Write for Your Life Workshops

A Write for Your Life retreat at the spectacular Ghost Ranch, New Mexico!

“I arrived not thinking of myself as a writer. I left assured I most definitely am.”   

— C.P., Colorado

“Joanne has an astonishing ability to establish a cocoon of safety for creativity and guidance to find and tell your truth. Plus, the retreat was a lot of fun! I cannot recommend her and the Ghost Ranch experience highly enough. “

— L.M., New Mexico

We had a wonderful, in-depth writing retreat at the spectacular Ghost Ranch, a 21,000-acre renowned retreat and education center located near Abiquiú in northern New Mexico, where Georgia O’Keeffe lived and painted. 
The workshop is based on the acclaimed Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA) method developed by Pat Schneider, described in her book, “Writing Alone and With Others” (Oxford University Press), and offered by more than 1,000 workshop and retreat leaders internationally.
Participants in an AWA retreat foster a community of support, enabling you to write freely and go deep. We write in community in a setting that supports creative risks. Participants write in response to suggested prompts, and receive feedback on what is strong and memorable in their first-draft writing. No criticism, suggestion, or question is directed toward the writer in response to first-draft, just-written work. Confidentiality is paramount, the leader writes along with the group, and the teaching of craft is taken seriously.
The effect of an AWA retreat on a writer may be immediate or can be subtle and long-term. Beginning writers or those beginning again will find the encouragement and safety they need to let authentic voices emerge. Writers who understand their artistic process will find an opportunity to achieve a different tone or experiment with a new aspect of craft in a supportive environment. The leader is a witness to the developing skill in each writer and the confidence that can come with being heard.
Keep an eye out for a future retreat at Ghost Ranch. Or contact me if you are curious about AWA retreats:


510-381-1205 or joanne@joannebrown.com

Write To Heal: An ONLINE FREE writing workshop based on (but not limited by) the life-changing diagnosis of cancer


This workshop is sponsored by the Cancer Foundation for New Mexico.


March 28, April 4, 18, 25, May 2, 9, 16
(We skip April 11)

3:00 P.M. – 5:00 PM. Mountain Time

These workshops fill quickly. RESERVE EARLY!

TO REGISTER: joanne@joannebrown.com OR Call: 510-381-1205
(If I haven’t worked with you, include a few lines about yourself.)


The intent of this group for cancer patients and survivors is to experience “Expressive Writing” as a way of healing. While writing may not cure, it can heal, according to scientific studies. Especially in this time of great uncertainty and social distancing, writing and sharing our stories with others on parallel paths will be our avenue to reclaim our voices, and reconnect with our lives. Everyone is welcome: if you have never written, or if you have always written.
Registration is required and space is limited.
If you have not worked with me before, please send me a few lines about yourself.

Join me and other writerly companions in one of my ONLINE workshops:

6-week-long workshops for anyone who wishes to write
Saturday day-longs for anyone who wishes to write
Workshops for cancer survivors, specifically using writing as a way of healing

In all workshops, we write with others in a small group. Together we foster a safe and supportive community enabling participants to write freely and go deep: writing in response to suggested prompts, building trust among the group and in our unique voices, receiving feedback on what’s strong in our first-draft writing. If requested, we also make time for manuscript review with balanced feedback. 

I use the Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA) method in all workshops. AWA is a network of affiliates who are leading writing workshops throughout the United States and in nine countries worldwide. Writers who have used the AWA method have published major works and won top awards in the U.S., Canada, and Ireland.

All are welcome in my workshops: beginning writers, those beginning again, and experienced writers will generate new material here. Workshops meet in my comfortable home less than a mile from the Santa Fe Plaza. Healthy snacks are always provided.

Writer's workshop

Upcoming Write for your Life Workshops

Online Write To Heal workshop for Cancer Patients and Survivors

March 28, April 4, 18, 25, May 2, 9, 16
(We skip April 11)

3:00 P.M. – 5:00 PM. Mountain Time

These workshops fill quickly. RESERVE EARLY! 




Call: 510-381-1205

(If I haven’t worked with you, include a few lines about yourself.)

“Joanne’s workshop was just what I needed to begin chronicling my story. She is wonderfully supportive and affirming, and her writing prompts helped get me past my fear and reluctance. I wasn’t sure what writing with others would be like — I loved it, loved hearing others’ work, and so appreciated the positive feedback.”

D. B.

Santa Fe

“The (Write to Heal) group brought my treatment full circle. It made a diagnosis that is often seen as a death sentence into a permission to live. It has helped me deal with the emotional component of my diagnosis, and I will be eternally grateful.”

C. G., breast cancer survivor