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JOIN US

VOICES FOR THE WEST

Writing Workshops &
Community Conversations

February 16-18, 2024

We're thrilled to announce our second-annual workshop series on the edge of Zion National Park! VOICES FOR THE WEST Writing Workshops will take place Friday, February 16 through Sunday, February 18, 2024, in Springdale, Utah. Join us in the heart of redrock country for an inspiring, unforgettable weekend!

Study nonfiction with Craig Childs, poetry with Laura Tohe, or fiction with Laura Pritchett at the doorstep of Zion National Park during this three-day workshop. Generate new work, take risks, and learn from experienced instructors and fellow writers in a supportive and intimate space. The stunning redrock scenery of Springdale, Utah, provides inspiration for poetry, fiction, and nonfiction writers—writers of all levels are welcome. Hone your craft during the day, and enjoy public events and readings with the award-winning instructors in the evenings. Plus, each attendee will gain insider knowledge into the publishing world with Torrey House Press Publisher Kirsten Johanna Allen and Executive Editor Will Neville-Rehbehn.

 

Each workshop will have a maximum of 15 attendees. A limited number of scholarships will be awarded to attendees on the basis of financial need.

MEET THE INSTRUCTORS

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LAURA PRITCHETT

FICTION

LAURA PRITCHETT's sixth novel, Playing with Wildfire, will be released in February by Torrey House Press. She’s also the author of six other novels, two nonfiction books, and editor of three environmental anthologies, and her work has been the recipient of the PEN USA Award, the Milkweed National Fiction Prize, the WILLA, the High Plains Book Award, several Colorado Book Awards, and others. Her best-known novel, Stars Go Blue, has been optioned for TV rights. She’s published over 300 essays and short stories in national venues, most recently in The Sun, Terrain, Camas, Orion, Creative Nonfiction, and others. She directs the MFA in Nature Writing at Western Colorado University and holds a PhD from Purdue University. When not writing or teaching, she can be found sauntering around the West, especially her home state of Colorado.

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CRAIG CHILDS

NONFICTION

CRAIG CHILDS is known for following ancient migration routes on foot throughout the Southwest. He has published more than a dozen books of adventure, wilderness, and science, including the award-winning Tracing Time: Seasons of Rock Art on the Colorado Plateau and Virga and Bone: Essays from Dry Places. He has won the Orion Book Award and the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award, the Galen Rowell Art of Adventure Award, and the Spirit of the West Award for his body of work. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Men's Journal, High Country News, and Outside. The New York Times says "Childs's feats of asceticism are nothing if not awe inspiring: he's a modern-day desert father." He has a BA in Journalism from CU Boulder with a minor in Women's Studies, and an MA in Desert Studies from Prescott College and has taught writing at University of Alaska in Anchorage and the Mountainview MFA at Southern New Hampshire University. He lives outside of Norwood, CO.

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LAURA TOHE

POETRY

LAURA TOHE is Diné, Sleepy-Rock People clan and born for the Bitter Water People clan. She is the current Navajo Nation Poet Laureate. Her books include No Parole Today, Making Friends with Water, Sister Nations, Tséyi, Deep in the Rock, Code Talker Stories, and poetry that have appeared in the U.S., Canada, Chile, and Europe. Her commissioned librettos are Enemy Slayer, A Navajo Oratorio and Nahasdzáán in the Glittering World made its world premiere in France. Among her awards are the 2020 Academy of American Poetry Fellowship; 2019 American Indian Festival of Writers Award; Wordcraft Circle of Native American Writers and Storytellers; the Joy Harjo & Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Fund Award; Arizona Book Association's Glyph Award for Best Poetry and Best Book; and was twice nominated for the Pushcart Award. Many of her poems have been translated into music for piano, guitar, and trumpet. She is Professor Emerita with Distinction from Arizona State University.

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ABOUT OUR HOST

With a convenient location right across the river from Utah’s first national park, CABLE MOUNTAIN LODGE offers first-class amenities, majestic sights, and conference rooms for workshops and presentations.

Workshop attendees will receive discounted room rates at $159/night for a studio, or $189/night for a suite. Simply call the hotel and ask to book rooms using Voices for the West rates.

WORKSHOP DETAILS

TO APPLY | 

Please submit a writing sample of 1,000-3,000 words (if applying for fiction or nonfiction workshop) or three poems (if applying for poetry workshop) in a single Word document. Please name the file with your last name and the writing track you are applying for (i.e.: Lastname_Poetry). Applicants will be informed of registration status by October 20, 2022.

NONFICTION WORKSHOP WITH CRAIG CHILDS | Flow, pattern, turbulence, and volume are intrinsic elements of writing. How you direct them is the story. Using water as our guide, we will workshop select parts of your written samples. We'll also generate new work in short writing sessions. Send in a single written piece from 1,000 to 3,000 words. We will not workshop whole pieces, but selections. Come prepared to read, discuss, revise, and create new material.

POETRY WORKSHOP WITH LAURA TOHE |  Using students’ selected poems and poems written by established poets, we will learn from their work and improve our own writing. Perhaps there will be common themes, images, metaphors, and feelings in our poems as we have made our way through the year, or you might have poems on other topics. In a supportive environment, you will have time to write and revise poems you would be willing to share with the class. You’re invited to attend whether you’re a beginning poet or not.

TUITION | 

After reviewing feedback from the 2023 Voices for the West writing workshop, the biggest takeaway was that attendees wanted more time in workshops. This year, we are offering two full days and an additional morning of workshop time, along with a Publishing 101 course to learn the ins and outs of the industry. Evening events are open to the public. Lunches and light breakfasts will be supplied all three days. Scholarships are available.

  • Early Bird Pricing (through October 15): $625
     

  • Workshop Pricing (after October 15): $700

FICTION WORKSHOP WITH LAURA PRITCHETT | 
Whether your fiction is mostly standard narrative—with some experimental work thrown in—or whether you want to fully approach your work from edgy and experimental angles, this class is for you. In today’s place-based fiction, you’re going to see a lot of edge—the good kind! Not only has the world of place-based writing evolved in terms of content, but it’s also evolved in terms of form. Check out all the flash, episodic, epistolary, listical, and hermit-crab works. New to some of those terms? Never fear! In each session, we’ll: start with a craft talk; share a reading and discuss; try several new forms with built-in writing time; share—and you’ll leave having generated creative, original work by taking stylistic risks.

Reflections from last year's workshop:

"Voices for the West exuded excellence in every way and I have enormous gratitude and deep appreciation for an event that was outstanding in every possible way." 

MORE PRAISE FOR VFTW

"I'm returning from the Voices for the West workshop feeling both shifted and grounded. Working, even briefly, with a community of writers committed to both creative practice and issues of place, space, and environment has challenged and invigorated my writing beyond expectations. If your writing engages with environmental advocacy, human relationships with place, and/or land: the structure, focus, and community Voices for the West provides will benefit you and your work—period."
"The best part of attending Voices for the West was being surrounded by a community of writers that use their words to tell the stories of the places they love and want to protect."
"Whether you are a beginner or long-time practitioner, if you like writing you will love this conference."
 
"The attendees, the faculty, the Cable Mountain Lodge staff, and the Torrey House Press crew were all such a special part of the weekend. This workshop is perfect for writers who are looking to tap into new (or renewed) inspiration, connections, and perspectives while honing their craft. And every writer who feels a connection to the people and places of the west should attend -- this workshop is steeped in the kind of energy that will call your words home."
"I took a course in fiction to step outside my non-fiction comfort zone. Writing in community alongside the Virgin River was inspiring and expanding, an experience I will carry forward with my words for quite some time.
 
"Being in a different part of the country than where I am usually, experiencing the different terrain, seeing how interaction with the land can positively influence my writing, gaining a new appreciation for the land, its history, and what it can show us. I live in the midwest and I usually attend writing workshops elsewhere. It was also great to meet and work with other writers, many of whom are based in the west."
"The best part of attending Voices for the West was the companionship, the wise instruction of the workshop leaders, and just the feeling of being a part of something inspiring and wonderful. Folks should attend at any point in the writing process. This was useful to me at the idea generation phase, and I got so much out of it."
"In the past week, I've approached two manuscripts with renewed energy and focus, drawing on strategies and approaches I learned from my workshop leader and other workshop participants."
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