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Writing the Senses: A Sensory Immersion Workshop

Writing the Senses: A Sensory Immersion Workshop

For writers (and non-writers) at any level  |  maximum 12 participants

Led By:  Kate Moses, author and literary mentor, and Guest Teaching Artists


Vivid sensory details are the universal currency of all forms of creative writing, and yet we can be surprisingly unaware of the impact of our senses in our daily experience, let alone in our creative lives. This week-long workshop’s goal is to reignite our sensory awareness through an in-depth, hands-on exploration of each of the five senses. Thanks to Craigardan’s uncommon intersection of multidisciplinary art, sustainable farming, and wild nature, participants will be able to utilize the center’s farm and garden, culinary arts residency, ceramics studio, and pristine woodlands with the inspired guidance of guest teaching artists who will act as “sensory tour guides.”  


The week-long workshop begins with a Friday evening orientation and introductory seminar on Writing and the Senses in Applebarn, followed by a welcoming dinner prepared by the chef-in-residence from produce grown at Craigardan or made by one of the many food artisans in the extensive local farm-to-table, sustainable agriculture community. Day 1’s Sensory Reboot includes a neuroscientific overview of creativity and the senses, followed by Days 2 through 6 devoted to each of the five senses in turn, with daily group immersion activities and writing workshops as well as plenty of time for individual explorations. Each evening there will be a sensory-specific event, from musical performances to a bonfire, and all meals will be provided through the workshop week.  


The week-long workshop will take place at Craigardan’s idyllic mountainside retreat.  Participants will be lodged in simple and beautiful shared houses, with access to any number of indoor and outdoor communal spaces for writing and thinking, including solo time in the peaceful writer’s cabin with its wooded views of the working farm. Residency craft seminars and workshops will be held in the Applebarn, where participants will also gather for meals prepared by our chefs-in-residence.


The Writing the Senses Workshop is ideal for writers and non-writers alike; participating writers may be at any stage of development. Enrollment is limited to 6 participants in residence and 6 day participants. The public is invited to attend the Workshop’s opening talk on “Writing the Senses” on Friday, May 25. 


  • In-residence attendance includes lodging in a private room/shared bath; all meals; daily group yoga instruction; transportation to/from local train station or airport 
  • All day & evening programming for the Workshop (with the exception of evening programming if registering for day participation only)
  • Please note: Workshop fee does not include airfare or other long-distance travel costs, which must be arranged and paid separately by the participant.


$1500 per person  |  for in-residence attendance  |  Maximum 6 participants

$850 per person  |  for day participation with evening programs

$600 per person  |  for day participation only

Click button below for more details and to register through Birds & Muses

Accepted applicants must submit a nonrefundable $500 deposit to hold their spot. Final payments will be due by April 25, 2018.   


Kate Moses is the author of the internationally acclaimed Wintering: A Novel of Sylvia Plath, published in sixteen languages, and Cakewalk: A Memoir, chosen by National Public Radio as one of their favorite memoirs of 2010. Recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for Best Fiction by an American Woman, an American Book Award, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, a Prix des Lectrices de Elle, and residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Headlands Center for the Arts, Karuna, and The Lighthouse Works.  Kate is also co-editor of two bestselling anthologies of essays on motherhood, Mothers Who Think: Tales of Real-Life Parenthood and Because I Said So: 33 Mothers Write About Children, Sex, Men, Aging, Faith, Race & Themselves

A founding senior editor and staff writer of Salon, former literary director of Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco, and former senior acquisitions editor of North Point Press, Kate has taught writers at two dozen universities in the U.S. and U.K.; through Birds & Muses she works with writers in the U.S., Canada, the Middle East, several European and African nations, and New Zealand.  Learn more about Kate's books and mentoring at and

Earlier Event: November 3
Gallery Sale + Makers Weekend