Taos Writing Intensive - Oct. 18-22, 2023

Sink into your writing in a soul-stirring place that has inspired writers and artists and photographers for years. This intensive gives you time to write with mentored 1:1 support. It’s perfect if you want to finally finish a draft or go deep into revision.

Taos Writing Intensive - Oct. 18-22 2023

Sink into your writing in a soul-stirring place that has inspired writers and artists and photographers for years. This intensive gives you time to write with mentored 1:1 support. It’s perfect if you want to finally finish a draft or go deep into revision.

Taos Writing Intensive - Oct. 18-22, 2023

Sink into your writing in a soul-stirring place that has inspired writers and artists and photographers for years. This intensive gives you time to write with mentored 1:1 support. It’s perfect if you want to finally finish a draft or go deep into revision.

Taos Writing Intensive - Oct. 18-22, 2023

Sink into your writing in a soul-stirring place that has inspired writers and artists and photographers for years. This intensive gives you time to write with mentored 1:1 support. It’s perfect if you want to finally finish a draft or go deep into revision.

Taos Writing Intensive in Taos, New Mexico – Oct. 18-22, 2023

A writing retreat with 1:1 and 1:2 mentored support, craft talks and time to write

Facilitated by memoirist/novelist/essayist Carolyn Dawn Flynn, the Story Catalyst, and writer/poet Jona Kottler

The painters came for the light. The writers came for the way this place stirs the soul. Join us in Taos, New Mexico, for five days and four nights of inspiring craft talks tailored to your work, mentored support and a vibrant writer community. 

This intensive is ideally suited for writers who want to go deeper into their work. If you’ve yearned for time and inspiration to dive in and explore a long-cherished project, re-Vision a draft or finally get really real on a project, this retreat will is tailored for you. We’ll guide you in your skill, vision and process with tools and practices, passion and compassion. 

Whether you’re writing fiction or creative nonfiction or hybrid, whether you’re developing essays or a book-length memoir, whether you’re writing short stories or a novel, whether you’re writing a screenplay or poetry, this intensive retreat is designed to help you deepen and refine your work-in-progress, emerging with clarity and vision.

We will provide a mentored critique, individual consultations and craft talks that will help you design your writing plan for each day.

Every day will launch with a series of prompts for writing with intent, building pivotal and memorable scenes that are the vital underpinning of story. 

Included are writing immersions in the soul-stirring place that is Taos such as art galleries, Taos Pueblo and the Rio Grande Gorge.

THINKING ABOUT IT? WANT TO MEET US AND ASK QUESTIONS?

Join us for an upcoming zoom call where you can tell us about your project and get all the answers to your questions. 

WHO WE ARE

Acclaimed writer and TEDx speaker Carolyn Dawn Flynn and award-winning American writer and educator Jona Kottler are your facilitators.

 

ABOUT CAROLYN

carolynflynn.com    |     Memoirist, novelist and essayist Carolyn Dawn Flynn was longlisted for the Mslexia International Memoir Prize for Boundless, a becoming-of-age memoir, and shortlisted for the Elixir Press First Novel Prize for Searching for Persephone.

Her essays have been published in Fourth Genre, Under the Gum Tree, The Colorado Sun, The Tampa Review, The Whitefish Review (Montana Prize for Fiction), Albuquerque Journal, Sage Magazine, Albuquerque the Magazine and Wilde Frauen.

Known as The Story Catalyst, Carolyn Flynn is the winner of the 2014 Rick Bass/Montana Prize for Fiction for “Pretend”, author of “Resurrection,” published in Fourth Genre. An excerpt from Searching for Persephone (“First Cut”) appears on The Write Launch, and excerpt from her novel-in-progress I Don’t Remember It That Way appears on The Petigru Review. I Don’t Remember It That Way was a 2021 finalist in the Tucson Festival of Books.

See her TED talk, “Tell a Better Story, Live a Better Life” here.

 

ABOUT JONA

jonathakottler.com | Jonatha Kottler is an American writer and educator from Albuquerque, NM, recently based in Scotland.

Her work has appeared in Nasty Women and in publications including The Guardian and NY Magazine.

She holds an MFA in Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts and graduated from the Book Project at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop. She is completing her first novel.

She teaches in the honors program at the University of New Mexico and serves on the board of directors of the New Mexico Humanities Council.

 

WHERE WE’LL STAY

Sign up by Aug. 15 to get the a special offer of the Kinda Early Bird Rate

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OLD TAOS GUESTHOUSE INN

This 200-year-old adobe hacienda has been lovingly restored to create a boutique New Mexico bed and breakfast. Many rooms feature sitting areas (inside or on patios) and cozy kiva fireplaces. You’ll find so many nooks and crannies in which to write!

The inn is located less than two miles east of Taos Plaza (30 minutes to the world class Taos Ski Valley) situated on 7.5 acres of park-like gardens and farmland with spectacular views and many private spots in which you can relax and reflect.

Guest rooms feature the Southwest charm with beamed ceilings, kiva fireplaces, private patios, skylights, Mexican tile baths hand carved doors and furniture, private outdoor entrances, private baths and sophisticated decor.  A delicious homemade southwestern full breakfast is served each morning.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

WRITING MENTORING AND SUPPORT

  • Morning workshops on writing craft, customized to your writing style and vision
  • Story mapping and scene-building exercises
  • Mentor-led consultations on your work
  • Writing prompts designed for your project
  • Time to write, write, write!

LODGING, FOOD AND ACCOMMODATIONS

  • 4 nights/5 days lodging at Old Taos Guesthouse Inn
  • Southwestern breakfast every morning
  • Welcome evening with heavy hors d’oeuvres at no-host bar
  • One two-course dinner (New Mexican cuisine)
  • One three-course dinner
  • One boxed lunch

TRANSPORTATION & TICKETS

  • Museum admission to Harwood Art Center
  • Museum admission to Millicent Rogers Museum

* Airfare NOT included!

SUPER EARLY BIRD RATE

BY FEB. 15

 

$1,995

PRETTY EARLY BIRD RATE

BY MARCH 15

 

$2,095

KINDA EARLY BIRD RATE

BY JUNE 1

 

$2,195

STANDARD RATE

AFTER JUNE 1

 

$2,295

Hurry! This retreat will fill up fast!

NONREFUNDABLE DEPOSIT OF $995 secures your spot. REMAINING BALANCE to be paid by SEPT 15, 2023.  Pay your deposit on EventBrite here to secure your spot. After you pay your deposit, you’ll be notified about paying the balance in installments through SquareUp.


All rates are based on single occupancy.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What’s included in the tuition?

WRITING MENTORING AND SUPPORT

  • Morning workshops on writing craft, customized to your writing style and vision
  • Story mapping and scene-building exercises
  • Mentor-led consultations on YOUR work
  • Writing prompts designed for YOUR project
  • Time to write, write, write!

LODGING, FOOD AND ACCOMMODATIONS

  • 4 nights/5 days lodging at Old Taos Guesthouse Inn in Taos, New Mexico
  • Southwestern breakfast every morning
  • Welcome evening with heavy hors d’oeuvres at no-host bar
  • One two-course dinner (New Mexican cuisine)
  • One three-course dinner
  • One boxed lunch

TRANSPORTATION & TICKETS

  • Museum admission to Harwood Art Center
  • Museum admission to Millicent Rogers Museum

* Airfare NOT included!

What’s not included?

Airfare to New Mexico

Rental car or airport shuttle (rental car recommended)

Three lunches

One dinner

What are the accommodations like?

FROM THE OLD TAOS GUESTHOUSE INN website

Welcome to historic Taos and our 200 year old adobe hacienda Inn that has been lovingly restored to create a beautiful northern New Mexico bed and breakfast. Our location is less than two miles east of Taos Plaza (30 minutes to the world class Taos Ski Valley) situated on 7.5 acres of park-like gardens and farmland with spectacular views and many private spots in which you can relax and reflect.

Our 10 guest rooms feature the charm of the Southwest with beamed ceilings, kiva fireplaces, private patios, skylights, Mexican tile baths hand carved doors and furniture, private outdoor entrances, private baths and sophisticated decor.  We serve a delicious homemade southwestern full breakfast each morning before you head out to explore the historic Taos community and its many outdoor adventures.

What kind of food will be served?

Breakfast will be a Southwestern breakfast

Canapes and drinks on the first night. The menu will be posted soon. And to be sure, we’ll be promoting it with delicious images on Instagram.

Dinner menus also will be posted, and with photos on Instagram.

Snacks and beverages will be available throughout the day. We’ll be holding most meetings at the Old Taos Guesthouse Inn.

When should I arrive?

We begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, with canapes and a no-host bar, featuring readings by our co-facilitators.
We strongly recommend arriving in New Mexico earlier, by even a day or two, because of challenging air travel in the age of a pandemic, and because New Mexico is worth it!

We also strongly recommend considering coming to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta ahead of the retreat and enjoying seeing the blue sky fill with 800 hot-air balloons. It’s awe-inspiring. Dates for the balloon fiesta in 2023 are Sat, Oct 7, 2023 – Sun, Oct 15, 2023. For more, go to https://balloonfiesta.com/.

May I check in late?

Yes, just let us know — and let Old Taos Guesthouse Inn know.

May I check in grumpy?

No. Only good cheer and great attitudes are welcomed here! We stand ready to give you a warm New Mexico welcome and lift you up so you can do your best writing here.

When I arrange the flight, what’s my best city destination?

Best option is Albuquerque International Sunport. It is advised to rent a car.

You may also fly into Santa Fe.

If you are not renting a car, there are SuperShuttles from the Albuquerque airport to points in Taos.

Is it necessary to rent a car?

We strongly recommend it! Also the drive up, whether you take the main route to Taos or treat yourself to the High Road to Taos, is stunning

What should I pack?

New Mexico in October can be like second summer—or like fall. Or like winter. You could easily get three seasons through the week. For that reason, we advise dressing in layers. And don’t forget the extras — gloves, hats, scarves.

Even if we luck out with warm weather, we may want to sit around the firepit at night, and it can get quite chilly. Remember, that in the desert, it can drop 20-30 degrees from day to night.

Bring a sweater or super-warm down jacket for evenings. 

Pack sunscreen, and a water bottle that you fill up and drink from constantly. It’s vital to stay hydrated in the high desert.

Definitely bring a sun hat and sunglasses. Do be prepared to go outdoors in all weather—that’s part of the experience. And remember, many rooms have kiva fireplaces.

Remember that this is high altitude, so stay hydrated! And if you’re not used to running a marathon at 7,000 feet above sea level, we do not encourage you to start now!

What kind of physical condition do I need to be in?

This retreat is suitable for most people. If you are over 50 or have a medical issue, it’s advisable to get travel insurance.

What about the spa treatments?

Old Taos Guesthouse does not have a spa, but if you’re hoping to add such a thing to your trip to New Mexico, we recommend adding extra days so you can go to Ten Thousand Waves in Santa Fe, Ojo Caliente or Ojo Santa Fe or Betty’s Bath and Day Spa in Albuquerque.

What are your COVID practices and policies?

We expect you to understand that we want to provide everyone at the retreat with a safe experience, as do Old Taos Guesthouse Inn and the state of New Mexico.

We also expect you to understand that everything about this pandemic is rapidly evolving and could change in directions we cannot predict.

What we can say now is that we reserve the right to ask all retreat participants to present proof of up-to-date vaccination and a COVID-free test, should a new outbreak occur or new conditions emerge.

We also expect you to observe City of Taos and Old Taos Guesthouse social distancing and masking guidelines while in public areas, should those be implemented.

 

What is your smoking policy?

No smoking allowed

What is your refund policy?

While we recognize that life has its disruptions, we have a strict refund policy. We must do this because we commit to a contract for accommodations, food and other costs once bookings are taken for a retreat. In addition, we incur costs when we are required to re-advertize the retreat when bookings are cancelled.

So here’s the policy, and make sure you read carefully! 

All deposits are non-refundable and cannot be held over to future retreats.

If you cancel within three months of the retreat, the remainder of your payment (minus the deposit) will be refunded ONLY if a replacement is found to take your place. Naturally, you probably know that it becomes increasingly difficult and less likely as a retreat approaches to find substitutes who can both pay and travel at short notice.

No refunds are possible if you cancel within two weeks of the retreat.

If you register as an early bird, you do have more options. Though we cannot refund your deposit, you may receive a one-hour consultation with one of the retreat mentors.

If we have to cancel, all payments will be returned in full.

Is there a place to get margaritas and green chile enchiladas?

This is New Mexico! Yes, of course! Remember, the state question is, “Red or green?”

Is there an ancient Native pueblo nearby?

Yes, and we hope to take you to Taos Pueblo.

WHAT WRITERS SAY
ABOUT OUR RETREATS

The instructors worked so well together and brought a great balance. You two were amazing!

This retreat created a powerful space for me to not only write but to also explore my writing life and perspective.

I’ve never had the nerve to read my fiction out loud in front of people. I am so grateful for the gift of being able to face that fear in a supportive environment. I felt real support.

I feel inspired, activated and valued as a writer. {Highlights of the retreat were} the connection among us, the location, the country and the resort.

The scenery enhanced everything about the writing experience.

The writing prompts made all the difference!

It was above and beyond.

I was looking to tighten my book, and I left with great ideas.

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE BY APPLICATION

Are you an alumnus or student of the Spalding MFA in Writing or Institute of American Indian Arts MFA in Writing program? We offer one partial scholarship to Spalding friends (because Carolyn is an alum and it was one of the top decisions she’s ever made) and IAIA friends (because Jona is an alum and considers it one of the top decisions she’s ever made).

Are you a journalist? We offer one partial scholarship to a journalist, because Carolyn has been a working journalist since she was 17 and was a longtime journalism academic at the University of New Mexico. “I know your work ethic. I know your commitment to the truth,” she says. “If you have a culturally resonant book idea, then I want to help you get it out into the world.”

TO APPLY: Please send a one-paragraph synopsis of your project and the first 10 pages. Tell us how you qualify for a partial scholarship and how this will help you get momentum for your project.

Send via the email form below.

If you are awarded a partial scholarship, we’ll send you a coupon code that you can use for checkout on EventBrite.

Apply for one of our partial scholarships here

1 + 5 =

I found out that the sunshine in New Mexico could do almost anything with one: make one well if one felt ill, or change a dark mood and lighten it. It entered into one’s deepest places and melted the thick, slow densities. It made one feel good. That is, alive.

Mabel Dodge Luhan

Edge of Taos Desert

When we show up to make art, we need to get still enough to hear what wants to be expressed though us, and then we need to step out of the way and let it. We must be willing to abide in a space of not knowing before we can settle into knowing.

Mirabai Starr

Wild Mercy

We are touched by magic wands. For just a fraction of our day life is perfect, and we are absolutely happy and in harmony with the earth. The feeling passes much too quickly. But the memory – and the anticipation of other miracles – sustains us in the battle indefinitely.

John Nichols

Author of The Milagro Beanfield War, A Fragile Beauty: John Nichols' Milagro Country: Text and Photographs from His Life and Work

When I got to New Mexico, that was mine. As soon as I saw it that was my country. I’d never seen anything like it before, but it fitted to me exactly. It’s something that’s in the air, it’s different. The sky is different, the wind is different. I shouldn’t say too much about it because other people may be interested and I don’t want them interested.”

Georgia O'Keeffe