This course is now fully booked.
If you’d like to be put on our waiting list, in case of drop-outs, please send us an email.
3rd – 5th April 2020
High Hope Ranch, Glen Rose, Texas, USA
This weekend has inspired me to be a better and more relevant writer … Paul’s passion for wildness and stories has encouraged me to approach the craft with a true sense of freshness – dew in my toes and mulch in my fingers! A terrific experience.
Dan James, Rewild Your Words 2018
What does writing look like when it is exposed to the wildness outside our bubble of convenience? What do the trees and the rocks and the winds have to teach us about what we could do with our stories and our style? How could your writing benefit from letting some more ragged, messy, natural energy come in and toy with it?
This course – the Wyrd School’s first venture Stateside – will help you find out. Retreat with us for two days and two nights to the 1100 acre wildlife sanctuary, conservation preserve and working ranch that is High Hope Ranch in Texas. Eat good food, stay in beautiful accommodation, explore wildflower-filled prairies, creeks and ravines. Spend the days with other writers, learning, writing, talking. Let the weather and the wilds and the old spirits in the land have their way with you. What will be the impact on your words?
This is a weekend-long course for writers of any kind, with any level of experience, who want to re-inject some of the spirit of nature into their work. In a time in which our lives are increasingly tamed, monitored, controlled and urbanised, our words and our stories are in danger of going the same way. Our writing may be in danger of becoming too safe – and perhaps too human.
I found the course incredibly helpful, much more so than I expected, and many things have crystallized for me over the past two days … Absolutely inspiring!
Satya Moses, Rewild Your Words 2018
Some writing courses focus on making your writing as professional, accessible and saleable as possible. They will teach you about presentation, about genre and about how to give ‘the market’ what it wants. Maybe they’ll even offer you tips on how to write letters to agents and publishers.
This weekend offers none of this. Instead, we will help you to uncivilise your writing. We will send you outside, to walk through whatever the landscape throws at you, in search of stories. We will teach you to write from the point of view of an oak or a red-tailed hawk; to build stories around images; to incorporate mythological thinking into your writing; pay close, silent attention to the small things around you; write with all your senses fully engaged; to rediscover old ways of seeing; and generally to loosen up your over-civilised style.
With the help of writers from Robert Graves to Black Elk, D. H. Lawrence to Annie Dillard, Mary Oliver to Li Po, this weekend will give you permission to write what you need to write, not what you think you ought to. And we will focus, together, on the role which the non-human world – the world of nature – plays in informing your writing; whether you know it or not.
This course is open to writers in all genres and styles – novelists, poets, non-fiction writers and others – and to any level of experience, or none. All are welcome.
Paul Kingsnorth is an award-winning novelist, poet and essayist. He is the author of ten books, and has won or been listed for various prizes for his work, ranging from the Man Booker Prize to the Wenlock Prize for Poetry. He has taught on writing courses, mentored writers and lectured on writing for – amongst others – the Arvon Foundation, the Faber Academy, Schumacher College, the Westcountry School of Myth and Story, and Falmouth University, and has run writing and story courses in places as varied as the wilds of Dartmoor and the heart of Brooklyn. From 2009 until 2017 he was co-founder and co-director of the Dark Mountain Project, a global network of writers and artists in search of new stories for an age of collapse. He is founder and director of the Wyrd School.
Location and travel
This will be an intense, busy but fun weekend, made up of teaching sessions, exercises, storytelling, good, healthy food, time spent outside and time to write and/or relax with other writers.
The venue for the course is High Hope Ranch, near Glen Rose, Texas. High Hope is an 1100 acre working ranch and wildlife preserve. Owned and run by the founders of the adjacent Fossil Rim Wildife Center, its project is to conserve, promote and advance the interests of endangered species and wild lands.
High Hope offers beautiful rural acccommodation, in shared and single rooms, as well as good hearty food and acres of wild and beautiful land in which to work. The course will take us around and about during the weekend, wandering the lands, telling stories around open fires, and who knows what else …
The course runs from the evening of Friday 3rd until Sunday 5th April. You will need to be at High Hope by dinnertime on the Friday. Full travel details and directions will be provided when you book, as will a kit list of what to bring with you.
Cost and booking
Prices include all food, bedding and accommodation from Friday dinner until Sunday lunch, inclusive.
Shared room: $510
Single room: $700
The course is limited to a maximum of 15 people.
To secure a place, we ask for a non-refundable 50% deposit, which can be paid through Paypal or by bank transfer. The remainder will be due six weeks before the course.
To book a place, or if you have any questions about the course, please send us an email.