Next workshop: August 11-16, 2024, at Chico Hot Springs

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 with students who are serious about fostering a connection with place in their writing. It all happens at Chico Hot Springs, a historic retreat just north of Yellowstone National Park.

For our 2024 workshop, we are thrilled to welcome faculty members Taylor Brorby, Debra Magpie Earling, Jamie Ford, Sean Singer and Ana Maria Spagna. 

Our workshop takes place in one of the most wild and beautiful settings in the country, a place that has inspired the work of conservationists, writers and artists for over a century: Tom McGuane, Richard Brautigan, William Hjortsberg, Russell Chatham, Jim Harrison, Jo Sykes and Richard S. Wheeler all have called this corner of Montana home.

During our five-day workshop, we offer small classes with workshop faculty, excursions in and around Paradise Valley, and a chance to join a diverse community of writers, artists and conservationists whose work is situated in, and inspired by, the natural environment.

Workshop classes are limited to 12 students each. In addition to the classes, students may select from a menu of panel discussions and craft talks. Evenings feature faculty and student readings.

Explore your wild with the Elk River Writers Workshop!

Please note: If the application fee is a barrier for you, please reach out to us via email at

The Elk River Writers Workshop is limited to participants age 21 and over, due to liability issues.


Application Process

Please note: Debra Magpie Earling's class is now full, with a waiting list. Applicants for a spots in her class will be added to the list.

To apply for the 2024 Elk River Writers Workshop, fill in all the required fields, then click the orange Submit button. 

You will receive an email confirmation when your application has been submitted successfully. 

The application process opens on October 1, 2023. Workshop applications will be evaluated on the following schedule:

  • Received by December 1, notified by January 1.
  • Received by February 1, notified by March 1.
  • Received by May 1, notified by June 1.

Workshop Descriptions
       Please review the faculty members' class descriptions before choosing your class. These are available at the Elk River Writers Workshop website.

       We are offering scholarships for students in the following areas:

As of March 1, we are taking no more applications for Diversity Scholarships for the 2024 workshop.

And please note: If you are applying for a scholarship, you must ALSO submit a workshop application.

What do we mean by a "diverse writer”? Diversity includes a range of experiences from things like gender, sexual orientation, and race, to religion, abilities, and economic background — anything that lends a different lens through which a writer might view (and therefore respond to) the world.

Please note: All scholarship funds will be allocated by June 1, and no scholarship applications will be taken after the May 1 deadline.

Elk River Arts & Lectures