Attention Aspiring & Established Writers
Writing about Animals Workshop with
Author / veterinarian / Zoocheck board member
October 4, 2023, Toronto, Ontario
Writing Animals is a facilitated creative writing workshop designed for people (youth and adults) who are curious, passionate, or excited about animals and want to discover how to write about them in authentic and powerful ways.
“Let my words be bright with animals,” says poet and storyteller Joseph Bruchac. Yes, let out words be bright with animals, with their radiant scales and iridescent feathers, their glittering eyes shining in the darkness, their cleverness and consciousness. To capture other species and our encounters with them in our writing requires authenticity. Often our knowledge about an animal species comes from story, not direct experience. Can we dive deeper into what the lives of animals are really like? Can we put aside the assumptions, myths and misconceptions about animals and write about them with faithfulness to their true nature?
In this workshop, author, writing facilitator and veterinarian Nadja Lubiw-Hazard will lead a group of writers in exploring how writers have portrayed animals in poetry, fiction, and essay, and how we can do the same. We’ll bring the details of animals to the page, drawing inspiration from their bodies and their behaviours, using fiction and field guides to feed our imagination and prompt our group writing. During the workshop participants will be using several different types of prompts (eg. pictures, nature treasures, field guides) for short guided writes. There will be an opportunity to share each other’s writing, time-dependent. Ideas for writing authentically about animals will be provided, as well as suggestions on how to evaluate and edit a piece of writing about animals. Finally writers will be offered resources for learning more about writing and publishing pieces about animals.
Nadja is a Toronto-based writer and veterinarian. She has spent her life with animals – in real life and on the page. Her first novel, The Nap-Away Motel, explores an unlikely friendship forged over a litter of stray kittens. Nadja’s short stories have been published in numerous Canadian literary magazines. A life-long animal-lover and long-time vegan, Nadja often writes about our troubled relationship with animals and nature. Discover her writing at Nadja Lubiw-Hazard