Words for the Mind & Spirit

More Creative Writing In Everything You Do

writing recipe

Writing, like cooking, has certain "recipes" you can follow.
But, for the best results, you must use "fresh ingredients," and "variety."

In our creative writing workshop, we help you get into your creative side (right-brain),...

First, you are taken away from your duties and lists at home and work...
Second, you relax in a mountainside retreat, with endless sunshine and deep-blue skies..
Then, you are guided into personal, in-depth writing exercises...

All of this gets you writing deeper than you ever have before by reaching into yourself. Only you know yourself, your deepest stories. By, seeing how it can be done in your life, you can then transfer that technique into writing deeper fiction and non-fiction material. This workshop will help you learn more about yourself, which will, in turn, help you find your true voice. They say all stories have already been told, but the manner in which it is told can be fresh.

Fiction and Non-fiction

The weekend is like a "writing camp;" you will be writing the entire weekend. First, we guide you with information and exercises, which you do in class, and then another set that you do away from class. Then, we discuss what you have written, make suggestions, and then continue the lessons again. Novices and intermediate students thrive on this schedule, and discover noticeable changes in their work, and a new clarity and exciting inspiration when they leave. Even if you feel you only have "one book" in you, you will benefit from the structure and techniques offered. (See more below, "Workshop Outline")

remember gift for mom Journaling, Memoirs and Biographies

Some of our students have only done journaling, and not story writing such as memoirs, or biographies. We assist them in first defining what their objective is. Students then receive instructions, do writing exercises in and out of class, and go home with an outline of how to continue their life stories that they began at the workshop. (See more below, "Workshop Outline")

What is the difference between memoirs and biographies? See our page on Journaling workshops.

NOTE: Inquire about Holiday weekend workshops, as we might be able to change it to meet your vacation schedule (eg, you leave on Sunday instead of Monday). // These 4-day weekend workshops include lessons, lodging and meals. // These dates are subject to change.// While fees are due one month before the workshop, a couple times a year someone has to change their date, and a spot might open up. So, feel free to check us for any last-minute openings (late registration). //Wellness Retreat attendees (non-writers) can stay with us on any weekend that we do not have a full class of writing students.

"It is a most mortifying reflection
for a man to consider what he has done,
compared to what he might have done."...Samuel Johnson

Creative Writing Workshops

Remember, each workshop will give you tools to continue your quest when you return home!
Contact us to check availability, and to see if dates have changed before you send in your Reservation Form.

NOTICE! New dates will be put up here in late spring. In 2012, a new format will be tried out. The workshops will not be offered every weekend, but rather once or twice a month. There will be room for slightly larger groups (eg, five to ten people). Prices will be adjusted to match the new format. We will always offer reasonable prices, complete packages, and personalized service! Write us if you have immediate questions.


Creative Writing is offered the FIRST weekend of each month. Specialty Writing (eg, Journalism, Poetry, etc.) and Book Editing workshops are offered the THIRD weekend of each month==Due to popular demand, an extra Creative Writing workshop has been added the last weekend of August.


Journaling is offered during the summer. In-depth Journaling alternates months with Visual Journaling. In Visual Journaling there is also a daily art project. Go to our JOURNALING page for more details.

bloom-poet "Blooming Poets," POETRY for (non-published poets or) Beginners

Have you always enjoyed poetry and wished you could get a grasp on how to write it, or improve on your pieces? This workshop involves learning the basics of the different types of poetry, and then soaring ahead into the beauty, joy and pleasure of writing poems that have great meaning and depth to you and your readers. Your teacher has been a mentor to children poets for six years, and understands the fine line between guiding a person and allowing them to be their creative selves. She has been the founder of two groups that meet monthly (in different towns), with the intention of exposing more of the public to the pleasure of reading, analyzing and sharing good poetry.

This workshop will follow the basic outline of the creative writing workshop and can include some writing outdoors in the majestic mountain scenery. It can also include some optional multi-media presentations of other poets, such as a group of underprivileged women who used poetry to become their true powerful selves. Dates subject to change.

newsprTry Out being a Journalist

On-the-street reporting: DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED
Chose from going out to a news event and writing articles about them, or staying in the classroom and trying out four different styles of writing. Use what you write to (1) get a feel for what you enjoy doing best and (2) put it together so that you can show your friends and prospective newspaper/newsletter publishers

your pad

On-the-street reporting:Be a reporter for the weekend! Come and attend a local art show, festival or other current event. Meet the artists or entertainers and the public. You will learn how to report on local events and interview people (plus take photographs, if you desire). Then come back to the workshop and put it all together into a professional piece. Editors do not often have enough staff to send them to small local activities, so they often welcome locals who can report on them in a professional manner.

Entrance fees are not included, and those events are optional; some events are free. The Irish Festival may need to be prepaid before you arrive. For more information, on both activities, go to: Estes Park Chamber

your pad

Variety Pack: Work at the retreat and try out different styles of writing: "features," "interviews," "news reporting," "events," "reviews" or "social." Want to do a movie review? or Want to write about your travels or a local charity? Each has their own set of rules. How does straight news reporting differ from writing for entertainment? Find out here.

memoir Biography/Memoir

Persons interested in this type of workshop should indicate that in your inquiry. You will probably be best suited to attend the Creative Writing Workshop. You may have the option of attending either the Creative Writing or Journaling weekend workshops, depending on availability. We will place you in the most appropriate workshop, so that you will get the most out of your experience.

your book Book Review

Many of our students come to us because they feel they have a book they must write; a story they want to share with the world. For these students, we will guide them in chapter outlines and content; and, how to develop characters. Karl Jung established the first criteria for "archetype" characters: what all stories contain. EG: matriarch, hero, etc.

Some of our students want to publish a self-help or non-fiction book. Once again, we can guide them in how to develop the chapters, and how to develop a vision of the book as a whole. We can help them define their "voice," so that the book reflects their personality. Do you want it to contain humor? Do you want extensive research? Do you need visuals? Etc.

Tentative Week-Long Workshops and Guided Tours: Aimed at bringing more "springtime" into our lives, year round






Creative Writing Workshops,
Birthing of Creative Writing

Writing Workshop Outline

On the first day, we begin on the first day with the basics. You may have learned in elementary and high school the basics of paragraphs, and storytelling, but if a skill isn't used regularly, the lessons get blurred. If you want to share your work or get it published, you should know the basics, so that you will look professional, and increase your chances of getting published. Once you have them done pat, you can play with the rules, just like an ice skater learning the figure-8 routine. The remainder of the weekend is spent delving deeper into ourselves, becoming more creative, and finally putting this knowledge into writing (or revising) a piece that is of particular interest to you. A predesigned schedule is followed, but can be altered to fit the needs of the students.

What is Writer's Block?

Have you ever sat down to write, and ended up staring at the blank page for an extended period of time? Or, you couldn't gather up your usual enthusiasm about writing? That's Writer's Block.

By going over the "basics" of writing in our workshop, you will always have a place to start. If you have a "block", refer to the list we give you. It's as easy as filling in the blanks. Then, once your pen starts rolling, your creativity will kick in.

If you still are having problems, it may not be what we traditionally think of as "writer's block". It might be your inner self saying that you have strayed off the path. Stop and study your work and see if you have lost your direction or your enthusiasm or your character's true drive. By spotting and defining the error or problem, you can then use tools you learn in the workshop to put yourself back on track. (or a tool you learned in a how-to-write book).

In a 2000 essay by John Updike...."The Tried and the Treowe"...from the first lines: "The writer of fiction, a professional liar, is paradoxically obsessed with what is true - what feels true, what rings true in the fabrication being assembled on his desk. A career in writing begins with the sense that what has already been written, by others, has not been quite true enough; however revered, it lacks the latest information, the newest slant."

Individualized Guidance

Discuss or bring material of your own area of interest, and get advice on how to piece it together into a coherent, memorable article. Or, bring a short story or poem you have worked on. Or, just bring an idea.

We've had writers work on material based on life stories of a courageous family member; better health through specific diet plans; an epic tale of several generations of a European family; a collection of stories about a female detective; short stories for personal enrichment; and more.

"Between the great things we cannot do
and the small things we will not do,
the danger is that we shall do nothing."
...Adolph Monod

Stylebook for Non-Fiction Writers

More newspapers use The Associated Press Stylebook than any other in the world. It includes invaluable resources for journalists, as well as researchers, scholars, students and editors.

This book is periodically updated to reflect the latest in foreign affairs, punctuation, new libel cases, and more.

It has approximately 200,000 frequently used terms, such as consumer products, sports, religion, and finance.

Examples: "nationwide" is one word.

"Nautical mile" equals one minute of arch of a great circle...to convert to approximate statute miles (5,280 feet) multiply the number of nautical miles by 1.15. See "knot"

"Near East": There is no longer a substantial distinction between this term and "Middle East." See Middle East entry.

"National Guardsman": Note spelling. Capitalize as a proper noun when referring to an individual in a federal or state National Guard unit: "he is a National Guardsman." Lowercase "guardsman" when it stands alone. See military titles.

Journalists! Want to know more about how the Society of Professional Journalists can help you in your job. Click here to learn about their new goals.

Journalism Schools

Society of Professional Journalist is offering information to teachers who want to save their Journalism Programs. Per SPJ: "Several student media advisers concerned about the fate of journalism in high schools across the country have started a website to serve as a clearinghouse for teachers who need help fighting the elimination or reduction of journalism programs in their schools. The advisers call their group the Scholastic Journalism Institute, and they encourage people who are concerned about the future of journalism in secondary education to check out their site at www.thinkSJI.org. The site includes a map of recent program cuts and urges educators to push harder against growing efforts to drop journalism programs in high schools."

Student Recommendations:

"Got in touch with reasons for wanting to write. I know it is very helpful for me when I want to look more deeply into my life." Carol Higgle, August 2001. (Carol has since been published for the first time, in a local new age/spiritual magazine)

"The retreat gave me time to write. It was good to have someone positive commenting and critiquing my writing. Great organization suggestions and easy to follow." Gail Saunders (Gail has since been published for the first time, in Colorado's AAA Travel magazine.)

"I truly believe my main problems were shown to me here, and the skills taught to me that I will need to improve. I won't forget all of your help and look foward to putting all of your tips into ACTION!" Shiela DeVore 9/05
"The small group and the personal aspect help the hearing impaired (versus big groups). Easy going, yet really strictly structured guidelines very helpful." Jim Swanson, July 2002.

Book & Bottle
Book & Bottle
Casper-Z, S.
Buy this Art Print: Book and Wine Bottle
Individuality Poster
Buy at AllPosters.com
Books Carry
Books Carry Poster
Buy at AllPosters.com

"The kind of storytelling that one sees at (a storytelling) Festival is general: to please and entertain, though of course other meanings and purpose may also be present. From the point of view of the ("purposeful") storyteller (who wants to influence people with his/her story), the value of the story may vary. If the storytelling is purposeful, the value may lie in achieving that purpose. The value may also lie in less explicit values, like helping the storyteller understand him/herself and his/her life, resolve internal conflicts, connect with other people, and so on. The range is unlimited. "
Steve Denning "The Leader's Guide to Storytelling"

you too can write a bookWorkshop Details:

You will attend a workshop in the Rocky Mt. Region improve your writing skills while relaxing in a mountainside retreat, with endless sunshine and deep-blue skies, breathing in fresh mountain air, and enjoying fresh foods. Be nurtured with warm, professional tutoring. Classes are usually restricted to maximum of three students (larger groups should notify our director and discuss the possibilities).


Taught by Kathleen Spring, who has written for a number of regional, daily and local newspapers and magazines. She has been teaching writing classes since 1992; in addition to publishing two books (three more coming out in the next three years). Plus, a B.A. in Communications (Journalism/Film/Media), with local and national honors and awards, and numerous scholarships.


Private 4-day weekend workshop, including all fresh, nutritious meals and lodging: $555 ($475 each for two people taking same workshop and sharing a bedroom).

The workshops take place over 4-day weekends in May to October. Only one to three students attend, so they fill up fast.

See our RSVP page for the most up to date details, including deposits and refunds.

During our creative writing workshops, we do not allow computers. It is part of the "creative process," to write with a pen on paper. We request that you bring a journal (book). Or, we also have some blank journals at our retreat for purchase at a reasonable price ($6 to $20).


Extend your stay to seven days and pay a discounted day rate. Enjoy the surrounding Rocky Mt. range and explore the hiking, horseback riding, and more. This offer depends on the availability of rooms and other workshops in session. We no longer offer "extended stays." (eg, a month)
"There is magic in storytelling.
You tap into another world.
I don't invent anything.
The stories are already there,
and my job is to find them and
bring them to the page."
--Isabel Allende

Reservation Form

Click here for mail-in form.
(Email first to confirm date availability)

BOOKS:Bk for Writers and Readers

Short stories from the past three years have been put into an Anthology PLUS Writing Tips: "Writers: Birthing of Creative Writing, and Capturing Random Memories, Volume 1", published 2003. Only $11.95 plus $2.00 postage. CPW award. Read more about it here.

"Small Towns, a Perspective of the 20th Century" -- full page black-and-white images of structures found in the MidWest/Michigan. Includes short real-life stories of why people love to live in their small town. Read more about it here.

Return to Main "writers workshop" page.

E-mail questions or reservations to: Writers @SpringTimeWriters. .com

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Use this Address to send your reservation and check to:

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Spring Times
P. O. Box 512
Lyons, CO 80540-8108
(303) 823-0997 MST 10am-7pm only please

Date last modified: October 4, 2011 9:00 AM