Dianne Stewart, teacher, writer

Saturday 20 January 9.00 am–12:00 pm COURSE FEES R350; Staff and students R250

Maximum number of participants 20

‘The question is not what you look at, but what you see.’ Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) was an American naturalist, essayist, poet and philosopher, whose book, Walden, chronicles his engagement with nature. After looking at Walden, participants will look at other nature texts such as H is for Hawk, a memoir by Helen MacDonald (winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction) and Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief.

Participants will also survey fictional nature writing such as eco-novels, Oryx and Crake by Margaret Attwood,

The Overstory by Richard Powers, and the speculative fiction eco-novel The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

In this three-hour workshop, that is both practical and theoretical, the participants will be introduced to the importance of nature journalling, which can stimulate future nature writing projects. The facilitator will share how her book, Sea, Sand and Sky (Lux Verbi) was based on a nature journal.

Participants will identify aspects of nature about which they want to write, such as climate change and global warming.

Participants will also identify the genre, either fiction or creative non-fiction, that they wish to use as a vehicle for their ideas taken from nature.

Dianne Stewart received the 2023 South African Children’s Laureate award.