Events & News

Upcoming Events

April 14, 2016, 7:30 p.m: Reading for Passings, with Holly J. Hughes, Eagle Harbor Books, Bainbridge Island, WA

April 15, 7 p.m:  Book Launch for An Earlier Life, with Brenda Miller, Village Books, Bellingham, WA

April 21, 2016, 7 p.m.:  Reading with Holly J. Hughes and Linda Bierds, Northwind Arts Center, Port Townsend, WA

April 22, 2016, 6:30 p.m: Reading with Holly J. Hughes and Bill Yake, cosponsored by Hypatia-in-the-Woods and Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Brilliant Moon bookstore, Shelton, WA

Kenyon Review Writing Workshop,
 with Brenda Miller, June 18-25, Kenyon College, Gambier, OH


Past Events

June 26, 2015Chuckanut Writers Conference, with Brenda Miller and Lee Gulyas, “Igniting Creativity Through Collaboration”

July 19-24, 2015: Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, Creative Writing Workshop with Brenda Miller

October 16-18, 2015: Into the Fire: The Sun Celebrates Personal Writing, Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA. Classes with Brenda Miller

October 23-25, 2015: Sit, Walk, Write: Nature and the Practice of Presence, North Cascades Institute. Weekend Meditation and Writing workshop with Holly J. Hughes and Kurt Hoelting.

October 17-19, 2014

North Cascades Institute
Sit, Walk, Write: Nature and the Practice of Presence
with Holly Hughes and Kurt Hoelting



Sign up for a Pen & Bell Workshop in  beautiful  Homer Alaska!

Join Holly Hughes at the Stillpoint Lodge in Halibut Cove
June 26 – 29, 2014 

$645 double occupancy/$795 single occupancy

Price includes round-trip boat transportation from Homer, a tour of the boardwalks and art galleries of Halibut Cove, 3-nights lodging, mindful gourmet meals, kayak instruction, guided kayaking and hiking, sauna, Wi-Fi and optional complimentary yoga, meditation and spiritual direction.

For more information and to register:


February 15, 2014

The Search for Meaning Conference at Seattle University

Holly and Brenda will be presenting a mini-workshop based on The Pen and the Bell at the annual Search for Meaning Conference at Seattle University, Saturday Feb. 15th.

The day-long event is FREE, but advance registration is required. We’d love to see you there!


A shout out from Christine Hale, at Spry Literary Journal! Read about her exploration of writing as a spiritual practice.



SH-Hughes-Mindful-Writing-Pen-and-Bell-201308-pstr-FBJuly 11, 2013, 8 a.m. PST, 11 a.m. EST:

A live teleseminar with Brenda for International Association of Conscious and Creative Writers 

Brenda will be interviewed live as part of an interview series with the International Association of Conscious and Creative Writers (IACCW). You can find details here. You can listen free as a member, and it’s easy to join (and free! Details on membership here.) Julia McCutchen will be interviewing Brenda for an hour on the following topics:

How do we create space for writing or creativity in a world crowded with many distractions? How can we gain access to our deeper selves in the midst of our busy lives? In The Pen & The Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World, Brenda Miller and Holly J. Hughes guide us in contemplative and writing practices that help us pay attention in simple and profound ways.

At the heart of mindful writing is the ability to slow down and simply observe what is happening, both inside and outside the self. In this conversation with Brenda Miller, she will describe how the power of detailed observation can be translated into writing, and how writing, itself, can become an important contemplative practice.

We will cover many topics, including:

  • How to create physical and mental space for mindfulness and writing
  • How to heighten awareness as a basis for writing
  • How to practice writing that articulates the concrete, tactile, sensory world
  • How to write quickly, but effectively
  • How to take risks in writing
  • How to write both alone and in community.


June 29-30, 2013: Portland, Oregon

  • We’ll be starting with a 2 1/2 hour workshop at the Portland First Unitarian ChurchSaturday, June 29, 9:30-12.  In this workshop, we’ll be leading you in some simple contemplative practices and writing prompts to get you started on fruitful new work. $25 for church members; $35 for others. Details here.
  • Saturday night, at 7:30 p.m., we’ll be giving a reading at St. John’s Booksellers, 8622 N. Lombard St., Portland, OR 97203, 503-283-0032. We’ll share our writing from the book, as well as lead you in a simple writing exercise.
  • Sunday morning, June 30, we’ll be back at the Unitarian Church for a free reading and reception (with refreshments!) from 11:30-12:30.

May 17:
Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Port Townsend, WA, 7-9 p.m. Free

Brenda and Holly will give a free talk and mini-workshop based on The Pen and the Bell.

May 18:
The Writers’ Workshoppe, Port Townsend, WA, 10-4.  $80

Brenda and Holly will guide a day-long workshop that will involve simple contemplative practices and writing exercises.


March 6-9:

The Associated Writing Programs Book Fair and Conference, Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA

Skinner House Books will be displaying The Pen and The Bell, and Brenda will be hanging out to chat with readers. Come visit if you’re in the area! The Book Fair is open to the public, for free, on Saturday, March 9.

March 9:
The Search For Meaning Book Festival, Seattle University, Seattle, WA

Holly will be giving a talk based on The Pen and the Bell. Tickets are free, but required in advance. Come visit if you’re in the area!


Here are some events Holly will be doing in February:

Sunday Feb. 3rd  3 pm
Ish River Poet’s Circle Reading
La Conner Civic Garden Club
622 South Second St.
Reading:  Tim McNulty, Holly Hughes, Finn Wilcox, Michael Daley

Tuesday, Feb. 12  6 pm
Artsmith Salon Series
Darvill’s Bookstore
Eastsound, Orcas Island