Madrid Writing Retreat 2019/20

Come for an intimate writer’s retreat in the historic ghost town of Madrid, New Mexico. You’ll have time to work on your own project, get feedback, play with ideas, share resources, and reconnect with our writing friends. Arrive Thursday in time for dinner and explore the mining museum of Madrid, check out the galleries and listen to local live music sitting on the patio at the cantina bar. Friday we start in earnest, sitting around the communal table in the studio in town.


  • Work-in-Progress: long form prose such as novels, memoirs, and collections of short stories or essays
  • 24-hour access to communal writing studio in the village of Madrid, NM
  • Intimate group of four writers plus facilitator
  • Opportunities to share/read work to other writers on retreat
  • Opportunities to explore local area in afternoons, alone or with others
  • Hosted by award-winning novelist, editor, and publisher, Sarah Leamy, MFA

Typical Day

The day starts with your own breakfast at local cafe, restaurant or B&B.

9-12: Come together at Firehouse Studio on Gypsy Plaza to write at communal table, focused on our work in progress.

12-1.30: Lunch together at local eatery.

1.30-4.30: Afternoons are optional so you’re free to be alone, explore, read and nap, or simply head out of town. Studio will be open for you to use as you wish.

5.30: Dinner on your own terms.

6.30-8.30 pm: Evenings to write, read, or share our work together. Each participant (five max) will have 1/2 hour to talk, ask for suggestions, read aloud, or discuss our writing lives.

One on One Critiques 

For an additional fee, you can pre-submit a book-length project (not to exceed 300 pages, double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, default margins). Sarah will read, annotate, and make suggestions/feedback on the questions you wish addressed.


Madrid, NM is a tourist destination with a wide range of Airbnb and Bed and Breakfast options from $25-185. Best practice is to book a place in the town of Madrid so that you can walk to and fro with no need to drive or break the spell of focused writing. Transportation is limited from Albuquerque as there are no buses, trains or Uber to the area. Book a vehicle together for when you arrive and share the time and trouble. As the group is intimate, we should be able to time the arrivals and departures to work together. If there are only three writers that retreat, it’s possible that I could pick you all up for a donation towards time/gas. Madrid is one hour from the airport.

Costs: $150-200

Thursday afternoon/evening arrival to Monday morning departure for only $150-200 sliding scale fee. Needs-based scholarships available, just ask and I’ll work with you.

(Accommodation/Transport/Meals: costs separate.)


  • Sept 23-27th, 2019
  • November 7t-11th, 2019
  • Feb 6th-10th, 2020
  • April 2-6th, 2020



Let me know you’d like to come here and what you’re working on so that I can make sure we’ll fit together well. 


If you’d like to download one of my sketches, please always attribute the art to Sarah Leamy. If possible, also make a donation, I set it at $5 and you can multiply that if you print up more than one image. Thank you. Sleam



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