Course Catalog

Writing About the Environment

All Levels. We will use the techniques of literary journalism to write about topics with a focus on nature and environment. We will take cues from Edward Abbey, Terry Tempest Williams, Rick Bass, and Louise Erdrich, who explore a connection between their lives and the environment, from personal to political. Through a combination of reading discussions and writing workshops, we will discuss best practices and research methods, from interviews to archives. Every writer will compose two pieces: one short personal piece and one longer essay integrating research. We will also discuss publication opportunities.

Beginning Fall 2021, we will be adding select in-person classes back to our course catalog. The majority of our classes will still be offered via Zoom.

If a class says IN-PERSON in its title, it will take place in person at our permanent home in Seattle.

If a class says ASYNCHRONOUS in its title, it will take place on Wet Ink, our asynchronous learning platform.

If a class does not have a marker after its title, it will take place via Zoom.

Instructor: Gail Folkins

Class Type: 8 Sessions

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Start Date: 01/19/2017

End Date: 03/09/2017

Days of the Week: Thursday

Time: 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM PST

Minimum Class Size: 5

Maximum Class Size: 15

$337.50 Member Price:
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$375.00 General Price:

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Gail Folkins

Gail Folkins often writes about her deep roots in the American West. She is the author of two creative nonfiction books from Texas Tech University Press: a Pacific Northwest memoir titled Light in the Trees (2016), and Texas Dance Halls: A Two-Step Circuit (2007), which was a popular culture finalist in ForeWord Review’s 2007 Book of the Year Awards. Folkins’ essay “A Palouse Horse” was a Notable Essay in The Best American Essays 2010. Her essays and poetry have appeared in publications such as River Teeth Journal - Beautiful Things, North Dakota Quarterly, Wisconsin Life, Texas Highways, and Wildflower Magazine. She has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, St. Edward’s University (Austin), and Austin Community College.

Teaching philosophy: My goal is to further understanding of craft while also encouraging expression of students’ unique voices. Students have praised my workshop format and student-centered approach. Students learn to not only share a narrative, but to also explore their experiences and discoveries. I encourage students to read as writers, meaning focusing on elements of craft in addition to literary themes.

Writers I return to: Edward Abbey, Julia Alvarez, Margaret Atwood, Kim Barnes, Rick Bass, Dennis Covington, Louise Erdrich, Ernest Hemingway, Pico Iyer, and Jhumpa Lahiri.

Favorite writing advice: Find the extraordinary in the everyday.

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