Into the Woods: Writing About the Natural World (Writer’s Toolbox)

Author and naturalist Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings wrote, “I do not understand how anyone can live without some small place of enchantment to turn to.” As writers, we can convey the magic and majesty of nature with unique perspective and detail. Photographers can capture a scene – writers can capture a world, including sounds and smells. Yet we must respect the independence of the creatures and places we write about, portraying them as they exist and not within a human construct. We should describe natural systems without anthropomorphizing them or reducing them to simplified and romanticized tropes. We should include the beloved and the unappealing – the sunsets and the slugs. Led by Morgan Kelly, Science Writer in the Office of Communications, this workshop will explore nature writing in the woods surrounding Princeton’s own Washington Road stream. Following an introduction, you will have an opportunity to observe and describe aspects of the woods before reflecting on this experience and, if you choose, sharing what you have written. The class will meet in Room A81, Frick Chemistry Laboratory, before proceeding outdoors, rain or shine – nature never postpones, and neither should the nature writer!

October 20, 2016, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Room A81, Frick Chemistry Laboratory