There will be stories, there will be snacks. We will help you discover your voice, hone your talents, and become the next Oliver Sacks. 

Just kidding about the last one. Or maybe not. We weren't kidding about the snacks though.

There is no writing experience necessary. Simply bring your humanity, your ideas, something to write with, and your sense of humor.

What will we do together?

Find your Voice

Writing is hard--finding your voice is even harder. We will work on making you sound as good as you possibly can on the page. The point is to make you more you (on your best day). Whether you're writing fiction, poetry, non-fiction or just want to create moving and beautiful grocery lists. We will do this with guided writing, discussion and themed workshops on different elements of good writing.

hone your craft

By writing and reading carefully, and paying attention to our discussions on craft, you will improve your narrative skills. We will have plenty of time to write and you will learn tips and tricks for continuing to improve on your own.  Elements of writing and the writing life we will cover: voice, tone, structure, creative research, ethics, publishing.


Build community

Writing isn't just hard, it's often lonely. A group of like-minded folks to hold you accountable to your dreams can make all the difference. We will be this for one another. We will critique each other's work in the kindest, most effective ways possible and help one another stay motivated. 

You are free to bring work you have already started or begin anew every workshop.


There's a veritable bonanza of new research on the health and well-being benefits of cultivating a writing practice. For more than a decade, Stanford's Medicine and the Muse Program has dedicated itself to bringing the best of arts and humanities to the Stanford Medical community. Together we are working to help physicians, medical students, nurses, staff and other care providers wrestle with the emotional implications of their work, the human struggles at the center of care-giving, and the universal themes that such work calls up. We believe that exposure and engagement with the humanities makes care-providers more satisfied with their work and by extension, better at the practice of medicine. It's also fun.

Join us and see if you agree.


(the truth is that it doesn't matter who's leading.)


What matters is that you show up. But in case you're curious......Laurel is the Writer-in-Residence at Stanford's Medicine and the Muse Program. Her writing has appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wired and other publications. Her last book, Animal Madness (Simon & Schuster 2015) was a NYT bestseller and has been translated into seven languages. Her next book is about family, medicine and how we die (forthcoming, Simon & Schuster). She holds a PhD in Science, Technology and Society from MIT, is a Senior TED Fellow and a Contributing Writer for Pop Up Magazine, a live magazine the New York Times has called a “Sensation.” Her work and collaborations with musicians and artists have been featured on the BBC, NPR, Good Morning America and Al Jazeera. her favorite thing though is working with physicians.


1215 Welch Rd, Modular A, Conference Room, 6:30-8:30PM


(unless otherwise noted).


Please bring something to write with (pen and paper or a laptop). You are also free to bring your dinner. We will have snacks and drinks. 

A note about registering: these workshops are currently open to anyone in the Stanford Medical community on a drop-in basis. If, at some point, the group becomes too large, we will require advance sign-ups. For now though, just come by!

Maps and Directions to 1215 Welch Rd (Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics).

Questions? Email Laurel at



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where we are

1215 Welch Rd. Modular A.

Stanford, CA


Special thanks to