Writing In The Time Of Climate Change

An online course for writers exploring the environmental crisis

Starts 4 November 2019

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (see reviews)

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It was so lovely to be able to be somewhere where everyone was on the same wavelength - about writing, about climate change, about so many other little things that feed into both. It felt like I was able to speak freely and without fear of judgement, because we’d all chosen to be together talking about this, and that was wonderful.
- Isobel

Non-members: £220
Members: £180

Click here for monthly payment options

4 live seminars (Fridays, 10am) and private discussion forum

Non-members also receive access to Plotstormers and Writing Short Fiction for one month

Join our kickass community

COURSE HOME

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.

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, Earth-shattering 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.

(Writers’ HQ declared a climate emergency half way through 2019. Full details can be found here.)

CURRICULUM

WEEK 1:
Why stories are so important to climate change
Fear, society and denial
The problem with anthropocentrism

WEEK 2
Grief, acceptance and telling the truth
What’s beyond dystopia?

WEEK 3
From huge theme to ordinary life
Writing in a time of climate change

WEEK 4
The new language of climate change
Story structure vs real life

HOW IT WORKS

1. Enrol
Once you’ve joined you’ll get an email confirming your place and explaining how you access the course. Spoiler: you click a link. Super simple.

2. Read, watch, do
The lessons are a mix of text, images, videos and exercises. To get the most out of the course, try to give yourself at least an hour a day to read or watch the material and do the exercises. We’ve made them as bite-size as possible but also if you wanna do the thing you gotta do the work.

3. No rush
This course is designed to be done over four weeks and with a cohort of people. Please do try to join in as it runs, but we’ll give you access to the course materials for three months, and our forums are always open.

4. No money? No problem
We’d love to give our courses away free of charge but we have a terrible notepad and clicky pen habit to keep up. If you’re struggling financially, please head over to our Sponsor A Writer page and see if we can help.

5. Milk no sugar
Drink plenty of tea, stock up on biscuits, gin for later. Enjoy it. It’s supposed to be fun. Love you. Mwa.

WHAT YOU GET
  • Four weeks of videos and text-based lessons aimed at getting you to think about climate change and your writing in different ways
  • Four live online seminars in which to further discuss ideas and begin to organise your work. The seminars will be an hour long, held on Friday mornings at 10am and using Crowdcast. No downloads needed.
  • A private forum for collaboration, feedback and discussion
    Active support from experienced climate change activists in case it all becomes too overwhelming
  • Regular emails to keep you on track and let you know when new course material is available

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.

Explore grief and fear, hope and hopelessness in a safe and nurturing environment.

Join our lovely little online community to support you through your writing and beyond, plus peer feedback and gifs.

LOVE FOR WRITERS’ HQ

Detailed and easy and fun to follow ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’ve only just started, but I can tell this course and the group is going to help, especially as I’ve done more short story courses than I can remember.

Jacqui Dickson

Writing Short Fiction

Amazing journey of discovery ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I was a bit hesitant about doing an online course but I liked Writers’ HQ’s approach and the programme for plotstomers looked like the business. Over the last 6 weeks I have made such huge progress with novel. Really getting to grips with where story was going, characters’ motivation, that thing everyone mentions called “conflict”. The teaching material was excellent: just right amount and level. Support was good though I didn’t really get too involved with forum discussions as my head was buried in doing the plotting homework. Feel massively more confident now about actually writing the bloody novel. Will be going on to the next stage with Writers’ HQ.

Colette Batterbee

Plotstormers

Everything you need it to be. And more. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

If you think you’ve done editing courses before, so you don’t need to do another one, then you’re completely and utterly wrong. This course takes your book by the short and curlies and makes it scream for it’s mamma. Because this course isn’t your average ‘let’s look at some of your prose & pretty it up’ kinda course, it’s a RIP IT TO PIECES & GIVE IT A FULL BODY SEARCH kinda course. Sound brutal? It is. Your brains will ooze out of your ears. But you won’t regret it. Not one bit. Trust me. By the time you’re done, you will know exactly what you need to do to your book to get it to tell the story you want it to tell. What more can you ask?

Lorna

Plotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back

Everything I wanted and more ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’d been tentatively picking at the second draft of my novel for a while when I signed up for this course, aware that it needed a lot of work, and afraid to properly commit to it. This course kindly but firmly took me in hand and made me look at all the things I didn’t want to look at (ie everything). It gave me a synopsis (wasn’t expecting that!). It helped remind me what I was trying to say in the first place and why that was important to me. It gave me a plan for my next draft. And, most importantly as far as I am concerned, it gave me the push I needed to get back to writing the novel. The forums are also really useful for bouncing ideas around, and it was so good to chat to other people who were at the same stage with their books! Thank you, thank you, Jo and Sarah – I will be back for more soon.

Liz O

Plotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back

TUTORS

Sarah Lewis
Half of Writers’ HQ
Procrastinator Level: Set up WHQ and had a baby to avoid writing her novel

Jo Gatford
Half of Writers’ HQ
Procrastinator Level: Set up WHQ and did an MA to avoid writing her novel

RELATED COURSES

Plotstormers
how to write a novel
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Writing Short Fiction
small words. big impact
course info >>

Publishing 101: Find An Agent
prepare your manuscript and learn what to expect
course info >>

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