A Journey Into Personal Travel Writing

Santa Fe Workshops
April 26 to May 13, 2021

I'm so happy to announce a new online class I'm teaching this spring, through Santa Fe Workshops. In this three-week generative course, the goal will be to produce multiple short pieces. This workshop is open to writers of all levels. You can learn more and register HERE!

Travel awakens the mind. When we cross borders and cultures, discoveries we make can lead to profound breakthroughs. And now, with most of us not traveling, there has never been a better time to reconnect to our richest travel experiences and deepen our own understanding of them by committing them to paper. In this three-week generative workshop, Lavinia Spalding, award-winning author of Writing Away and six-time editor of The Best Women’s Travel Writing, invites you to gather the words to bring your travel stories to life.

In each two-hour session, we write together from innovative prompts, poetic passages, and photographs as we conjure “story slices” that serve as the seeds for longer narratives. We share our work in class and offer feedback as a supportive, curious community. We also read various short published pieces for inspiration and illumination. In focused craft sessions, we discuss bringing concentrated sensory attention to our writing, creating momentum, developing scenes, handling setting, making diverse characters come alive, utilizing metaphor, and more. We explore creative approaches to animate and enliven our prose as we compose evocative sketches of the people and places that have moved us—and in turn, we learn how to move readers.

We emerge from this dynamic course with not only fresh, powerful drafts and ideas, but also with a newfound capacity for creative expression and the heightened ability to identify our most compelling material.

This online workshop is open to writers and wanderers of all experience levels. Come with half-formed ideas or journal entries you would like to shape into essays, or photos and sketches that tell a story. Come with an open mind, a sense of wonder, and a few hours to lose yourself, once again, in some faraway elsewhere.

For more information:


In Conversation with Janna L. Goodwin (online)

The End of the World Notwithstanding

Book Passage - Corte Madera,
May 19 to 19, 2021

Join me at Book Passage (online) on May 19th, where I'll be in conversation with Janna L. Goodwin, discussing her new book, The End of the World Notwithstanding.

Rife with misadventures, brushes with death, and moments of existential insight, The End of the World Notwithstanding is a hilarious yet reflective look at the emotional experiences that make everyday life exciting―and the physical ones that remind us we’re lucky to be alive.

A Fresh Start: Reawaken the Mind Through Writing and Meditation

A Workshop in Nepal

Himalayan Writing Workshops - Kathmandu, Nepal
March 6 to 16, 2022

Unfamiliar places invite inspiration. Travel stirs the senses, awakens the mind, fuels creativity. But travel to Nepal invites something even deeper: transformation.

This spring, discover the joy of a fresh as author/editor Lavinia Spalding and poet/meditation instructor James Hopkins lead you on an extraordinary journey through the ancient kingdom of the Kathmandu Valley. During this generative ten-day workshop, we’ll meditate together each morning and write together every day. We’ll visit serene temples, labyrinthine bazaars, and mysterious alleyways. We’ll meet with local artisans and spiritual leaders, and witness sacred Buddhist and Hindu rituals. We’ll immerse ourselves in a fascinating culture that has captivated the hearts of mystics and artists for millennia.

As we explore Kathmandu with wide-eyed wonder and a heightened sense of attention, we’ll tap into our insight and creativity, learning to capture impressions and articulate experiences more freely. We’ll ignite our curiosity and hone our skills. Meanwhile, we’ll cultivate stillness and awareness, quieting our minds so we can approach the page with renewed presence, clarity, and energy.

After ten days of guided meditation practice paired with writing prompts, journaling exercises, and group sharing and discussion, participants will emerge with not only a collection of new material-- journal entries, ideas, poems, drafts, and short essays inspired by magical Nepal—but also with a newfound capacity for creative expression, and the instructions and inspiration to rejuvenate—or develop—your own writing and meditation practice.



Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.
” –Mark Twain