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Hi! I'm Nadia Colburn—writer, teacher, yogi, activist

Author of The High Shelf and founder of Align Your Story writing school.

At Align Your Story Writing School, we bring traditional literary and creative writing studies together with mindfulness, embodied practices, and social and environmental engagement. Join a community of over 25,000 other mindful writers. Get the tools and community to write your best work.

Featured Post

Make Your Story a Gift (And FREE class!)

Dear Reader, After a wonderful few weeks of traveling on my book tour, I'm now back home in Cambridge, where the days are getting longer and I can begin to see and feel the Earth moving ever so slowly towards spring. Over the next few weeks, in anticipation of the launch of my upcoming spring course, Align Your Story, I’ll be sharing a few essays I’ve written about how I came to understand and make peace with my own difficult story and why I created this distinctive writing class with...

1 day ago • 10 min read

Dear Reader,I’m writing from Colorado where Eric has flown out to meet me. It has been really great visiting our daughter, Simone, and spending time with friends new and old in a number of cities where I've been giving readings. There's much I've been enjoying and relishing–including the snow-capped mountains and clear Colorado skies. I've also been noticing that many of my conversations have been turning to really difficult topics. Many people are feeling uneasy around the political...

8 days ago • 3 min read

Dear Reader, I hope this finds you well! Yesterday was Valentine's Day, so I wanted to send you a note of love and share some thoughts on love– I also have a poem, a writing prompt, and an announcement about some upcoming classes and events at the bottom of this email :) On Love Several years ago, when I came out of a silent retreat, I had a very clear understanding that all the complexities of the world—the knots, the twists and turns, the difficult decisions, the blocks and anguish–were...

15 days ago • 5 min read

Dear Reader, I invite you to take a breath! Almost everyone I talk to these days feels the need to slow down, to take a breath. I know I often do. Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about interdependence; as a writer and a person, remembering our interconnections keeps me focused on what's important. So today I want to share: A little reminder about some upcoming events, in the hopes we might connect with one another in person! I'm something of an introvert, but it's been so wonderful...

29 days ago • 4 min read

Dear Reader! I hope this finds you well as we move into the final week of January. Since I’ve been talking a lot recently about the publication of my new book, I Say the Sky, I want to share some (free) resources with you about how to get published as well as some thoughts on how publication (or the decision not to publish traditionally) fits into an aligned writing life. In particular, I thought I'd discuss–and break down–the two biggest myths around publication and how you can cultivate...

about 1 month ago • 5 min read

Dear Reader, One of the things I really appreciate about this time of year is the way it can inspire us to connect (or reconnect) with our communities: loved ones, old friends, spiritual circles, extended family, and more. This got me thinking about what "community" means to a writer and how community shapes the life and work of a writer. Many people think of writing as a solitary activity, but for me it’s a deeply communal one. Not only is language itself a historic, collective medium, but...

2 months ago • 9 min read

Dear Reader, First, I want to say that I am deeply thankful for your presence here in this community. Each Thanksgiving, I find myself thinking about authentic gratitude. I know that so many people around the world, as well as some close to me, are suffering. To simply express gratitude can feel blind to what is happening. And yet, cultivating a mindset of gratitude can be an expansive, generous, healing, and life-affirming practice. But I’ll be honest: my journey to understanding and...

3 months ago • 5 min read

Dear Reader, How are you doing? It's beautiful here in Cambridge—peak fall! The sky is blue, and the leaves are brilliant. So much splendor. And at the same time, around the world, there is so much deep suffering. Like many of you, I'm deeply saddened and horrified by the news from Israel and Gaza. I'm ethnically Jewish, so this struggle is closer to my heart than others. I have Jewish friends who have lost loved ones already in Israel and also Palestinian friends who have lost loved ones. I...

4 months ago • 3 min read

Dear Reader, The poet Mary Oliver wrote: “Ten times a day something happens to me like this – some strengthening throb of amazement – some good sweet empathic ping and swell. This is the first, the wildest and the wisest thing I know: that the soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness.” Once a year, I offer a free one-hour Poetry of Attention Masterclass so I can share some of the wildness and wonder that poetry has to offer. I’d love to see you there! In our fast-paced,...

5 months ago • 2 min read
image of open window with field outside

Dear Reader, Happy August!I spent most of July off my computer. I have to admit that coming back home and being reminded of the political and social realities is a bit of a shock to my system. There feels like a disconnect between the beauty and kindness of so much of the world and the often illogical, destructive realities of so many large-scale human interactions. As I try to make sense of it, I find myself turning again to poetry, which helps expand my perspective. For me, poetry is both a...

7 months ago • 2 min read
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