with Colleen Kinder and Owen Murray
June 28 to July 2, 2018

All authors are illustrators. They sketch vivid scenes, legible faces, contoured landscapes, and so much more in the reader’s minds-eye. How do we cultivate this ability: to animate the visual world distinctively and unforgettably in the imaginations of our readers? This workshop focuses on the art of description, through myriad writing exercises and prompts, as well as basic lessons in drawing and photography. Drawing from the painter John Ruskin’s belief in “word-painting,” we will use visual art as a portal into prose-writing, bringing our attention to the minute detail of our environment on the Millay grounds, and exploring how we can cultivate a particular voice and aesthetic through the very things we notice and render. Co-taught by a writer and photographer/illustrator team Colleen Kinder and Owen Murray, this course will take students on a two-dimensional journey, equipping them to illustrate the visual world in radiant detail.

​Owen Murray is a Canadian illustrator and photographer, who splits his time between Canada and Egypt. For over a decade, pen, paper and lens have accompanied him on projects spanning from Oman to Turkmenistan and Japan. In the winter, he can usually be found in Upper Egypt photographing cultural heritage sites, and in the fall and summer he’s likely in his native Alberta, doing freelance photography and teaching at the Edmonton Digital Arts College. 

Colleen Kinder is a travel essayist loosely based in too many places. Colleen’s work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, The, National Geographic Traveler,, Creative Nonfiction, and The Best American Travel Writing 2013, Colleen received her MFA from the University of Iowa and currently ​teaches ​writing for Yale Summer Session in Auvillar, France. ​ She i​s the co-founder of the magazine​ Off Assignment

Logistics: Schedule, Fees, etc.

Workshop Retreat Schedule: Each day begins with a fresh breakfast followed by a three- hour workshop at 10:00 AM. Total workshop time for the retreat will be twelve hours. The afternoon can be spent working in the studio, visiting local sites, swimming in a nearby lake or walking the mountain trails. Dinner is eaten overlooking our field and gorgeous meadows. Evening hours are devoted to worktime.

Fees: $900 includes tuition, private room, private studio and all meals. $650 includes tuition and meals only. $1,500 for two Workshop Retreats. Limited financial aid, based on need, is available. Millay Colony Alumni who are part of our Alumni Artists Group receive a 15% discount. Participants may purchase a thirty-minute Private Consultation with instructors for $150. Manuscripts (20 pages maximum) must be sent in advance.

To Sign Up: Send an email with a brief work sample (up to ten pages, links to online work are fine) and a $450 (non-refundable) deposit. The remaining fee is due one month prior to the workshop. Please indicate if you require lodging and studio space for the Retreats. Send To: Amina Henry at Pay deposit via PayPal using our DONATE Button. Or send a check/work sample to The Millay Colony for the Arts, 454 East Hill Road, Austerlitz, NY. Attention: Workshops. Make checks payable to The Millay Colony for the Arts. For more information please get in touch with Amina Henry at