There are Many Ways to Sing about the Earth: A Fiction & Nonfiction Workshop

Pam Houston's picture
Pam Houston
Week 6: July 14 to July 19
ORIENTATION: July 14, 6:00-7:30 PM
WORKSHOP: July 15-19, 9am-1pm
Discipline: Fiction, Nonfiction/Memoir
By Application Only

On-site Housing Not Available
Workshop Description 

This workshop is part of our Social Justice Week.


I have always tried to write in such a way that makes my reader fall in love with particular places on the earth, in the hopes that one has a harder time destroying that which they love. Now, in the time of climate change and all its accompanying injustices, I am more compelled than ever to find a way to sing about the beauty of the earth, even if I sing in elegy. I have always believed the best way to convince anyone of anything is to tell them a story. More lately I wonder if it is not also important to speak the facts out loud. Whatever your method, we will spend half our days together critiquing your place-based stories, novel chapters, memoirs and essays, and the other half generating new work based on the place we are.


This class requires a writing sample for admittance. Please submit five pages of prose to Dawn Walsh at prior to registering for the class. Your submission will hold a space in the workshop. You will then be notified of a decision within a week. If accepted, you will need to then register and pay in full to secure your spot in the workshop.

If admitted, please bring to the first class ten copies of a manuscript between 500 and 5,000 words, double-spaced, 12-point font to be critiqued in class. Also, in advance of the workshop, please read Citizen, by Claudia Rankine, The Book of Delights by Ross Gay, and The Book of Joan, by Lidia Yuknavitch.



Pam Houston is the author of the memoir, Deep Creek: Finding Hope In The High Country, as well as two novels, Contents May Have Shifted and Sight Hound, two collections of short stories, Cowboys Are My Weakness and Waltzing the Cat, and a collection of essays, A Little More About Me. She teaches in the MFA programs at the Institute of American Indian Arts and at UC Davis. She has been teaching at FAWC for more than 20 summers in a row.