• Commuter – $1,600.00
  • Campsite – $1,800.00
  • Sleeping Bag Space – $1,900.00
  • Twin Bed in Shared Glamping Tent – $2,000.00

Date & Time Details: May 16, 2024 at 3pm – May 20, 2024 at 11am

Location: Topa Institute

Address: 9739 Ojai Santa Paula Road, Ojai, CA, USA

Contact: Topa Institute Registrar Office

Email us about program

Run Write Read Repeat

with Moriel Rothman-Zecher

May 16 - 20, 2024

Run | Write | Read | Repeat

With Moriel Rothman-Zecher

The practices of writing and running have much in common with one another: There is no way to train for a long-distance running event except over an extended period of time, bit by bit, step by step. The same goes for writing a long-form creative work — a book, a collection of poems, a series of short stories. Running can enhance our writing, allowing time and space for thoughts to sift themselves out, for plot elements to expand or change, for lines to tumble into the poet’s consciousness; and indeed, the practice of regular writing can also motivate and structure or running practices, as well. These will be the central questions of this workshop: How might these two practices — running and writing — inform each other, correspond with each other, and transform each other, and bolster one another? 

This is an invitation to gather as a group of runner-writers – amateur and experienced, starting out or going strong – and to run through the world, and to invite the world to run through us. 

Led by poet and novelist (Sadness Is a White Bird and Before All the World), long-distance runner (2x 100-miler, 30+x 26.2-miler, etc.) and writing teacher (current Swarthmore College faculty, MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars) Moriel Rothman-Zecher, this five-day running and writing seminar will be an opportunity to explore the twinned practices of running and writing in a stunning location, with a community of like-minded fellow [foot] travelers and scribblers. 

What to Expect:

  • Group Trail Runs: Participants will lace up their running shoes and explore scenic trails while allowing nature to inspire their writing process.
  • Dedicated Writing Time: Guided writing sessions will provide attendees with prompts and encouragement to channel their thoughts and experiences onto the page.
  • Group Reading Sessions: A supportive environment for sharing works-in-progress and receiving constructive feedback from fellow participants.
  • One-on-One Sessions: Each attendee will have the opportunity to engage in a private 45-minute session with Moriel Rothman-Zecher, tailored to their individual interests and goals.

Small Group:

This retreat has a maximum capacity of 12 people, making the experience even more intimate and personalized. Every participant will have the opportunity to work individually with Moriel Rothman-Zecher to achieve their writing & running goals.



A note on the running: Participants in this workshop certainly need not be expert runners, though a regular running practice is encouraged if you are planning on joining the group runs (there will be one group run every day for the duration of the four day workshop). There is also the option of only joining the writing sessions, and walking or sitting solo during the group run sessions. The runs will not be speed-oriented, but rather process-oriented; we will maintain a collective pace during our group runs; there will be plenty of unstructured time for participants who want to run additional miles on their own, or in small groups, at whatever pace feels best.  

A note on the writing: While this seminar is open to writers of any experience, no previous writing practice at all is required, only curiosity, openness, and a working pen. 

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included



Moriel Rothman-Zecher
Moriel Rothman-Zecher is the author of the novels Before All the World (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), which was named an NPR Book of 2022, and Sadness Is a White Bird (Atria Books / Simon and Schuster), for which he received the National Book Foundation’s ‘5 Under 35’ Honor, and which was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the winner of the Ohioana Book Award, a finalist for a National Jewish Book Award, and longlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. His poems and essays have been published or are forthcoming in The American Poetry Review, Barrelhouse,…
Learn more about Moriel Rothman-Zecher