Nature Writing Workshop

Writers in the Mountains (WIM) announces a six-week nature-writing workshop, Seeing Nature in Words with Leslie T. Sharpe, at the Delaware County Historical Association, 46549 State Hwy 10, Delhi, NY, Saturdays, 11 am to 1 pm, from May 9 to June 13, 2015 (skipping Memorial Day weekend).

(c) Simona David
(c) Simona David

Whether one is writing to change the world or simply for the pleasure of recording one’s observations in a notebook, when the relationship between the observer and nature is at the core of a work, the writing is almost always personal and intensely felt. It is this passion that makes the genre so dynamic, and also so accessible to read and to write. The goal of this class is to encourage writers to explore their special relationship with the natural world—be it in the Catskill High Peaks or a backyard garden, expressed as a description of a single flower or as an essay probing an environmental issue—in their own true voice.

Leslie T. Sharpe is an author, editor, and educator. She has a BA (Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude) in Ancient Greek Language and Literature from Wheaton College, and received her master’s degree in Ancient Greek from Columbia University, where she was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. She began her editing career at Farrar, Straus & Giroux and is currently an editorial consultant specializing in literary nonfiction, literary fiction, and poetry. A member of the PEN American Center, she is the author of Editing Fact and Fiction: A Concise Guide to Book Editing (Cambridge University Press), which is regarded as a “modern editing classic.”

Sharpe has taught in the undergraduate and graduate writing programs at Columbia University’s School of the Arts; Introduction to Publishing and Editorial Process at City College of New York’s publishing certificate program; and Manuscript Editing at New York University’s certificate program in book publishing. She teaches online courses for the cutting-edge all-media website mediabistro.com, including The Nonfiction Book and Nonfiction Writing Master Class.

Leslie has also a been a regular contributor to Newsday’s “Urban ‘I’” column, and her essays and articles have appeared in a wide variety of publications including the Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Global City Review, International Herald Tribune, New York Times, New York Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle, and Village Voice; The Villager; The Writer; and Psychology Today. She recently finished her memoir, Our Fractured, Perfect Selves, and is currently at work on a new book, The Quarry Fox and Other Tales of a Catskill Summer. Her poems for children have appeared in Ladybug Magazine; Who Knew? Catskill Literary Journal; and From the Catskills.

Leslie’s approach, as an editor as well as a writing teacher, is to find the strengths in the work at hand and build on them. That method is rooted in her respect for every writer and their creations. She believes it is especially important that a workshop environment allow writers to feel safe to express themselves and their thoughts and feelings as well as observations—especially when working in those creative nonfiction forms (journaling, personal essay, memoir) that use the first person “I” voice, and that speak directly out of one’s personal experience.

To register, call (607) 759-6138, or e-mail writersinthemountains@gmail.com. To register online, visit writersinthemountains.org. This class is $100 if registered by April 18 or $125 thereafter. Partial scholarships may be available.

Writers in the Mountains is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with a mission to provide to a nurturing environment for the practice, appreciation, and sharing of creative writing.

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