This was the most extraordinary writing experience I’ve ever had. Thanks to Joyce’s individualized feedback and general writing lessons, I feel like I have the essential tools for writing well in my very own voice.
View from a writing nook

View from a writing nook

San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala

March 13-22, 2020

Winter 2020 marks the 20th Guatemalan workshop (WBTL), with a time-tested format in a rare and magical location—the Mayan village of San Marcos La Laguna, surrounded by five volcanoes, on the shores of one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.  (You’ll enjoy an additional overnight stay in the lovely town of Antigua prior to arriving at Lake Atitlan.) Joyce welcomes female writers of all levels, from those publishing work or completing MFA’s to others just beginning to pursue writing. Renowned Chef Henry Lehr and a welcoming staff nurture you with over-the-top amazing food and massages, leaving you free to think only about your story. Limited to 17 female-identified participants.

Each unique feature of this workshop taken alone is worth going back for: the creative boost to your writing, the truly divine food, and Joyce Maynard, who you really must see in action to believe.
— Elizabeth Heise
Begin your writing days with clarity

Begin your writing days with clarity

New Hampshire

July 9-12, 2020 

Join Joyce in her home (in southwestern NH) for a three-day workshop on memoir and personal storytelling. This workshop is a mid-length retreat, with plenty of time for individual writing and workshopping in a group setting. Other topics covered will concern both issues of craft and more global questions, such as identifying one's themes; creating a structure; the relationship between memoir and history; locating one's voice; the ethics and personal issues associated with telling stories from our own lives; and the writing process itself. (This includes the terror of NOT writing, and the many impediments we throw in our way to keep us from telling our stories.) Limited to 12 participants.

This experience was life-changing. It will inform my next steps not only as a writer, but far beyond.
— Aili Kuutan
Jumpstart your creative process

Jumpstart your creative process

New Haven, CT

November 1-2, 2019         

For anyone who has wanted to move up to a new level with his or her writing by studying with Joyce, but lacks the time for a longer experience: this workshop is a great place to start.  The class takes place over a single intense day (plus an evening to get acquainted, the night before). By the end of the day, all 8 writers will have seen how Joyce takes apart—and puts back together—eight pieces of memoir in a way that transforms everyone in the group into a stronger, clearer, and more authentic writer.  That’s a big promise to make, but it comes from Joyce’s 20+ years of experience in teaching the art of memoir in workshops like this one.  Limited to 8 participants.

Joyce is not just a skilled writer of stories. She imparts her craft like no one I’ve experienced. Once you “get it,” and I believe we all did, you will write like never before.
— Sue Stanbridge
Enjoy the camaraderie of a writing group in a stunning setting

Enjoy the camaraderie of a writing group in a stunning setting

San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala

March 12-22, 2020

If you’ve attended one of Joyce’s workshops in the past and are longing for the support and camaraderie you experienced in those group settings with the space to embrace your newfound independence as a writer, Joyce is pleased to offer a special experience tailored for you. Enjoy a nurturing atmosphere and the incredible natural beauty of Lake Atitlan at the 2020 Lake Atitlan Alumni Retreat. You’ll have access to Joyce for support and guidance as well as the community of your fellow writers coupled with ample time to work independently, as well as the incredible opportunity to discuss your work with a literary agent. Limited to 20 participants.

Forget getting an mfa or taking classes on writing, just go to casa de joyce in guatemala. I know I will again (and again and again).
— Leslie Poynor

No matter what level writer you are, Joyce Maynard can make you better. She knows how to distill a story to its essence and help you shape it into a compelling experience for the reader.

Meet Workshop Coordinator Peggy Cook

Hello! My name is Peggy Cook, and I’m thrilled to be working for Joyce as her workshop coordinator and personal assistant. I currently live 30 minutes outside of Chicago with my husband and three sons. My youngest recently started full-day school, and I’m so grateful to now be able to spend my days writing and helping Joyce share her talents and love of Guatemala with others.

Last spring I attended Write by the Lake, and the experience was more than I could have hoped for. Joyce’s words of wisdom are currently posted above my desk and have greatly improved my writing. But what Joyce gives me and all her students is about more than writing. She gives us the opportunity to enter her home and connect with how she lives, thinks and works as a writer in one of the most beautiful settings I have ever been to. I loved it so much that I jumped at the opportunity to help give this experience to others.

Can't make it to one of these? Check out the highly acclaimed online workshop through Creative Live.