The Elk River Writers Workshop is a program of Elk River Arts & Lectures

Elk River


Montana has long been known as The Last Best Place, a motto popularized by Annick Smith and 2015 faculty member Bill Kittredge in their book of the same name.

The wild landscape here has been a source of inspiration for writers from Richard Hugo to Richard Brautigan, Jim Harrison to James Welch. It continues to provide inspiration for many of our faculty, and we’re sure it will for you as well. Paradise Valley offers everything an artist needs: solitude, beauty, wildness and perspective. Livingston has become a focal point of Montana literature, attracting writers of every genre and enough readers and book-lovers to support a lively literary scene.

Explore the Area

While you’re here, we invite you to explore beyond the seminar rooms and find your own inspiration.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Chico Hot Springs

Chico Hot Springs’ amenities include hot spring pools, a day spa, two restaurants, a garden, a gift shop and a saloon with live music most weekends. They host horseback riding and rafting (weather permitting). You may want to come early or stay late, get in some hiking or fishing, or take a tour of Yellowstone National Park.

Livingston, Montana

Livingston, Montana is the original historic gateway to Yellowstone National Park and your year-round home base with a lively arts scene, epic recreation and culture, rustic and refined dining, lodging, and shopping.

Yellowstone National Park

In America’s first national park, visitors have unparalleled opportunities to watch wildlife in an intact ecosystem, explore geothermal areas that contain about half the world’s active geysers, and view geologic wonders like the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River.

Elk River Books

Antiquarian bookstore in Livingston

Livingston Depot Center

Historic exhibits, and regional cultural programs

Yellowstone Gateway Musuem

Sharing stories of Park County, Montana’s history

Shane Lalani Center for the Arts

Building community through arts

Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Foundation

Stewards of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness

Livingston Farmers Market

Wednesdays in Sacagawea Park

Join Us

The Elk River Writers Workshop accepts applications from October through May each year. We make decisions on a rolling basis, and strongly encourage interested writers to apply early as classes fill up fast.