Writers’ Intensive Online

Announcing the 23rd Annual Writing and Story Intensive

To Meet These Times

with Deena Metzger

 May 27 – June 2, 2023 via Zoom


writngjarEntering the Work

This intensive is envisioned as a circle, a small group of women and men gathered to devote themselves to their work, that is to the work.

Many beautiful and profound works and explorations have been launched through these intensives in the last 21 years. Many writers have emerged and many have been transformed, their lives, deepened and made soulful by this intense, often luminous writing experience augmented by the qualities of medicine walks and quest, by community and solitude.

This Intensive provides an opportunity to begin, as well as to enter more deeply into a manuscript. It calls us to find our own true voices, to break open the forms, to explore hidden realms, to devote ourselves to the stories and manuscripts that are calling to us. It is an opportunity to experiment and dare. This intensive honors the stories that must be told whether one is beginning the exploration or has delved deeply into a manuscript. What is called for is devotion and commitment to bringing the story to the page.

Many participants will be experienced, even published writers, looking for inspiration, direction or support for new or on-going work. For some this Intensive may be a beginning. Often people who have not thought of themselves as writers become aware that there is a book they are called to write. We call such people Story Carriers.

Imagination and the Future.

For every writer, the imagination can be a real place. The real life and our future reside there. When we enter this sphere, the writing experience calls self and other(s) into dynamic relationships on the page. This writing can be like a council that holds all the voices, including our ancestors and descendants, the visible and invisibles and the beings of the natural world, as cohorts. It develops from the intrigue that we can each imagine and enter a new literature that looks to and helps create a vibrant and beautiful future.

Story Carriers, writers and artists living in these times of grief and possibility are called to imagine and commit to a new literature and a new culture so that the lives of the humans and non-humans and the earth itself will be vital again. Our words can destroy or restore. What we write matters. Together and as individuals we will seek out new forms resonant with the land and these times to engage with the world, the future and the spirits. Canyon Pic

We will be actively seeking new language, new forms and new visions. On behalf of our writing and the word, we will engage storytelling, dream telling, ethical reflection, prayer, meditation, silence, music, divination, indigenous and wisdom traditions and the voices of both the visible and invisible presences, on behalf of a vital and sustainable future for all beings.

In this week we will address the issues that must be addressed, explore our lives, souls, minds, and creative work through formal and informal teaching, directed and spontaneous writing, circle work and individual sessions, solitude, time on the land, visioning, ritual and ceremony as appropriate.

This intensive is a circle of gifted and original individuals gathering together in a quiet and simple setting. The work is difficult, arduous, often risky, engaging, beautiful and thrilling. Though you will be guided, come prepared to devote yourself to what concerns and fascinates you, to what is calling to be written through you now.. We will work in prose, but the intensive lends itself to writing in any form – fiction and non-fiction, prose and poetry.

Dream group begins at 8 a.m. PDT / 11 a.m. EDT and we try to end the sessions by 8 p.m. PDT / 11 p.m. EDT. There will be non-scheduled time for writing and musing, and also private appointments scheduled with Deena.

The Intensive includes a day of silence which was sacred to the ancient Tongva people.

FEES, APPLICATION PROCESS, AND REGISTRATION: The fee for the Intensive is based on a sliding scale for tuition.  A deposit reserves a space once the application process is completed. Payment plans are possible under special conditions. A deposit reserves a space once the application process is completed. Please contact Jude Weber for more information.

If you have not worked with Deena before, please apply by sending a letter of intention outlining your background and interests, and any other information, including dreams, that might be relevant to understanding how the week and the work might serve you and the world. Send the letter to Deena Metzger via email.


To familiarize yourself with Deena’s work and concerns, select from the pieces posted on her website and her most recent writing: the long awaited novel, La Vieja: A Journal of Fire, and A Rain of Night Birds on climate change and Restoration, the award-winning novel La Negra y Blanca; the novel Feral and Entering the Ghost River: Meditations on the Theory and Practice of Healing; Ruin and Beauty: New and Selected Poems; The Other Hand; Writing For Your Life; Tree: Essays and Pieces and Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals.

Another way of thinking about the writer is to re-imagine the Shaman Bard.

“Let me tell you some stories.”
“In Ireland, that would be the voice of the Shaman Bard. We don’t know if it is the shaman speaking as a poet storyteller or the poet is speaking as a shaman (healer, visionary diviner, historian, myth-teller, peacemaker); they are entirely intertwined and it has been so for thousands of years and was so when I was there this month….”

Please click here to read Journey to the Stones – Meeting the Shaman Bards, on Deena’s blog Ruin and Beauty.


By application only – For information on fees or to apply please contact Jude Weber at 310.985.3740 or email.