Books

"The reader will be delighted and entertained by these teachings, and this beautifully written book will open the Zen world to everyone". Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones
"A blend of Herman Hesse, Tom Robbins and Kurt Vonnegut." Washington Post
"Amusing and amiable....Murphy has a deft, light touch." Kirkus Reviews
"A rich, vast, and slyly comedic novel that leaves you laughing and weeping. Read and rejoice." Malachy McCourt, author of A Monk Swimming
More Information on Zen

Big Sky
Writing Workshops

WRITE TO THE FINISH
Starts May 2017 - Taking registrations now. Email for info.
Led by Sean Murphy & Tania Casselle
Online/All locations


Long-distance 9-month course to help writers working on a book-length project. We work by email/phone, so you can take part wherever you are. Course includes a full manuscript critique, online seminar days, mentor calls, craft lessons, etc.

Open to fiction, nonfiction, and memoir writers who are serious about making significant progress on a book-length manuscript. The group ranges from writers starting a first draft with nothing more than an idea, to others with a work in progress - perhaps it's not progressing fast enough or the writer is stuck!
Wherever you're at with your manuscript, we support you with craft, community, focus, and feedback.

Write to the Finish runs once a year only. Spaces are limited in this small group. See more about the course and co-teacher Tania.

Email me (sean@murphyzen.com) and I'll send you the course outline and all details. (It's helpful if you add a few words about your manuscript project, too, so I can tell you if the course could be a good fit for you. If not, I'll try to suggest other resources.)

See what people who've written books with us say about Write to the Finish on Facebook and in the testimonials in the right column of this page.


ZEN IN THE ART OF WRITING
MEDITATION & WRITING RETREAT WITH SEAN MURPHY
May 15-19, 2017
Lake Louise, Canada

Deepen your meditation and mindfulness practices and explore how to apply them to the creative process through writing and creativity exercises. Yoga is available too. Our base will be the beautiful Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies. All levels of meditators and writers welcome, including beginners, in this small group.
More info and registration at this link

Taos Writers Conference March 10-11, 2017
Sean is teaching two workshops at the Taos Writers Conference, New Mexico.

* Dimension in Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, and Memoir, Friday Mar 10, 10 am-5 pm
* Secrets of Powerful Fiction, Saturday March 11, 9am -12 pm

More info and registration at this Taos Writers Conference link


CASA DEL SOL WRITING WORKSHOP at GHOST RANCH
New Mexico, September 4 – 8, 2016
With Hemingway Award-winning author Sean Murphy & internationally published writer Tania Casselle


Join us for a sweet, contemplative writing retreat at a secluded hacienda on Georgia O’Keeffe’s historic Ghost Ranch property.

Casa Del Sol has stunning views of the Pedernal (Georgia’s own personal mountain!) and it’s just a stone’s throw from Georgia’s private home, two miles from the main Ghost Ranch facility and a million-seeming miles from everywhere else.

We are truly walking in Georgia’s footsteps when we take our creative inspiration from this sacred landscape.

See all the details on this writing workshop including fees and photos.
Discount available on the remaining rooms for a limited time.



Private Meditation Coaching with Sean by Skype
As Sean's work expands as a meditation teacher, he is offering meditation guidance/​coaching by Skype (phone option also available). Although it is possible to arrange single sessions, the intent is to offer a package of four x 45-minute sessions, weekly or biweekly, to help establish, reinforce or reinvigorate a meditation practice. His specialty is helping meditators establish a practice, or helping experienced meditators get 'unstuck' in their practice. A package of 4 weekly or biweekly sessions, covering 1-2 months of practice, is $275.

Email me to schedule your meditation coaching or to ask any questions. Please tell me briefly why you are seeking help with your meditation at this time.



Other 2016 Online Seminars

Your First 10 Pages: Ready, Set, Go!
Next dates, June 2016. (Dates to be confirmed. Email me to be kept informed.)
Online course by email & phone conference.


If the first ten pages of your book don’t grab an agent’s or editor’s attention, they’re unlikely to keep reading. (Even if you are self-publishing, the same holds true for your readers!) Get feedback from two veteran writers and editors in this short individual feedback course designed to hone your first ten pages so your readers can’t wait to read on.

This one-week intensive feedback seminar is for writers who already have 10 pages completed of a book-length manuscript, fiction or nonfiction. Perhaps you’ve written the entire book, perhaps you are only partway through. Either way you will receive specific and detailed feedback from both Tania Casselle and Sean Murphy and you will have the chance to revise your pages using our feedback and run it past us again. Full info and registration here.



2013 Seminars

Free Mini Teleseminars in March 2013
I'm giving two free mini teleseminars for writers with Tania Casselle on March 13 and March 16.
Basically it's a conference call - you just dial in.
Our subject: 3 Top Tips to Keep on Track with your Writing with time for Q&A. This 2013 event is now over. Sign up for my newsletter (right) for notices on future free teleseminars.


2012 Seminars:

Discover Your Natural Voice as a Writer April 21, 2012, Santa Fe. A one-day workshop with Sean Murphy for Anne Hillerman and Jean Schaumberg's Word Harvest series in Santa Fe.

Self-No Self & the Creative Process July 9-23, 2012, Taos. Sean Murphy teaches this two week Taos seminar on meditation and the creative process with Insight (Vipassana) meditation teacher Marcia Rose.

Kripalu Yoga Center: Writing Down the Bones August 24-26, 2012. Sean Murphy will teach a workshop with Natalie Goldberg in Massachusetts. (Sean taught at Kripalu for the first time in 2011, also with Natalie, and it is just a beautiful venue!)




TONY HILLERMAN WRITERS CONFERENCE
November 10-12, 2011, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Sean Murphy and Tania Casselle offer manuscript critiques at the conference in Santa Fe, with a 20 minute face-to-face meeting. You do not have to be registered for the conference to book a critique (deadline October 1, 2011.) Critiques are for: short fiction, non-fiction essays, novel synopses, and novel first chapters. Register with the Tony Hillerman Writers Conference




WRITING IN NEW DIRECTIONS: Los Alamos, NM
Saturday March 26, 2011.
10 am to 5 pm
With Sean Murphy

A day of creative inspiration to encourage fresh ideas for your fiction, memoir, non-fiction, poetry or journaling. Beginners and experienced writers equally welcome. We'll do lots of writing in a supportive atmosphere, experimenting with structure, style, and various techniques to kick-start your creative process. Although we'll cover key elements such as character, place, weaving a 'story', and the sensory details that bring our writing alive, this will all be grounded in practice. So just bring a pad, some pens, an open mind, and be ready to write!

For new writers, this is a great way to beat writer's block and get started on that story you've always wanted to tell, or just have fun trying out lots of ideas. (It's fine if you've never written before or don't even know what you want to write about - this workshop will get you started!) Experienced writers, you can use the exercises and craft tips to go deeper and find new direction on your current projects.

Weather permitting, some periods will be spent outside. A simple and delicious lunch will be provided. This workshop will be held in Los Alamos, NM. We'll email you the venue address and directions once we've received your registration.

Cost: $65 including home-cooked lunch (Buffet style, and adaptable for carnivores, vegetarians, wheat free/​dairy free.)

Two reduced rate places ($35) are available for low-income writers, first-come first-served, please inquire.

Space is limited, so please book early.

To Register:
Reserve your place with a deposit of $35 by credit card. The balance will be due on the day by check or cash.

Use the secure link below to pay either from your PayPal account, or by credit card if you don't have a PayPal account. Just follow the links.

NOTE: The $35 deposit is non-refundable if you cancel on or after March 19.
It is fully refundable if you cancel before March 19, or in the unlikely event that workshop is cancelled. Payment of a deposit confirms your agreement to these terms.


Your name and phone number








All groups below led by Sean with Tania Casselle.

* STRAIGHT TO THE HEART - ONLINE SHORT FICTION AND FLASH FICTION GROUP. An 8-week workshop for short fiction writers, including feedback on your stories. Everything is done by email, so you can take part wherever you are. Next start date Spring 2011.
Email me for info.

* WRITING GROUPS - We also offer workshops tailored to the needs of existing writing groups, either in person or long-distance by email/​phone conference. If your group is interested in working with us, get in touch and we'll talk about it.

Previous participants on Big Sky Workshops said:

"I loved, loved this course. I learned a tremendous amount, was extremely productive, and took courageous chances that paid off. One of the best courses I've ever taken."

"Tania and Sean are a great team: insightful, generous, funny and tough. This is one of the best workshops I've ever taken."

"This course far surpassed my highest expectations... organized to perfection and completely comprehensive. Tania and Sean provide a safe supportive environment for writers of all levels to work together, share ideas and help each other to grow. They are unbeatable. If you are looking for an extraordinary writing experience, you have come to the right place."

"I didn't want it to end. It was just such a remarkable and helpful experience… You challenged us, made us laugh and laughed with us, made us think, taught us ever new ways to feed the writing beast."

"At the start [of Write to the Finish] I had a hazy idea of what the book might cover. At the end, I had a 72,000 word first draft. The exercises, seminar weekends, advice from Sean and Tania, and support from the entire group, were the catalyst I needed. So thank you for helping me get there! I genuinely wouldn't have done it without you."

"Tania and Sean make an amazing team and it's wonderful to have both of their (sometimes different) perspectives on my work."

“You set such a supportive, fun, yet down-to-business tone for the course [Write to the Finish], that I'm not at all surprised that so many of us achieved all we had set out to do.”

"Your enthusiasm for writers is infectious."

Look out! for the idea Tania and I contributed to the Tarcher book: NOW WRITE!: Fiction Writing Exercises from Today's Best Writers and Teachers

Comments from participants on previous workshops:

"At the start of Write to the Finish, I had only a vague notion that I'd like to write a novel. Nine months later, I had a finished draft of a manuscript that became The Wig In The Window, which will be published by HarperCollins Children's in 2013. Sean and Tania not only are wise teachers and talented writers themselves, but they create a powerful sense of community to encourage aspiring writers when enthusiasm flags. If I hadn't taken this course, I'd still be dreaming of maybe writing a novel one day. Now I'm embarking on a bona fide writing career." Kristen Kittscher.

"Truly one of my best writing experiences ever!"

"Your enthusiasm for writers is infectious."

"I am so pleased that the Write to the Finish course gave me the opportunity to actually write the book I've been wanting to write."

Literary Mama E-zine Editor Jessica DeVoe Riley said:
"I love Sean and Tania. They are so thorough in their writing guidance... They helped me finish my first novel and a nonfiction book proposal." See her full review of Write to the Finish at Literary Mama.

More comments by writers Here





Receive my Newsletter (max 3 times a year) with writing tips, news or very occasional emails on workshops
*








Email Marketing by VerticalResponse





Sean teaches creative writing/​literature at University of New Mexico-Taos, & leads writing workshops around the US and in Europe. He co-taught for 4 years with Natalie Goldberg (Writing Down the Bones) in her writing/​meditation seminars.
He has been a Visiting Writer for UNM-Albuquerque and Naropa University in Boulder, CO, and has taught at:
Taos Writers Conference
Tony Hillerman Writers Conference
North Carolina Writers Network Conf
Pima Writers Conference, Tucson AZ
Taos Institute of Arts
Southern Methodist University - Taos
Institute of American Indian Arts
Southwest Writers
Word Harvest of Santa Fe
SOMOS
Recursos of Santa Fe
Taos Art School
Boulder Community Schools
Summit Huts Association, CO
Zen Mountain Monastery, NY
Murie Center, Jackson, WY
Franklin College, Switzerland

The emphasis in my workshops is on the creative process, providing an opportunity for all writers, beginning or experienced, to explore new approaches and increase their skills within a supportive and inspiring environment. Please email me at the link on the left of this page if you have questions, or contact the organizers directly.