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Online Fiction/Nonfiction Workshop with Robin MacArthur

October 20, 2022 - December 15, 2022


The Course: Rewilding Prose

The natural world has often been reduced in writing workshops and craft books to “setting”—a static stage backdrop behind which the human drama, or plot, or “real story” unfolds. In this workshop we will subvert that flat definition and talk about the ethos of foregrounding landscape, the possibility of “rewilding” our narratives, the inseparable interconnection between human and non-human worlds, and what biophilia might look like on the page. We will also examine how we might decenter the human in our work, write with a worldview of kinship, reciprocity, and interconnectedness, and explore new uses of animism, myth, and fairytale as ways of reintegrating the human and natural worlds in our prose.

Each participant will submit 5-15 pages of either fiction or creative nonfiction that integrate these concepts in some way. We will also read fiction and nonfiction by others that incorporates rewilded prose in provocative and rich ways and explore a variety of short theoretical texts to help us generate a collective language around these ideas. If time allows, we will also craft new, short, ecologically rich pieces in class.

The Instructor: Robin Marie MacArthur lives in a solar-powered house on the hillside where she was born in Southern Vermont. Her debut collection of short stories, Half Wild, won the 2017 PEN New England award for fiction and was a finalist for both the New England Book Award and the Vermont Book Award. Her debut novel, Heart Spring Mountain, was an IndieNext Selection and a finalist for the New England Book Award. Both her books have been translated into French and published by Albin Michel in France. Robin’s stories and essays have appeared in Orion magazine, LitHub, Hunger Mountain, Shenandoah, and on NPR. Her essay “Sugaring” has been included in two Orion anthologies: To Eat with Grace and Old Growth. She teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts’ MFA in Writing. and has taught in many nontraditional settings throughout the US including the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference.

Duration: This class meets from October 20 – December 15 over eight Thursday evenings from 6-8 pm ET.
*Note: We will not meet on November 24

Application period: Apply August 15-30th (closed)


October 20, 2022
December 15, 2022
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