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Nature Writing Workshop (Online and In-Person)

Schedule and location


  • Monday, March 2, 2020: Registration closes 11:59 p.m.,
  • Tuesday, March 3, 2020: Online component available at noon
  • Three Tuesdays, March 10, 24, and April 7, 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.: In-person classes meet at Thornhill Education Center

Fees and Registration

$105.00 member
$123.00 nonmember
(Fees include admission to the Arboretum)

BY PHONE: 630-719-2468 ( Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

Course description

Learn the nuts and bolts of excellent nature writing and improve your wordsmithing skills in this blended online and in-person course.

NOTE: This is a six-week course in which you will both complete assignments online and attend in-person class sessions. You will receive a course link on the first day of class, at which point you will log in to begin coursework before coming to the Arboretum for your first in-person class meeting. Additional online coursework will follow to supplement your in-person class sessions.

Whether you’re a blogger, a novelist, a poet, or simply enjoy keeping a personal journal, writing is a fun and meaningful way to deepen your connection to the natural world. Through weekly online assignments and in-person class sessions, you will:

  • Learn from the masters by reading classic nature writing--non-fiction, fiction, poetry and more--and dig into it to see what makes it work.
  • Learn to engage  your audience through your choices as a writer and develop your personal voice.
  • Hone your writing skills by  practicing a variety of nature writing techniques.
  • Cultivate the habit of writing regularly.
  • Learn how to give and receive constructive critique.

The same qualities of good writing apply to everything from blogs to books. No matter your background or interest, join us, and become the writer you always dreamed you could be!

Course number



Cindy Crosby, author and naturalist

Cindy Crosby is the author, co-author, or contributor to more than 20 books; her most recent is "Tallgrass Conversations: In Search of the Prairie Spirit" (with Thomas Dean). She is also the author of "The Tallgrass Prairie: An Introduction" (Northwestern University Press). Cindy received her Masters in Natural Resources from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2014, and  is a trainer for the National Association of Interpretation, helping naturalists and cultural history interpreters become certified as guides. She is the steward for the Schulenberg Prairie at The Morton Arboretum, and coordinates dragonfly monitoring programs at the Arboretum, and Nachusa Grasslands in Franklin Grove, IL. Cindy blogs weekly at "Tuesdays in the Tallgrass at Wordpress", and speaks and teaches in the Midwest on natural history subjects. Read more at www.cindycrosby.com.

Course details

  • Notes: Limit 12
  • Requirements: Must have access to the internet and provide an email address at registration. Must know how to use a web browser and how to send and receive email. Expect to spend two hours per week completing online assignments and writing exercises. Participants are also expected to attend all in -person sessions to get the full experience of the program.  Please let the instructor know in advance if you will not be able to attend an in-person session.

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