A weekend hosted and programmed by Writers HQ.
The climate crisis demands from us nothing less than a new way of telling stories and a new way of listening.
Without an adequate cultural response we will struggle with a meaningful social and political response, and in this respect the role of artists and writers is clear.
This summer, Climate Writers’ HQ will host a gathering of writers who are keen to engage but find their work is somehow paralysed.
During this time we will discuss the problems of narrativising climate change and focus on what each writer needs from themselves and their community to be able to bring their stories forward into the world.
£150 per person, including a bed, meals and plenty of hot drinks.
You can pay in one go or three instalments of £50
If you cannot afford the full ticket price but would still like to attend, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
This programme is constantly evolving but the list of topics to tackle currently looks something like this:
What do we talk about when we talk about climate change?
What are we actually even talking about? Climate change is a global phenomenon comprising of thousands of variables and conditions. On a person-by-person level, on a day-to-day level, what do we actually mean when we talk about climate change? How can we write about something that defies reasonable definition?
Fear, society, and denial
Group therapy session, y’all! How does a writer begin to process their own grief, loss and fear to allow them to write freely and without fear? What happens when we as individuals get scared? What happens when society gets scared?
From huge theme to ordinary life
How can we introduce huge political and social themes into everyday life without slipping into rhetoric or polemic? Who does this well? What are things to avoid?
The Three Act Structure: whyyyyyy?
No matter what we do, we always end up back in the 3 act structure. Whyyyyy? Is it inhibitive? Are we stalling ourselves? Do we need to break out of it in order to more fully tell the stories we need? Is humanity as a whole stuck at the end of the second act waiting for the hero? If we reorder our stories, can we reorder society?
We think of anthropocentrism as centred only on humans but this is a monumental act of self-harm. True anthropocentrism places us within and part of nature, an integral part of a complex web. How can fiction begin to heal this separation of people and nature?
The Language inbetween
We are constantly being told we need a new language and new stories to truly discuss climate change. What does that even mean? Where is the balance between the hempy, flaky, fairy idealism of hippie environmentalism and the harsh, stern language of climate scientists? How do we navigate the heavily political with the hippie-dippie?
Climate change dystopias are everywhere. Post-climate change wastelands are an obvious go-to, but where are the climate change stories of now? The anxiety and denial of late capitalism, the dreamily walking towards the end, the confusion and wilful ignorance. How do we find our connection with right now and learn to write these stories without resorting to floods, wildfires and wastelands?
Writing About Climate Change Without Writing About Climate Change
Climate change is a highly political and emotive subject. The second the subject is introduced in any explicit way, the reader is automatically thrust into the world of their own views and feelings on the matter. Stories about climate change need to focus on the individual and not specifically about climate change: discuss.