This online nature and adventure writing class provides an extensive introduction to the art and craft of the genre.
Through readings, written assignments and individual critiques, students will gain a practical grasp of dramatic scene, dialogue, character sketches and scene by scene construction in nature writing.
Taught by award-winning nature writer Nick O’Connell, this course will offer an opportunity to learn the secrets of writing nature narratives, including shaping story ideas, keeping a nature journal, structuring stories and essays, and where to send them for publication.
The six assignments include a story idea, a character sketch, a dramatic scene, a 1,500- to 2,500-word story and its revision, and a cover letter.
Instructor: Nick O’Connell
Text: Writing about Nature by John Murray
- The Complete Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1841)
- Moby Dick by Herman Melville (1851)
- Walden by Henry David Thoreau (1862)
- O Pioneers by Willa Cather (1913)
- Essays by John Muir (1915)
- A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold (1949)
- Silent Spring by Rachel Carson (1962)
- Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey (1968)
- A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean (1976)
- Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard (1978)
- Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson (1981)
- Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez (1986)
- The Stars, the Snow, the Fire by John Haines (1989)
- Practice of the Wild by Gary Snyder (1990)
- Refuge by Terry Tempest Williams (1994)
- Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer (1997)