What does writing look like when it is exposed to the wildness outside our bubble of convenience? What do the beaches and the hedgerows and the winds have to teach us about what we could do with our stories and our style? How could your writing benefit from letting some more ragged, messy, natural energy come in and toy with it?
This is a weekend-long course for writers of any kind, with any level of experience, who want to re-inject some of the spirit of nature into their work. In a time in which our lives are increasingly tamed, monitored, controlled and urbanised, our words and our stories are in danger of going the same way. Our writing may be in danger of becoming too safe – and perhaps a little too human.
Some writing courses focus on making your writing as professional, accessible and saleable as possible. They will teach you about presentation, about genre and about how to give ‘the market’ what it wants. Maybe they’ll even offer you tips on how to write letters to agents and publishers. This is all useful stuff, and on this weekend we will be doing none of it. On this course, I will be trying as hard as I can to make your writing unprofessional. I’ll encourage you to ignore your audience, forget about whatever you think publishers might want, and instead go direct to the heart of the matter – why you write, what fires your words, and how you can make them as true to your own vision as possible.
We will focus on following your inner voice with rigour: on writing what you need to write, and on following your words wherever they take you. And we will focus, together, on the role which the non-human world – the world of nature – plays in informing your writing; whether you know it or not.
Questions we will explore together, and which you will explore through your writing, will include:
- What is the story you were meant to tell?
- Where do stories come from – and what do they want from you?
- What is the role of landscape and nature in writing – and how can you listen to what it has to say?
- What role does image play in creating powerful writing?
- How can you uncivilise your style – let the wildness in to your writing?
- How can folk tales, myths and archetypes inform your work?
With the help of writers from Robert Graves to Black Elk, D. H. Lawrence to Annie Dillard, Mary Oliver to Li Po, we’ll explore the urgency of the writer’s task, help you to discover the fire that lies beneath your words, and give you permission to write not like a machine, but like an animal.
The course is taught by award-winning novelist, poet and essayist Paul Kingsnorth. For more information, and booking details, Click Here