Writing About Nature in a Changing World *COURSE FULL*

How do we write about the environment in a rapidly changing world? Drawing on nature writing, environmental journalism, fiction, and memoir, this course will generate the tools necessary for writing about place, setting, and nature in the context of shifting climates, borders, identities, and nations.

Through a mixture of readings, discussion, a nature walk, and guided writing, this one-day course will help writers capture many facets of nature and setting. We’ll focus on three themes:

  • – Environments: exploring edgelands, urban nature, and spaces that challenge our understandings of wilderness.
  • – Voices: considering whose voices are heard and how communities are represented in nature and place writing.
  • – Transformations: asking how we can capture climate change, biodiversity loss, and other shifts in our writing.

We’ll tackle writing in a range of registers: from dark humour to elegiac prose to celebration. Whether you’re new to writing or a seasoned pro, you will be encouraged to think critically about your portrayals of nature and the cultural lenses with which you approach it. Through a series of exercises, we’ll work together to begin prose works with a strong sense of place.

This is an all-levels course, suited for non-fiction writers (including journalists and academics) and fiction writers hoping to hone their story’s setting. Beginning writers are more than welcome!


To sign up write to us at hello@thereaderberlin.com

For those of you coming in from out of town, stay at gorgeous The Circus Hotel and receive 10% off your booking! Ask for our discount code.


Jessica J. Lee is a Canadian-British-Taiwanese author, environmental historian, and winner of the 2019 RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Author Award. Her first book, Turning, was named among the best books of 2017 by bothThe National Post and Die Zeit, named a Notable Book by the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Awards in the USA, and longlisted for the Frank Hegyi Award for Emerging Authors in Canada. She has a PhD in Environmental History and Aesthetics from York University and has written for BBC Radio 4’s Short Cuts and The TLS, among others. She is the founding editor of The Willowherb Review, a nature writing journal platforming writers of colour, and was Writer-in-Residence at the Leibniz Institute for Freshwater Ecology in Berlin from 2017–2018. Her second book, Two Trees Make a Forest: A story of memory, migration, and Taiwan will be published in November 2019.

Note: The course will be held outdoors rain or shine if there’s rain we’ll find a dry spot to write. So come prepared with weather-appropriate clothing, sunscreen, water, and a packed lunch. Participants should be prepared for a walk of up to 3 km.

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