Immerse yourself in a five-day travel writing workshop on Whiddy Island and nurture your writing skills in a stunning West Cork setting
Adam Weymouth will be leading the workshop as part of the West Cork Literary Festival 2019. Adam’s work has been published by a wide variety of outlets including the Guardian, the Atlantic and the New Internationalist. In 2010 he walked from England to Istanbul as an exploration of pilgrimage.
His interest in the relationship between humans and the world around them has led him to write on issues of climate change and environmentalism, including the reintroduction of wolves to the UK. He was awarded the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year for his first book, Kings of the Yukon, a four-month canoe trip down the Yukon river and the stories of the communities that live along its banks. He lives on a 100-year-old Dutch barge in London.
Adam’s Approach to Travel Writing
I like to work slowly, in depth, immersed in place: walking from England to Istanbul as an exploration of pilgrimage; a two-month journey across Scotland to learn about the place of wolves in the country’s psyche; a two-thousand mile canoe trip down the Yukon River to try and understand the decline of the king salmon and the impacts on the people that rely on it. Over the course of the five mornings on Whiddy Island we will explore the place, its people, its nature and its history, and, just as importantly, we will explore our personal reactions to it. By the end of the week we will each have produced a piece of writing that should not only have enabled each of us to play with the myriad ways of approaching travel writing, but have given each participant a better understanding of their response to this unique and particular place.
Participants will be asked to bring a short piece of writing with them at the beginning of the week, and to read some varied examples of the genre that will be sent out beforehand. Through group exercises over the five days we will listen to and discuss each other’s work, and you will be encouraged to spend some time outside of the workshops to work on your piece (although not too much!) We’ll be guided by the weather, but at least some of the workshop time will be spent outside.
We’ll also be talking about what we mean by travel writing: where has it come from and where is it going; its critiques; whether nature writing is replacing travel writing (and what’s the difference?); what function does it have today, when it seems as though everyone has been everywhere. These are certainly questions I don’t have answers to, but I’m interested to talk about them.
There will also be some time set aside to talk about, and ask questions about, the practicalities of travel writing: how to pitch; how to get funding; finding a story; research methods, research ethics etc.
The travel writing workshop will take place on Whiddy Island and the workshop fee includes the daily ferry to and from Whiddy Island.
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