Cape Cod Writers Center, Cape Cod Museum of Natural History to host nature writing program April 2

Daylong program features prominent Cape nature experts/writers

The Cape Cod Writers Center and the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History announce their first Nature Writing Program on Saturday, April 2. The program takes place from 9 am -3:30 pm at the Museum at 869 Main Street/Route 6A in Brewster and features talks, workshops and nature walks with prominent nature writers and wildlife experts.

The program begins with a 9 am coffee hour, followed by Dr. Fred Dunford, author of Secrets of the Sand, who will talk on the archaeology and geology of Cape Cod. At 11 am a panel of nature writers and experts moderated by author Nancy Rubin Stuart, Artistic Director of the Cape Cod Writers Center, share their experiences with the audience, followed by a Q & A session.

During a catered box lunch at noon, Don Lewis, author, turtle expert and Executive Director of the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Districts, will provide an entertaining and informative keynote presentation.

At 1pm participants divide into four groups for the afternoon workshops. Please choose one for registration. Dress accordingly as some sessions include a nature walk.

Workshop leaders:

  • Mary Richmond, a Hyannis native, writes several weekly nature columns for local papers. She writes and illustrates “Nature’s Ways” for the Cape Codder and The Register, “Weekly Nature Watch” for the Enterprise Newspapers and the monthly “Neighborhood Nature” column for the Barnstable Patriot. She has also worked as an educator for many nature and art related organizations throughout the Cape.

    Workshop: “Nature Writing in the Field or on the Beach.” Some of the best nature writing takes place while out in nature, not at our desks or computers. Leave the laptop and phone at home. Leave the camera, too. Let your senses be fully engaged in the moment to experience where you are. We will go outside unless it is an absolute downpour so please dress appropriately for the weather. Bring a small notebook and pen or pencil. This will be a hands-on workshop with both writing and discussions.
  • Mark Faherty has been the Science Coordinator at Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary since August of 2007. While his current projects involve everything from oysters and horseshoe crabs to bats and butterflies, he has studied primarily bird ecology for the last 13 years, working on research projects in Texas, Florida, California, Arizona, Mexico, and the Pacific Northwest. He also conducted a three-year study of the land birds of the Cape Cod National Seashore.

    Workshop: Mark will draw on his background as both a bird researcher and a bird watcher to cover the birds most associated with Cape Cod – the seabirds and shorebirds – as well as familiar backyard birds and some of the lesser known birds of wood, field, marsh, and thicket. He will touch on the seasonality of their occurrence as well as some basics on identification by sight and song. A birding hike will follow, weather permitting, so bring your binoculars if you have them.
  • Beth Schwarzman is a geologist, naturalist and author of The Nature of Cape Cod. She worked for 30 years as a geologist and teacher with the US Geological Survey, first in California, and then, after she and her husband had moved to Cape Cod by sailboat from San Francisco, in Woods Hole. She leads dozens of natural history walks on the Cape each year, has taught geology on more than a dozen river-running trips though the Grand Canyon, and has made two round-trip passages across the Atlantic by sailboat. One of her favorite things is helping people to really see things around them in the natural world.

    Workshop: Writing what you know/knowing what you write: How naturalists become writers, and even how writers become nature writers. This workshop will employ a number of different techniques to focus on writing and rewriting about nature to achieve clarity and fluidity. If you write on a laptop, it would be good to bring one; if not, or you can’t bring one, paper and pencil will work too. We will mostly work inside, but will take a brief break to go outdoors in the middle of the workshop.
  • Theresa Barbo is the author of six books in historical non-fiction including Cape Cod Bay: A History of Salt & Sea and Nantucket Sound: A Maritime History. Theresa is also a noted public speaker on maritime and cultural history and leadership and is the founding Director of the annual Cape Cod Maritime History Symposium, now in its 15th year. She holds a master’s degree in Professional Writing from UMass and has conducted writing workshops for high school students and has taught at the college level.

    Workshop: Maritime history remains an integral sector of our country’s culture and heritage.  With few resources to pursue, how does a writer begin to research and craft a work of fiction or non-fiction in maritime history? This workshop will explore ways writers can utilize academic databases, local maritime historical societies and libraries, and other resources, to unearth valuable data to complement their work. Learning writing techniques to enhance your research will also be included in the workshop.

Program cost for members of the Cape Cod Writers Center and/or the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History is $90.00 and $110.00 for non-members. A catered box lunch with fruit salad and cold drinks is included in the price. Choices are vegan wrap, turkey or roast beef wrap.

To register, email [email protected] with Nature Writing in the subject heading or call 508 420-0200. Indicate your name, address, phone numbers, credit card, workshop preference, and lunch selection. Or call 508 420-0200.

Early registration is suggested since space is limited.

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