Writers workshop

The Elk River Writers Workshop embodies the idea that deep, communal experiences with the wild open the door to creativity.

About Elk River’s

Writers Workshop

The Elk River Writers Workshop embodies the idea that deep, communal experiences with the wild open the door to creativity. We bring together some of the most celebrated nature writers in the United States and students who are serious about fostering a connection with the environment in their writing.

Our workshop takes place at Chico Hot Springs resort, thirty-five miles north of Yellowstone National Park, in one of the most wild and beautiful settings in the country, where conservationists, writers and artists have found inspiration for decades.

During our five-day workshop, we offer critiques of student writing, excursions in and around Yellowstone National Park, and a chance to join a community of writers, artists and conservationists who are attempting to tackle climate change in their lives and art.

Our workshop classes take place in the mornings at Chico Hot Springs and are limited to 10 students in each genre: poetry, fiction and nonfiction. In the afternoons, students may select from a menu of excursions with experts in local ecology, wildlife and archaeology. In addition to feedback on manuscripts, students have a chance to interact with established writers, agents and editors at evening readings, panels and during excursions.

Evenings are filled with panel discussions that are open to the public, followed by campfire gatherings and stargazing. The week ends with a Gala event, including readings, an auction fundraiser, local music, and the magic of a Montana summer night.

 

A group meets during the 2021 Elk River Writers Workshop

Check out the many 2022 workshop events that are open to the public.

Unless otherwise noted, all events take place at the Chico Convention Center.

Since Covid is on the rise, we’re asking that everyone wear a mask when indoors and not actively eating or drinking. 

Afternoon panel discussions

Free and open to the public

August 8: Live Recording of How It Looks from Here: Writers’ Personal Viewpoints on Climate Change: Camille Dungy, J. Drew Lanham, Beth Piatote & Pamela Uschuk, moderated by Mary Clare and Gary Ferguson, 1-3 pm

August 9: A Woman’s Place is in the Wild: Mary Clare, Camille Dungy, Laura Pritchett & Beth Piatote, moderated by CMarie Fuhrman, 1:30-3 pm

August 10: Writing about War: Doug Peacock, Scott Carrier & Elliott Woods, moderated by Jamie Harrison Potenberg, 3-4:30 pm

Evening faculty & student readings

Free and open to the public

August 8:

Faculty readings, 7-8 pm: Laura Pritchett, Camille Dungy & Elise Atchison

Student readings in the Garden Pavilion, 8:30-10 pm

August 9: 

Faculty readings, 7-8 pm: Beth Piatote, Sean Hill & Marc Beaudin

Student readings in the Garden Pavilion, 8:30-10 pm

August 10:

Faculty readings, 7-8 pm: Gary Ferguson, Mary Clare & J. Drew Lanham

Student readings in the Garden Pavilion, 8:30-10 pm

Workshop Gala 

The Elk River Writers Workshop culminates with its annual Gala, a big night of readings, music and a fundraising auction at the Chico Hot Springs Convention Center on Thursday, August 11, at 6 p.m. Tickets for this special event are on sale here, and include hearty appetizers, two free drinks, and a full night of entertainment.

Online auction begins Monday, August 1. View and bid on auction items here.