live. online. retreats

One of my favorite places is in a writing classroom (real and virtual). My goal as a writing teacher is to tap into students’ energy and help them make discoveries through language. I strive to establish a rigorous classroom environment that allows students to challenge themselves as writers and readers, to deepen their understanding of craft, and to support each other as members of a community dedicated to words.

I love witnessing the moment when writers find the true story in their essays, when they learn to keep digging until they’ve uncovered buried narrative threads, when they find the structure that best serves their stories. That kind of excitement and discovery brings me back to the classroom again and again.

Women's Writing Circles (Virtual)

Fall 2024 Dates TBD

I will be collaborating with Publish Her to lead weekly writing circles for women. Find community, inspiration and grow and learn as a writer. Weekly discussions, readings and writing exercises will focus on generating new work, deepening your understanding of craft, and all things writing. Participants will have time to write in class and share what emerged from the exercise, receiving feedback from the circle. Experienced and first-time writers of any genre are welcome in this supportive community of women writers.

Contact me for more information.


Motherhood & Words® Online

April 10 - May 14, 2024

Whether you are a new mom or a veteran, whether you gave birth to or adopted your child, in this online class you’ll learn how to take birth and motherhood stories and turn them into art.

It can be difficult to find literary communities where writing about motherhood is taken seriously as art. Even in positive reviews of motherhood memoirs, reviewers often find it necessary to first bash the genre as a whole. But like all great writing, motherhood literature is, as Patricia Hampl says about memoir, “an attempt to find not only a self but a world.”


Weekly lectures, reading assignments and writing exercises will focus on:

  • capturing those parenting moments you don’t want to forget
  • examining motherhood models
  • developing your children as three-dimensional characters on the page
  • exploring the ways that voice and reflection can deepen your stories
  • practicing techniques for writing the hard stuff, and
  • finding the structure that can hold your stories

Each week provides you with opportunities to practice.

In this 5-week class you will have the opportunity to explore motherhood and your role as a mother in a challenging and nurturing environment. You will enjoy:

  • writing prompts
  • discussions of assigned readings and other general writing topics with peers and the instructor
  • written lectures and a selection of readings
  • the opportunity to submit flash essays for instructor and/or peer review

There will be an optional video conference that is open to all students during the second week of class. Aside from the live conference, there is no need to be online at any particular time of day.

COST: $310

There are two scholarships-$210 discount-for BIPOC women. Simply complete the registration form to use the scholarship registration fee. If those two spots have been taken and you cannot participate without a discount, please contact me and I'll try to work something out. 

Contact me for more information.


I love the magic that happens when writers can get away together to write.

Is your group of writers interested in a generative writing retreat that balances group meetings and writing/reading discussion with plenty of writing time, tailored exercises and individual conferences? You can hire me to facilitate for your weekend or week-long retreat.

Contact me for more information and we can connect about the needs of your group.

writing retreats

"I am grateful beyond words for the chance to write under Kate's guidance about mothering and grandmothering. I am ready to keep going, after thinking for sometime that I had nothing to say. Some workshops blow out the writing flame; Kate protected us all."

- Mary Scherf -

“It was in Kate’s Motherhood and Words class that I found the courage to call myself a writer. I found my voice, my words, and my tribe of writing friends and partners. In the 5 years since then I have been published in two anthologies, as an essayist for our local NPR station, in numerous online publications, and now as the writer and editor of our local neighborhood magazine. I can safely say this would not have happened without her class. There is something special about this class in particular, the focus on the shared aspects of mothering, and on who we are besides mothers.”

- Meagan Schultz

"Kate’s approach to teaching combines in-depth knowledge of craft with an intuitive understanding of the stories women need to write. She guides her students with wisdom, heart and a calm presence; her gentle nudges and encouragement have helped me grow as a writer and a person!"

- Angela Kasumova

“I've been attending Kate's writing retreats for five years. No two are ever alike; just like no two of Kate's evocative writing prompts are alike. Every retreat, and every detailed prompt created for the retreat, is carefully constructed to allow a writer to access her truest words, her deepest soul writing. I've witnessed Kate encourage countless writers (including me!) to spin gold from their lived experience. Kate is more than an editor; Kate is a word alchemist.”

- Heidi Parton

“I have attended over a dozen of Kate’s writing retreats.  Kate puts a lot of prep time into the writing retreats she leads. I am always in awe of her thoughtfulness and attention to detail. The essays and flash fiction she chooses for us to read—and the compelling prompts that accompany those readings—are crafted to inspire deep reflection, to challenge us to test new writing styles, and to encourage us to have fun! The retreat schedules are paced to allow plenty of private writing time, one-on-one consultations with Kate, safe space for personal sharing of writing based on the prompts, as well as time to socialize and relax.”

- Heidi Schneider

“Kate Hopper’s Motherhood and Words retreats transform me and my writing. At a large, lovely lodge with Kate and a dozen or so fellow writers for a long weekend, we study well-written pieces, receive several writing prompts a day, have stretches of time to work privately, and opportunities to share our work with Kate and the group. They carry me forward with so many fresh ideas and give me joy, knowing that I’m part of a sisterhood of writers who value each other’s commitment toward excellent writing.”

- Krista Westendorp