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Our Story

In the book, Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg introduced the idea of timed writing sessions, each followed by a “read-around” where participants, one by one, shared their work aloud without any response (comments or criticism) from the group. 

Inspired by this format, Dr. Richard Louth, Director of the Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project, took a more daring approach in 1994, releasing his writers into the streets:

“I combined Goldberg's idea with Hemingway's concept of moving about a city while writing in cafes, integrating food and drink and talk in the process, and allowing each location to 'transplant' the writer to other times and places,” Louth explained. 

What began as an experimental workshop at a conference in Louth’s beloved New Orleans has since become a signature event for writers nationwide. The New Orleans Writing Marathon provides both the structure and the freedom for its participants to attain an unparalleled level of concentration as they immerse themselves in the writing process and also their surroundings. 

Next Writing Marathon:

Late March as part of the

Tennessee Williams & New Orleans

Literary Festival

Dates/Times TBA


featuring our summer retreat

participants on KSLU's website.

Check out this recent article by

Richard Louth in the Summer 2022

issue of Phi Kappa Phi Forum.

The article begins on page 18.

Jack Bedell Retreat 2018_edited.jpg

Louisiana Poet Laureate Jack Bedell's appearance at our 2018 Summer Retreat was made possible by a grant from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.

Our Team

Richard Louth, Founder

Richard Louth is a professor of English at Southeastern Louisiana University, where he teaches courses in Living Writers, Louisiana Literature, and Creative Writing and received the university’s award for Teaching Excellence. As founding director of the Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project, he created the New Orleans Writing Marathon and edited The Writing Marathon: In Good Company Revealed. He has published in Louisiana in WordsCountry Roads, and Louisiana Literature.

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