Writing In The Time Of Climate Change

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Novel writing, Short fiction

For writers exploring the climate crisis


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Take This Course

Learn how to narrativise climate change and bring your stories into the world
Safely explore grief and hope, fear and positivity
Join our lovely little online community to support you through your writing and beyond

Humanity is defined by the stories we tell ourselves

But our stories are failing and the world is suffering. It’s time to tell a new story. This is a course for writers who want to explore climate change and the environmental crisis in their work.

So. Climate change, eh?

Looks like we’ve gone from ‘oh we should do something about this’ to ‘holy crap we’re in deep doodoo’ pretty quickly. But where is the overwhelming body of art and literature that this crisis should be inspiring?

We’re not talking dystopia here.

We’re talking the stories about how we live now.

Stories about the fear and grief and rage.

Stories of hope and hopelessness.

Stories about living and surviving during the slow apocalypse of climate change, the collapse of capitalism, the implosion of democracy.

The creative response to climate change has always been troubled; at first slow to appear and then struggling to have meaningful impact.

It is easy to feel despondent; it’s also easy to forget that we have always been defined by the stories we tell ourselves.

The climate crisis demands from us nothing less than a new way of telling stories and a new way of listening.

Without an adequate cultural response we will struggle with a meaningful social and political response, and in this respect the role of artists and writers is clear.

Based our sell-out, transformational, generally awesome climate writers retreat in 2019, this course plays host to writers at all stages who are keen to engage in climate change but find their work is somehow paralysed.

During this course we will discuss the problems of narrativising climate change and focus on what each writer needs from themselves and their community to be able to bring their stories forward into the world.

19 steps in 4 sections

  • Welcome to Writing in the Time of Climate Change
  • 1PART 1

    • Why Stories Are So Important To Climate Change
    • Fear, Grief, and Writing
    • A Coupla Short Stories For You

    2PART 2

    • Telling The Truth
    • The Problem With Anthropocentrism
    • DISCUSSION: The Problem With Anthropocentrism
    • Beyond Dystopia
    • DISCUSSION: Beyond Dystopia

    3PART 3

    • From Huge Theme To Ordinary Life
    • From Huge Theme To Ordinary Life: Doing The Work
    • Waiting For Permission
    • Research Methods and The Science Depository
    • A Bit Of Reading, A Bit Of Writing

    4PART 4

    • Exercise: A Lonely World
    • The New Language Of Climate Change
    • Exercise: The New Language Of Climate Change
    • The Final Act, or is it?
    • Take This Course

    Thought provoking and moving

    A great course which untangled my thoughts (and my paralysis) on wanting to write about the climate emergency. Especially refreshing to see People Like Me (ie a 40 something woman) leading this – I really related to the conflicts in handling climate change activism/concern as well as concern for writing and concern for family and our own fragile futures. Fantastic all round and despite the enormity of the subject matter, and its dire possible outcome, is a positive experience.

    Selina C

    Inspirational and compassionate

    Well-structured, clear, hugely informational. Inspirational and compassionate while refusing to turn away from the monster: instead looking it in the eye, facing it down and not turning to stone. You’ve brought many tears to my eyes and much hope to my heart, and the stories I’m working on thank you for it all.

    Sue C

    Makes you think differently

    I’ve done this course quickly because I’ve found it so useful and exhilarating that I wanted to keep going. It has helped me think about how to take a positive route through my stories – while obviously trying to avoid mawkishness, or twee sentimentality. I was already on this route, trying to think these issues through but this has distilled it all nicely and has given me my first idea for a short story and more ideas for a novel that I first thought about during the Seven Ideas in Seven Days course. Excellent food for thought.

    Tricia D

    Gave me conviction and purpose

    I have gone from a wandering, half-assed chaotic with a vague idea to a writer with conviction and purpose! Still suffering from imposter syndrome but thankfully have found lots and lots of like minded people in the forum!

    T B

    Makes you see from a different angle

    This course is like one of those books that when you read it the first time, you see it one way, but then by the end, you see something else, and you almost want to go back to the beginning and look at everything from that angle. Something that makes you want to squeeze some dirt thru your fingers and imagine your ancestors doing it just like that, 150 years ago, 500 years ago, 10,000 years ago.

    Lindsay B

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