This class is now over. Interested in upcoming classes and writing workshops?

Check my schedule or send me an email.

Art of the Noun: People, Places, Things & Ideas

A Studio-Workshop For Writers

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
January 2 to 9, 2013

With Marianne Rogoff and Lavinia Spalding

ENJOY the first week of your Feliz Año Nuevo in a studio-workshop designed to animate and enliven your prose. Writing practice, craft conversations, and critique workshops take place on the grounds at our casitas, in walking distance to the lively town center. Start, revise, and aim to finish one new story - fiction or nonfiction - plus take away drafts, ideas, and desire to create more. Present your best draft at a Reading in the Garden at week’s end.

SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE is a safe and vibrant cobblestone town of artists, expats, tourists, and locals set on a high desert plateau at the geographical center of mainland Mexico, with a pleasing climate, colonial architecture, great food and music, a spirited central plaza (called the jardin), parks and hills to walk, and thermal hot springs a short taxi ride away.

FOR YOUR COMFORT: Tucked behind high walls and iron doors, our casitas include private bath, kitchen, drinking water, wireless internet, heat, balconies, and patios around meandering gardens with stone paths, fountains, fish pond, and old towering palms.

OPTIONAL OUTINGS: on January 8, a scheduled free day, you can take a guided tour and hike to recently revealed Cañada de La Virgen Mesoamerican pyramids in the hills southwest of town. During other free times, you might attend Art Walk or open Studios at Fabrica La Aurora, a former textile factory converted into a working center for art and design; go salsa dancing; watch flamenco dancing; visit museums, crafts fairs, and artisan markets; shop till you drop.

Trip Package Includes:

Studio-Workshop Tuition (5 days, January 3-7), consisting of:

- AM guided writing sessions with Marianne

- PM critique workshops with Lavinia

- personally curated text of stories, poems, and essays to inspire your writing

- one-on-one consultations on work-in-progress when desired

- midday siestas to read, write, rest, revise, and roam

- one writing session held at La Gruta hot spring caves

- evening readings by prominent U.S. and Latin American poets at San Miguel Poetry Week

Casita, Seven Nights (triple, double, or single accommodations; your choice, rates below)

Seven Breakfasts at cafe on premises, from a menu of fruit, yogurt, egg burritos, cinnamon French toast, design-your-own omelets, mango-chipotle eggs, jalapeno-cheddar corn-cakes, and other tasty options

Round-Trip Leon Airport Shuttle (comfortable, reliable van service Viajes San Miguel, used many times); fly to Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico, where driver will greet you for transport to town (1.5 hours). An SFo-BJX (Leon) flight will be recommended for group to arrive together, if possible. Please make your own flight reservations.

Trip Package Rates:

Triple $995 (three persons in casita)

Double $1,285 (two persons in casita)

Single $1,675 (one person in casita)

Flight, tips, other meals, and optional outings not included.

The trip is limited to 8 participants, and filling up fast, so please RSVP soon! To reserve your space, please send $500 deposit immediately. The balance is due December 1, unless other arrangements are made.



  • Litcrawl with AFAR magazine
    October 19 2013
    Adobe Books
    san francisco, california

  • Reading at Book Passage for Best Women’s Travel Writing Volume 9
    October 20 2013
    Book Passage
    Corte Madera, CA

  • Weekday Wanderlust’s One Year Anniversary!
    October 23 2013
    Hotel Rex
    San Francisco, CA

  • Travel Writing, UC Berkeley Guest Lecture
    November 5 2013
    San Francisco, California

  • Best Women’s Travel Writing Volume 9: Book Launch Party!
    December 9 - 10 2013
    Brick and Mortar Music Hall
    San Francisco, California

  • Writing The Literary Travel Essay: From Inspiration to Publication
    January 29 to March 5 2014
    The Writers' Grotto
    San Francisco , California

  • Beyond What You Did Last Summer: Teaching Travel Writing
    Thursday February 27 2014
    AWP Conference
    Seattle, WA

  • There She Goes Again: Women Writing Travel
    Friday February 28 2014
    AWP Conference
    Seattle, WA

  • Book Launch Party at The Mount
    June 22 2014
    The Mount
    Lenox, MA

  • The Great Books Summer Program at Stanford
    Wednesday July 9 2014
    Palo Alto, California

  • Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference
    August 14 - 17 2014
    Book Passage
    Corte Madera, California

  • The ROAR Retreat in Costa Rica
    September 25 - 28 2014
    Playa Conchal
    Costa Rica

  • LitCrawl with Travelers’ Tales
    October 18 2014
    San Francisco

  • Machu Picchu Writing Workshop
    November 10 - 15 2014

  • Anthology Night at Weekday Wanderlust
    November 17 2014
    Hotel Rex
    San Francisco, California

  • The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Volume 10 at Diesel Books in Brentwood
    November 18 2014
    Diesel Books
    Brentwood, California

  • The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Volume 10 Reading at Diesel Books in Oakland!
    November 20 2014
    Diesel Books
    Oakland, CA

  • The Best Women’s Travel Writing Comes to Half Moon Bay
    December 5 2014
    Harbor Books
    Half Moon Bay, California

  • Launch for Lonely Planet’s An Innocent Abroad at Book Passage
    December 13 2014
    Book Passage
    Corte Madera, California

  • Writing the Travel Essay: From Inspiration to Publication
    January 8 to February 12 2015
    The San Francisco Writers' Grotto
    San Francisco, California

  • Women’s Travel Fest 2015
    March 1 2015
    San Francisco, California

  • Adventure Travel Stories With an All-Star Line-up
    April 8 2015
    Creekside Room at the Mill Valley Library
    Mill Valley, California

  • The Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference
    August 13 - 16 2015
    Book Passage
    Corte Madera, California

  • “An Evening with Travel Writer Lavinia Spalding”
    Tuesday October 6 2015
    Oshman Family Jewish Community Center
    Palo Alto, California

  • Interviewing the great Don George
    October 23 2015
    The Presidio Officer's Club
    San Francisco, California

  • Writing the Travel Essay: From Inspiration to Publication
    April 13 to May 18 2016
    The San Francisco Writers' Grotto
    San Francisco, CA

  • The Annual Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference
    August 11 - 14 2016
    Book Passage
    Corte Madera , CA

  • Cultivating Compassion through Intentional Journaling
    January 18 2017
    St. Claud Social Club
    New Orleans , Louisiana

  • How to Get an Editor’s Attention
    February 5 2017
    The Women's Travel Fest
    New Olreans, Louisiana

  • The Best Women’s Travel Writing Book Launch Party
    Monday May 15 2017
    Brick and Mortar Music Hall
    San Francisco , CA

  • The Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference
    August 8 - 12 2017
    Book Passage
    Corte Madera

  • Storytelling in Writing: Workday, Inc
    November 7 - 9 2017
    The Marriott
    San Ramon, California

  • Turning the Wheel
    February 26 to March 8 2018
    the Khatmandu Valley

  • There is only one journey: going inside yourself.” –Rainer Maria Rilke