Nature Writing Levels 2/3 (Starts Sept 8)


Embark on a transformative artistic journey in this nature writing course with New York Times bestselling author Kathryn Aalto.

In this Level 2/3 course, we will read the best in narrative nonfiction from standalone essays to books including The Quickening: Creation and Community at the Ends of the Earth, a Pulitzer Prize-finalist by our acclaimed guest author, Elizabeth Rush.

In this immersive learning experience, you’ll advance to the next level of artistry in narrative nature writing. Through Kathryn expert guidance as nature writer, master teacher, and judge of 2022 The Nature Chronicles Prize, you’ll weave together vivid descriptions, evocative imagery, and poignant reflections to bring stories to life on the page.

Each lesson offers a deeper understanding of the symbiotic relationship between storytelling and the environment with lectures, discussions, workshops, and in-class exercises. You’ll hone your skills in observation, interpretation, and literary expression to create narratives that resonate with readers on a profound level.

Whether you’re a seasoned writer seeking to infuse your work with the spirit of the outdoors or a budding storyteller eager to explore the wonders of nature, Kathryn Aalto’s Level 2/3 Narrative Nature Writing course invites you to harness the power of storytelling to tell the most vital and urgent stories of our time.

Space is limited. Learn more about this nature writing course in Description below.



  • 7:00 to 9:30 PM BST/GMT
  • Every other Sunday
  • Sept 8/22, Oct 6/20, Nov 3/17, Dec 1/15


  • Fee £575 
  • Contact if you would like to stagger your fees


As we dive deep into the concept of place as a character itself, you will learn how to observe and articulate the unique qualities, histories, and atmospheres that define a location.  At the same time, you will also learn how to interweave personal experiences and reflections with factual information, enhancing the emotional resonance of your writing.

This approach reflects Kathryn’s belief that the best nature writing is excellent storytelling that blends inner and outer landscapes. As she describes in Writing Wild: Women Poets, Ramblers, and Mavericks Who Shape How We See the Natural World:

The greatest travel and nature writing explores the islands, capes, and coves of our inner landscapes. Whether nature writers sit on a streambank in Virginia or make a gruelling ascent of Mount Everest, the best are also travel writers whose words have the power to create seismic shifts and continental drifts within us. This is the double helix of travel and nature writing: the artful way movement and stillness are woven with the visible and invisible to create meditations on our place in the world. As acclaimed travel writer Jan Morris puts, “In a profounder sense the best travel writers are not really writing about travel at all. They are recording the effects of places or movements upon their own particular temperaments–recording the experience rather than the event, as they might make literary use of a love affair, an enigma or a tragedy.”

Our guest author in this nature writing course is Elizabeth Rush. Rush is the author of The Quickening: Creation and Community at the Ends of the Earth (Milkweed Editions, 2023) and Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore  (Milkweed Editions, 2018), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Rush’s work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the New York Times, Vogue, Orion, the Atlantic, and LitHub. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Howard Foundation, among others. She lives with her husband and son in Providence, Rhode Island, where she teaches creative nonfiction at Brown University.

This course emphasises research, revision, and publication.  You will learn ways to research the most compelling subjects and, in doing so, also add the essential universal element to your essay, be that original commentary on the human condition or unique insights about the zeitgeist. We will write five new and original essays, refine and revise those essays, and develop techniques to help your stories stand out.

In this intermediate level nature writing course, revision is emphasised on a holistic level and sentence level. You will have the opportunity to rewrite your essays to remove clichés, create maximum emotional impact through exquisite figurative language, consider the layout of your paragraphs on the page, and snap your essay together with a distinctive narrative arc.

The focus will be identifying sources for publication and working toward submitting to those sources with at least one publication-ready essay. Kathryn has integrated a lecture on how to research possible places of submission and how to write query letters.

To request the syllabus, write to








Kathryn teaches with a deep care about the individual student and is very clever about bringing out their voices and passions. She also has an unparalleled knowledge of nature and landscape writing that gives a real gravitas and authority on the subject, a knowledge that she wears lightly without intimidating students, which is a huge strength.” — James Rebanks, author of The Shepherd’s Life and English Pastoral 

“Kathryn is an inspiring writer and gifted teacher of narrative non-fiction. She creates a warm and inviting atmosphere in the virtual classroom, even as she encourages writers to pursue their craft with rigour and tenacity. The classes pivot from instructor-led teaching to student-centred learning, with a dynamic range of activities, including lectures, discussions of craft/technique in assigned readings, writing prompts, workshops, Q&A sessions with published authors, industry insights and more. Aspiring writers receive detailed and actionable feedback, whether to build on existing skills or experiment with fresh approaches to craft. Beyond the classroom, Katy is happy to answer any questions, suggest further readings and encourage writers to publish.” — Wendy, Maidenhead, England

“After six months of working with Kathryn–which is a bit like entering the space of a handwritten letter, what with her sharp aesthetic sense, far-ranging intelligence, wit, and curiosity–I’ve made tangible progress on an unwieldy, long-form project I was struggling to articulate. I came to her Memoir and Life Writing class for accountability, and came away having experienced the kind of support, writing insight, and real feeling of friendship that can be difficult to find in a workshop environment. Kathryn fostered a warm, charming atmosphere in class (a real feat online), allowing for life-long connections to develop among our group of writers. She cares about the arc of her student’s writing lives–a form of attention that encourages artistic growth and positive risk-taking. She not only brought her years of writing and publishing experience to class and to our bi-monthly writing assignments (her personal feedback, often handwritten, is invaluable), she also brought her unique perspective. Writer-gardener-historians are, I think, particularly adept at imagining the possibilities for a piece, no matter your subject. Kathryn pushed me to dig deeper, moving my writing in new directions. No matter where one is in their writing life, working with Kathryn will be an experience of profound joy, insight, and artistic deepening.“ — Veronica, Portland, Maine

“Kathryn possesses a rare talent to hold a learning space in such a way each participant is supported while doing the hard work of being vulnerable. She extends an invitation to share space together in a small circle across time and distance as writers gather from around the world in a digital classroom with warmth and grace.  As a new writer, I felt unsure and intimidated. Was I ready? Did I have anything interesting to say?  Kathryn dispelled my fears, welcomed me and never stopped encouraging me to stretch just a little further. She weaves and layers lectures, writing prompts with workshopping along with insightful feedback (often with sketches!) for every session. Kathryn is attentive to the temperament of each class, pausing a little longer here, waving a brief hello to something over there. I rave about these classes! Not only for how each has helped me to learn the craft of writing but for how she has helped me discover my voice. Quite honestly, growing as a writer has profoundly affected my relationships. Deepening my relationship to self, to loved ones and the world I habit. What a joy!” — Beth Anne, New Jersey