Researching and Crafting a Compelling Biography

Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States

Sep 21 - Sep 21, 2018


SCHOLARSHIP:None Available

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

Spend a day with an award-winning biographer exploring all aspects of one of the most dynamic forms of nonfiction.

Since 1975, when Robert Caro published his path-breaking account of Robert Moses’s life, the craft of biography has been transformed into one of the most dynamic and popular forms of nonfiction.

During this one-day workshop, accomplished biographer James McGrath Morris illuminates all aspects of writing a biography, beginning with a focus on research. He provides in-depth instruction on locating the material necessary to construct a biography; using electronic sources, such as digitized collections of newspapers; and evaluating and managing primary documents, the amount of which can often be overwhelming.

From there, we turn to craft, examining techniques and strategies for getting your ideas down on paper. Participants are taken step by step through the writing process, from creating an outline of the work to employing the appropriate literary devices, including creating scenes, using quotations effectively, and driving a narrative forward with tension. James also offers specific advice and feedback on participants’ individual projects.

By the close of the day, you are well equipped to research and write a compelling biography.


This program is open to writers of all levels.


Enrollment limited to 16 writers.


Tuition includes one lunch.


Featured Writers Include:

James McGrath Morris


Creative nonfiction


50 Carmel Road
Fatima Hall
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.