COVID-19 UPDATE (May 4, 2020): All 2020 Orion Writers’ Workshops have been cancelled. We are in the process of planning for next steps and alternative offerings. If you have any questions specific to workshops, contact us. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
The Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York
The Orion Environmental Writers’ Workshop is an annual week-long writing workshop for writers who want to improve their writing about nature and the environment. This is a unique opportunity for participants to connect with leading writers and editors, learn more about environmental writing, and renew, illuminate, and deepen their relationship with nature.
This renowned workshop is cosponsored by the Omega Center for Sustainable Living.
This program is for writers who want to learn how to write an Orion essay, short story, or poem; for writers who seek to become better advocates for the environment through their writing; for poets who are drawn to writing about nature and culture; for teachers and scholars who wish to write for a more general readership; and for environmental professionals who want to bring better writing skills to bear on their work.
The program will feature small writing workshops dedicated to poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, as well as faculty readings and lectures, student readings, and presentations on publishing.
Travel: The Omega Institute is easily accessible. It is conveniently located in Rhinebeck, New York, with easy access to major airports and public transportation.
Meals: The Omega Institute offers local, organic, sustainable, nutrient-dense, artisanal, and whole-food meals, and are able to accommodate a variety of tastes, dietary needs, and food allergies.
More information on fees and tuition coming soon.
The October 2020 faculty will be:
- Belle Boggs (Nonfiction)
- Ellen Bass (Poetry)
- Joe Wilkins (Fiction)
- Chris Dombrowski (Nonfiction)
Workshops will be limited to twelve participants so that each participant will receive focused attention and feedback. All participants will meet individually with their workshop leader, as well, to discuss their manuscripts. Special guests will include literary agents, publishers, and editors, who will offer advice on book publishing, placing work in magazines and journals, and the environmental publishing world.
HOW TO APPLY
This workshop has been cancelled. Workshops will be offered in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. For prose, a writing sample of 1,500 words will be required; for poetry, a sample of up to six pages of poetry will be required. Acceptances will be made on a rolling basis and applicants will be notified whether they have been admitted within three weeks of applying. Please note that a variety of housing options are available at the Omega Institute. Those who apply earlier will be able to choose their housing sooner. Some housing options may sell out faster than others.
ORION IN THE WILDERNESS
2021 Workshop Dates TBA Summer 2020
Cave Creek Canyon, Arizona
This unique Orion Environmental Writers’ Workshop will be offered during the winter in a remarkable wilderness area. Hone your writing skills with an exceptional faculty in a setting that can inspire nature writers to do their best work.
Orion’s partner for this extraordinary experience is the Omega Center for Sustainable Living, which offers workshops and conferences on environmental issues, regenerative thinking, and design, and is a key part of the Omega Institute, based in Rhinebeck, New York. The workshop is expected to fill; we recommend applying early.
The American Museum of Natural History Southwest Research Station sits in remote Cave Creek Canyon, surrounded by designated wilderness. This will be the site for the Orion in the Wilderness Writers’ Workshop. Known for its abundant bird life and network of hiking trails, this unspoiled area is worth the drive from the nearest airport (Tucson).
The workshop provides a unique opportunity to connect with Orion writers and editors. In addition to breakout sessions in creative nonfiction, fiction, or poetry, there will be faculty readings and lectures, student readings, presentations on local ecology and lore, and optional birding and hikes. Each participant receives individualized attention, feedback, and a focused meeting with a faculty member to discuss manuscripts or projects. Workshops will be limited to no more than twelve participants.
COST AND LOGISTICS
Tuition, meals, and lodging range from $1,100 to $1,900, depending on your choice of lodging. The gathering takes place in southeastern Arizona at the American Museum of Natural History Southwest Research Station in Cave Creek Canyon near Portal. For those who need it, a coach will bring participants from, and then back to, Tucson International Airport. The bus fee is not included.
Click here for specific information on tuition and schedule.
2020 faculty for Orion in the Wilderness included: Sherwin Bitsui, Joe Wilkins, Joy Williams, and Gary Ferguson.
HOW TO APPLY
Workshops will be offered in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. For prose, a writing sample of 1,500 words will be required; for poetry, a sample of up to six pages of poetry will be required. Please include a cover letter with your address, age, occupation, and reasons why you are interested in attending.
Acceptances will be made on a rolling basis and applicants will be notified whether they have been admitted within three weeks of applying.
*Please note that there are a variety of lodging options available at Cave Creek Canyon at different price points. Those who apply earlier will have more housing options.
For more information, visit the Omega Institute workshop page.