clearly before we go and realize moment by moment matters, or even this cup of tea, is the whole universe.

During our intimate time together we do sitting meditation, slow walking, and plenty of timed writings. We also have book discussions and space for deep listening—to yourself and others—in small and large groups. We spend each day in gentle silence from wake-up until 4:30 p.m. There is free time to write on your own, take a nap, or walk. Bring fast writing pens, notebooks, and beginner’s mind. A reading list is sent to students in advance.


This program is open to writers of all levels.


A reading list will be sent to participants once the workshop is confirmed.


Add on-campus housing! A single room with private bath is $450 per person for five nights. Or share a double room, with private bath, with a friend for $300 per person for five nights.


Tuition includes a meal plan of breakfast and lunch Monday- Thursday, and a closing dinner on Thursday evening.


Featured Writers Include:

Natalie Goldberg


Creative nonfiction


50 Mt. Carmel Rd.
Santa Fe
New Mexico, United States

Santa Fe Writers Lab

In the Santa Fe Writers Lab education programs we hold values of community, craft, and the creative process in the highest regard. With our collaborative and affirming environments, a passion for writing and storytelling—and a hunger for shared experience—are the most important ingredients.

Rolf Potts, Hampton Sides, Natalie Goldberg and others renowned in the literary world, provide daily lessons on the art and craft of writing in a variety of genres and travel destinations. In quiet settings, they encourage constructive conversation and motivate you to muse and write.

Our private campus in Santa Fe has long been a sanctuary for learning and study. We share this enchanted place with a neighboring Carmelite Monastery. Dramatic views of the surrounding Jemez and Sangre de Cristo mountain ranges, warm sunshine, cool mountain air, beautiful courtyards, access to hiking trails, convenient on-campus lodging—and a private caterer to provide fresh, healthy meals—are the elements that converge to make this the perfect place in Santa Fe to find inspiration and hone your craft.

In Cuba, our home is Convento Santa Brigida, a beautifully restored convent in the heart of Old Havana. Featuring simple but comfortable accommodations, light-filled group meeting spaces, a breakfast room, a library, a chapel, and Italian nuns as our lovely hosts, this convent is a serene base to reflect and write.

Whether you are joining us in enchanting Santa Fe, or dynamic Havana, the Writers Lab provides you with a hub of creativity and community, extraordinary instructors, supportive staff, and the opportunity to take your writing to the next level.