Southern Nature Workshop for Writers
April 27th, 2002
1. The Importance of the Local -- John Lane, co-editor of The Woods Stretched for Miles and one of the founders of Hub City Writers Project (Spartanburg) talked about literature of place and why every place matters. The written word is powerful; as writers we certify, protect and honor our places. All of us
doing so fills in the gaps on the nature writing map, giving voice to the southlands.
2. How One Investigative Reporter Can Change the World
-- Julie Hauserman, reporter for the St. Petersburg Times and National Public Radio commentator spoke about positive results from stories she has written, including one on arsenic in playground equipment that earned her a Pulitzer Prize nomination. She will speak on the hows and whys of investigative environmental reporting.
3. Learning Courage -- Norine Cardea, therapist, environmental activist, and cofounder of Heart of the Earth in Tallahassee, Florida, will introduced the afternoon session on
courage, community-building, and the personal barriers we face to changing the world.
4. Writing as Activism: One Story -- Roger Pinckney of Daufuskie Island, SC has been doing brave, inspiring work there as an activist and a writer. Pinckney has butted heads in court, been subpoenaed, threatened and socially ostracized for his work to preserve diminishing coastal resources. Lately he has helped redefine an old truth: the laptop is mightier than the bulldozer, the chainsaw, the lawyer.
5. Break-out Sessions on Craft: Two Workshops
a. Creative Nonfiction: Writing the Natural World
Taught by Janisse Ray -- This session will involve the shaping of our stories into prose, especially essay. We will be writing about our relationship to the landscape, recording details of natural history and wild places, and thinking about how our cultures are tied to the land.
b. Keeping a Nature Journal -- Bill Hammond, professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, has led journal workshops all over the country. A creativity genius (he?s taught creativity
to corporate inventors), he is a fascinating speaker and creator of incredible journals.
6. Panel: How to Publish -- Presenters: Bill Belleville, Thomas Rain Crowe, Jan DeBlieu, John Lane, and Barbara Ras -- Authors, editors, and publishers discussed the nuts and bolts of publishing books, essays and articles concerning nature. Advice, tips, how-to, specific magazines and papers, publishing a book, self-publishing. How to make a living at it. Whatever you want to ask.
7. Break-out Sessions on Craft: Two Workshops
a. Creative Nonfiction: Nature Memoir -- Susan Cerulean, author of The Book of the Everglades, spoke on the relationship between nature and our lives. In this class we will be telling our own stories and imagining new stories that will teach us how to lead
more human, more profound and more meaningful lives. Writing exercises will explore both the inner and outer landscapes.
b. The Poetics of Nature -- This was a chance to explore a deeply compelling genre. Ann Fisher-Wirth, English professor at the University of Mississippi and author of Blue Window, talked about nature poetry and led poetry-writing exercises.
Wrap-Up: What Holds Us Back: Learning Courage -- As Rosa Parks was trained to be courageous, so too can we move past the personal limitations that hold us back, that prevent us from being unstoppable in our work to protect and preserve the earth's wild places.
Norine Cardea has been a therapist for more than 15 years in the Tallahassee, Florida area. She does social-change work, focusing now on environmental issues.
Writers from across the Southeast