Yes, the environment is those wild spaces way out there, where we can hike and swim and lose ourselves in the trees, but it’s also the places right here inside the city where we send our children to school, where fossil fuels are burned, where the dumps and wastewater treatment facilities and incinerators are located and where the dirty trucks that serve them drive.
It’s where the grocery stores do and do not end up. It’s where the police do and do not patrol.
And Houston’s environment, because it’s been shaped by histories of racist determinations made by governmental institutions large and small about whose lives matter, is deeply unequal.
This eight-week writing workshop will be a practical exercise in finding and framing your stories about the depth and breadth of this inequality in an incredibly diverse, complicated city, where the largest medical center in the world is connected by ever-widening freeways to one of the largest concentrations of petrochemical facilities in the world.
Writers will have the chance to develop the skills to tell the stories you and your communities want to tell in the ways you want to tell them, whether it’s a memoir, a piece of journalism, an op-ed or a documentary.
Overall, the workshop will provide a means to receive constructive guidance on stories you want to start and have already in progress and learn general best practices from guest experts, including environmental reporters and editors who take on these issues every day in their professional lives.
This is a special workshop sponsored by One Breath Partnership, that students need to apply to take.
Reduced Costs for All Students:
This class has six full scholarship seats for writers who cannot afford to pay, and six non-scholarship seats at half the regular cost of classes, $190. If you have stories about environmental justice, please apply. Let me know if you need a scholarship or not once you are contacted about being accepted.
1. Sign up bellow to be considered for the class. Choose Pay in Full, Below, to put your name on the list.
2. Respond to this questionnaire: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeH4OwQCZI7VraGGKxvY4yv2eCzVAFW7JYzh2q_PSLyVNEeFw/viewform by January 14, 2021. We can let you know by the 15th if we can give you a spot.
Allyn West earned a Ph.D. in creative nonfiction from the University of Houston and an M.F.A. in poetry from New Mexico State University. A former editor in the opinion department for the Houston Chronicle, he now oversees content for One Breath Partnership, a media collaborative focused on telling stories about health, air pollution, the climate crisis and environmental justice. His essays and editorials have appeared in the Texas Observer, Cite, Landscape Architecture Magazine, The Cimarron Review, Glasstire and many other publications.