New Class!

Writing as a Contemplative Practice

Friday, September 21st, 10:00am-5:00pm
GrubStreet HQ
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Level: For Everyone
12 seats max

In this workshop, we will explore what contemplative writing looks like across genres, including lyric essays, poetry, fiction and published journal writing, and we'll engage in contemplative writing together. We'll discuss the ways in which contemplative writing invites both the author and the reader to explore large questions of meaning-making and to stay present. 

We'll look closely at work by writers such as Virginia Woolf, Rainer Maria Rilke, W B Sebald, Emily Dickinson, Lucille Clifton and others; we'll look at specific techniques to avoid the pitfalls of "sentimentality";  how to use heightened language; how to use both the particular and the abstract; and how to work with both what is and what is not said.

While you don't need to be writing in more than one genre, we'll also discuss how reading and learning from different genres can help expand and deepen our work. There will be plenty of time to write from different kinds of prompts, including writing after meditation. 

Come with a project you want to deepen or be led exclusively by the prompts. There will also be time to share work and to get feedback. This full day class is both a workshop and a mini-retreat to jumpstart new writing and to fall in love with the writing process. The class is open to writers of every level and genre who want to expand and deepen their approach to writing and bring new techniques to any genre they're working in.


Nadia Colburn
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Previous Students Say


  • Class Discussion
  • In-Class Reading
  • Lecture
  • In-Class Writing
  • Get Feedback
  • Generate New Work


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction
  • Personal Essay
  • Nonfiction
  • Poetry

Commitment Level



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