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 a reading by that year’s faculty, silent auction fundraiser, local music and the magic of a Montana summer night.

The following 2022 Elk River Writers Workshop events are open to the public:

Monday, August 8:

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

7-10 pm: Faculty reading with Laura Pritchett, Camille Dungy, and Elise Atchison followed by author signings; and student readings

Tuesday, August 9:

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

7-10 pm: Faculty reading with Beth Piatote, Sean Hill and Marc Beaudin, followed by author signings; and student readings

Wednesday, August 10:

3-4:30 pm: Writing about War with Doug Peacock, Scott Carrier and Elliott Woods

7-10 pm: Faculty reading with Gary Ferguson, Mary Clare, J Drew Lanham, followed by author signings; and student readings

Thursday, August 11: 

6 pm: Gala — more information coming soon!

Find the full 2022 Elk River Writers Workshop schedule here.