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Five Tips for Irresistible Esalen Workshop Descriptions

1. The present is often more engaging than the past or the future. Experiment with the present tense in your workshop description. Instead of "During this workshop, participants will explore their dream imagery in a group environment," try: "Your dreams are an abundant source of inspiration for your waking life. Embark on a journey into the landscape of your dreams and discover…"

2. Invite a broad audience into your workshop. Unless you are targeting a specialized group, present your workshop in accessible terms. Complexity is welcome, just be sure to define the terms and methods not commonly known to a person unfamiliar with your work.

3. Use straightforward language and draw the reader in with a compelling opening. Give people strong reasons for signing up. Here are a couple of ideas.

  • Hook the reader with a rhetorical or real question that the workshop addresses, for example, "What would happen if more people used their dreams as guidance for real-world decision making?"
  • Open with a brief expression of how your workshop is relevant in today's world, for example, "In this time of social, economic, and environmental uncertainty, it's a joy and relief to regard change as a spiritual practice."
  • Address your description to the kind of participant you want to attract (think of someone you know and pretend you are writing directly to him or her). In the body of your description, include information about the structure of the workshop: What kinds of activities and exercises can people expect? What will a typical day consist of?

4. Do not make explicit promises as to the outcome of a workshop. For legal reasons, Esalen cannot publish guarantees about the outcome of its programs.

5. Stay within the Esalen length guidelines for workshop descriptions, workshop titles, and leader bios. Less really can be more! Length guidelines are as follows:

  • Weekend workshop: 175 words or less
  • 5-day workshop: 200 words or less
  • 7-day workshop: 225 words or less
  • Workshop title: 70 characters or less, not including spaces
  • Leader bio: 40 words or less, not including name and web address


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