CREA E-123. Advanced Fiction: Writing Environmental Fiction


  • Professor: Willian Weitzel
  • Term: Spring
  • Days: M
  • Time: 11:00-1:00
  • School: Harvard Extension School
  • Course ID: 25951

This is an intensive course for advanced fiction writers who are passionate about the environment and interested in writing fiction about nature during a period of accelerating extinctions, habitat loss and fragmentation, and climate change. Together, we navigate the challenges of portraying other species with compassion and deep care; of balancing advocacy with narrative arc, pacing, and scene structure; and of seeing non-human agency and wilderness as opening up pathways into character and setting. We look closely at such threatened biomes as rainforest, desert, and ocean, and read work by authors who integrate nature into their writing in distinct ways, including Louise Erdrich, Eduardo Kohn, Terry Tempest Williams, Joy Williams, and Ann Pancake. Students are expected to produce two new short stories and to revise one of them for submission at the end of the term.