Online Writing Workshops


Online Writing Workshops

Orion hosts regular Online Environmental Writers’ Workshops in poetry and nonfiction. Connect with us for six to eight sessions with an experienced instructor and writer. Learn more about environmental writing, and renew, illuminate, and deepen your relationship with nature and place.

Conducted over Zoom (or similar platform) and limited to twelve participants, the workshops will feature a combination of generative exercises, craft talks, readings, special guest appearances, and workshopping of student manuscripts. Individual workshops vary, but students can likely expect to spend several hours a week reading, writing, and commenting on work outside of class.

applications are open

Nov 1 to Nov 15, 2023
Workshops open for application:

Creative Nonfiction:

The Course: The More-Than-Human World from Proposal to Page

The Instructor: Jessica J. Lee

Details: January 6 – February 10, 2024
This nonfiction course will center on a wealth of contemporary work inspired by the more-than-human world, laying the groundwork for book-length projects. Through close readings of literary material as well as industry documents like book proposals, weekly exercises and workshopping, we’ll consider the practical aspects of developing nonfiction projects, as well as techniques for writing the environment in our current moment. (Learn more)

Apply Here

The Course: Foraging: Finding What You Need

The Instructor: Michelle Dowd

Details: January 14 – February 18, 2024
Foraging is a skill for finding what you need, wherever you are. In this course, we will focus on grounding ourselves (through guided meditation, journaling, foraging from our surroundings, etc.) and deepening our connection to the earth, so we can write from a place of rootedness. (Learn more)

Apply Here

The Course: What the Land Inspires

The Instructor: Gary Ferguson

Details: January 27 – March 2, 2024
Literary critic Frank Stewart described writers whose work focuses on nature as “bringing together the scientific and the poetic,” to render something bigger than the sum of the parts. This nonfiction essay workshop offers students the chance to cultivate fresh, compelling narratives about the power of life connected to landscape. (Learn more)

Apply Here

The Course: Home, Away and At Play: Place and Playful Writing Practices

The Instructor: Cinelle Barnes

Details: February 5 – March 11, 2024
We’re bringing the idea of “tools” back into the workshop! This workshop is for anyone who wants to create a strong sense of place on the page, tell travel stories that inspire environmental action or social justice, and, most importantly, incorporate playful modes and fun tools into their writing practice. (Learn more)

Apply Here


The Course: Earth Verse II

The Instructor: Kim Stafford

Details: January 4 through February 8, 2024
In this workshop, we will harvest close observations from our landscapes, and compose poems for use as our need comes. As with the evolution of wild beings, we will compose, share, respond, and revise. (Learn more)

Apply Here

The Course: The Size of the World: Redwood, Rock, and Spore

The Instructor: Danusha Laméris

Details: February 21-March 27, 2024
As poets, sometimes it’s overwhelming to know where to begin. In this workshop, we’ll start with the lens of scale. Depending on how you look at it, the page itself can seem immense or small. Our subject matter can be a pebble, or an entire landscape. A story that unfolds in the world of an ant, or that crosses generations of elephants. We will practice using the lens of proportion and scale to write our poems, describing the most minute details, and then arcing out into immensity. (Learn more)

Apply Here


Each Zoom course is available for $500. Workshop classes meet in either six three-hour installments or eight two-hour installments. Payment within five days of acceptance will guarantee your spot. Cancelations up until a week before the start of the course will result in a full refund. After that, refunds will be conditional on our ability to fill your spot before the course begins.



These workshops tend to be quite competitive. Please send a cover letter and your best nonfiction writing sample of up to 1,500 words or up to five pages of poetry to the Submittable button in the instructor’s workshop page. Sample writing can be published or unpublished, and might, but probably will not be used in class. You are welcome to apply to more than one workshop at a time.
Applicants will be notified whether they have been admitted within one to two weeks of the application deadline.

Questions? Contact


Frequently asked questions


Yes! And it may increase your chances of being accepted to one.

Probably not. Your instructor will be in touch ahead of the first meeting with information regarding class expectations. You may be asked to bring work you’re already working on to the workshop (and this could be your writing sample), or you may focus on new work generated during class.

As much as you want to share! We love hearing about your background, career, hobbies, relationship to literature and the environment, experience (if any) with writing workshops, why you’re drawn to an Orion workshop, and anything else.

Workshops typically feature a mix of craft talks, readings, group discussion, manuscript review, and generative prompts.

Each workshop has no more than twelve students.

If you can cancel five days before the workshop begins, we can offer a full refund. After that refunds will depend on our ability to fill your spot from the waitlist. 

We appreciate that workshops sometimes get personal and emotional, and we value class privacy. Zoom sessions are typically not recorded. Some instructors may ask for class consent to record sessions to be shared only among the group, and never for public consumption.

We understand that life and schedule conflicts happen. Try to let your instructor know ahead of time if you know you need to miss a session, if possible.

A List of Former Instructors


Hannah Dela Cruz Abrams, Elissa Altman, Belle Boggs, Francisco Cantú, Diana Marie Delgado, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Chris Dombrowski, Gary Ferguson, Moeko Fujii, Pam Houston, Amy Irvine, Toni Jensen, Michael Kleber-DiggsTalia Lakshmi Kolluri, Drew Lanham, Kate Lebo, Jessica J. Lee, Robin Marie MacArthurChristopher Merrill, Rajiv Mohabir, Kerri ní Dochartaigh, Nadia Owusu, Laura Prichett, Janisse Ray, Scott Russell Sanders, Erin Sharkey, Lisa Wells, and Joe Wilkins


Elizabeth Bradfield, Nickole Brown, Marcelo Hernandez CastilloGeffrey Davis, Todd Davis, Jennifer Elise Foerster, CMarie Fuhrman, Sarah Giragosian, Leah Naomi Green, Keetje Kuipers, Joseph O. Legaspi, Anne Haven McDonnell, Derek Sheffield, Kim Stafford, and Amber Flora Thomas