The Writers Nest Garden


2020 Schedule


Creative Writing Workshop Adventures

Located in a private garden in downtown Mill Valley, workshop-adventures are ongoing. 
Access is through an open gate, down a pebbled path…into a physically-distanced approved space to create. Chairs and tables are set up six feet apart among maple and birch trees. Space for eight writers at a time. Ongoing or drop-in sessions, 2 – 4 p.m.

SEPTEMBER 13, 20, 27
OCTOBER 11, 18, 25
NOVEMBER 8, 15, 22

Contact Karen at for availability.


The Snail Mail Museletter Adventure

A monthly offering for writers to “gather” in community via weekly letters—from me—that include postage, prompts, magic word tickets, quotes, sample poems, story starts, a copy of one of my books, a snail-mail writing buddy, a closing Zoom party & more.


*9-13 year-old girls | focus on fiction and poetry 
Mid-March to mid-April: FULL
Mid-April to mid-May: FULL


Other Offerings:


1:1 mentoring sessions for writers of all ages.

Inspiration/encouragement & check-ins about writing projects.

Inscribed books for students, parents, educators:
Gift a book to a child or teen interested in writing (books arrive inscribed with a special surprise by the author…)
Gift a parent or educator with one of my books. They make leading virtual writing adventures fun and inspiring.
Gift a book to yourself. Just because.


Contact me for dates & registration info. ✍️


What young writers who play on the page at The Writers Nest have to say:

“It’s worry-less here.” C. (age 10)
“I can always count on being calm when I write.” E. (age 9)
“You can let your imagination wear blue socks and run wild…” M.O. (age 11)
“There are no limits on the page.” V. (age 10)
“My thoughts and feelings have a way to get out.” A. (age 12)


from “Adventure”

“It’s like the wild horse of your mind
fusing with the salt-scent of the breeze…
Far down the beach you see a jar.
You run. You reach the jar. 
You read the note inside.
You are your own adventure.

~A. (age 13)


from “Ode to Forgotten Punctuation Marks”

This is for the interrobangs the percontation points,
the irony marks born from an artist’s mind
who wrote herself free with one wild hand.

~N. (age 13)


from “Singing Birds”

The singing birds will come.
Delight in the heart you’re invited into.
Poems are a new universe
that I keep coming back to explore.

~P. (age 12)

Karen Benke Visits
The Writers Nest is a nurturing space where you can settle in, dive deep, and commit to starting and finishing writing projects.
I’ve been at the writing game for a while and can offer encouragement while structuring manageable deadlines that aren’t terrifying.
As a writing guide / mentor, I lead experimental writing groups and assist reluctant writers, and those who want their work to cross over to publication. I’ve studied with many generous teachers and am familiar with the monkey mind tricks of avoidance, doubt, fear, and procrastination. I’ve been told I also make the process of writing fun.