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The Good Place: Crafting Setting & Landscape

Self-Guided // 4-Week Online Course

The Good Place: Crafting Setting & Landscape

May 13th - June 9th

It’s never too late to start!
Enrollment is OPEN through June 3rd

Refund and cancellation policies

Since 2011, Creative Nonfiction’s online courses have helped thousands of writers tell their stories better. Let us help you stay motivated and inspired through our self-guided course!

Whether you’re writing narrative journalism, memoir, or personal essays, a richly felt space/place can add depth or intrigue. In this generative workshop, you will write a portrait of a place, either natural or man-made, with an emphasis on depth, mood, and researched accuracy. You will use cultural or natural history resources to gather details, and learn how elements of craft can create mood and personality. Finally, in this self-guided class, you will learn techniques for incorporating settings and landscapes into prose projects.

This course will offer new approaches for students at all levels—from those looking for inspiration to those working through an ongoing project.

Each week provides:

  • PROMPTS to help you generate new writing
  • INSPIRATION in the form of written lectures and a selection of readings

After the course closes: you will receive a zip file containing all of the work you developed during the month. You’ll also continue to be a member of our Creative Nonfiction Writing Classes' Community Page. With this membership, you will be able to share writings and calls for submissions, recommend books, and stay connected with other writers.


Complete Syllabus

Week 1 - Places, everyone!
You will look at how writers incorporate nature and landscape into different kinds of nonfiction and consider how the environment can work as both character and setting. Through directed prompts, you will do some preparatory/exploratory writing about place/nature from your memory or personal experience.

Week 2 - Senses and sensibility
Sensory details add depth and richness to writing about the natural world. In this second week, you will experiment with active syntax and practice methods for involving all five senses in a setting. You will also explore a variety of research methods that can add an accurate and engaging "past" to your environmental writing.

Week 3 - Into the wild
While your own memories and research can tell you a lot about a place, sometimes you need to get into the space or place you're writing about and take some notes. If the place you're writing about is not accessible, this week will also address methods for contacting and interviewing experts. Through readings and prompts, you will explore how voice and tone can shape a piece of writing.

Week 4 - Conservation/preservation
Revision is all about learning what to keep and what to let go of in an essay, and it is as essential to writing as weeding is to gardening. This week will address revision techniques, as well as best practices for submitting your work for publication.

See schedule of all available classes »

Refund and cancellation policies

After 5pm EST May 12th no refunds or credit transfers can be issued.