SOMOS Youth Mentorship Program

SOMOS or Society Of the Muse Of the Southwest, Taos, New Mexico’s own non-profit literary society/supporter, started back in 1983. Other than being a valuable resource for writers and a great little used bookstore, they put on several annual literary events. These include the winter and summer writers’ series that bring both local and national writers to our little town to do readings, and a Storytelling Festival every October.

I have the good fortune of currently being part of their annual Youth Mentorship Program and being paired up with a 9th grader in my little village of Peñasco. I love to teach writing and share my passion for writing with young people so this is a perfect opportunity for me.

Here is what the SOMOS site says about it:

The SOMOS Youth Writers’ Mentorship Program pairs young writers (7th-12th grade) in Taos with adult writers, for one-on-one mentorships. February through April, mentorship pairs meet at coffeeshops, the library, the park (in spring!), or wherever they can find a comfy spot to write together, share writing trials and tribulations, and generally keep those creative juices flowing. And, it’s completely FREE.
We have mentors for all genres and levels of experience; young people range from newly-interested students to young folks finishing up their first novel. Over the course of the program we offer several creative writing workshops (previous years have featured screenwriting, songwriting, and poetry, to name a few topics) open to the public; a great opportunity for mentors and mentees to explore new ground together. This year we will also have an open writing group (for 7th-12th graders) every Thursday from 2-5pm at the SOMOS office, beginning in February.
The program is in its 19th year, and it’s always a ton of fun. Questions or comments can be addressed to Rita O’Connell,

I am equally excited for the free writing workshops that are part of the program. This year there are workshops on writing as a spiritual path, memoir and character development.

Love, Death & Waking Up: Writing as a Spiritual Path

with Mirabai Starr

Sat., March 3; 1:30PM at SOMOS, 233D Paseo del Pueblo Sur

Join teacher and writer Mirabai Starr to explore the spiritual dimensions of writing. Guided meditations and writing prompts will help you along your path as a writer – and help your writing shape your life.


Who Am I This Time? Developing Character for Poetry & Prose

with Tenney Walsh

Sat., March 10; 1:30pm at SOMOS, 233D Paseo del Pueblo Sur

Writer and actress Tenney Walsh brings us this interactive workshop that will help bring your characters to life!


Stories From Your Life: Exploration of Memoir

with Iris Keltz

Sat., March 31; 1:30pm at SOMOS, 233D Paseo del Puebo Sur

Spend the afternoon with Iris Keltz, author of Scrapbook of a Taos Hippie, as we explore ways to harvest stories from our life.


Closing Celebration and Reading

with all the participants of the Mentorship Program

Saturday, May 12; 1:30pm at SOMOS, 233D Paseo del Puebo Sur

All mentorship program participants are invited to participate in this closing reading, open to the public. Come share food, friends, and great works created over the course of the program.

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