Arizona

Orion in the Wilderness with the Omega Institute • March 10-16, 2019

March 10-16, 2019
in Portal, Arizona

For the first time, the successful Orion Environmental Writers Workshop will be offered during the winter in a remarkable wilderness area in southern Arizona. Hone your writing skills with an exceptional faculty in a setting that can inspire nature writers to do their best work.

The American Museum of Natural History Southwestern Research Station sits in remote Cave Creek Canyon, surrounded by designated wilderness in the Chiricahua Mountains. Known for its abundant bird life and network of hiking trails, this unspoiled area will be the site for the Orion in the Wilderness writers workshop.

This immersive program provides a unique opportunity to connect with Orion magazine writers and editors. In addition to breakout sessions in creative nonfiction, fiction, or poetry, there will be faculty readings and lectures, student readings, presentations on local ecology and lore, and optional birding and hikes. Each participant receives individualized attention, feedback, and a focused meeting with a faculty member to discuss manuscripts or projects.

Orion’s partner for this extraordinary experience is the Omega Center for Sustainable Living, which offers workshops and conferences on environmental issues, regenerative thinking, and design, and is a key part of the Omega Institute, based in Rhinebeck, New York.

APPLICATION AND ACCEPTANCE

This program, by application only, requires you to submit writing samples. Workshops will be offered in nonfiction, poetry, and fiction. For prose, a writing sample of 1,500 words will be required; for poetry, please submit six poems. Acceptances will be made on a rolling basis and applicants will be notified about acceptance within three weeks of applying. Send your writing samples and any questions you have to: cnye@orionmagazine.org.

Applicants who are accepted into the workshop will be given information on how to contact the Omega Institute to register for housing at the Arizona site.

Workshop prices range from $1,100 to $1,900 per person and include the full program as well as meals and accommodations for the week. (See specific price options below.) For those who require it, bus transportation can be arranged from the Tucson Airport to the workshop site for an extra fee.

Questions about the Arizona site? Please call 877.944.2002.

Meet the Teachers

Amy IrvineAmy Irvine is a sixth-generation Utahan, public lands activist, and nature writer whose work has been published in OrionPacific StandardHigh Desert Journal, Climbing, Nature Writing, and other publications. She teaches in the Mountainview Low-Residency MFA Program of Southern New Hampshire University.

Craig ChildsCraig Childs is an Arizona native who lives off the grid in western Colorado. He has won the Orion Book Award and other nature writing awards for his work. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Men's Journal, and Outside. He teaches writing at University of Alaska in Anchorage and the Mountainview MFA at Southern New Hampshire University.

Sherwin BitsuiSherwin Bitsui, Diné of the Todí­ch’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan), is an ecopoet whose poems have appeared in American Poet, The Iowa Review, LIT, and elsewhere. Recipient of a Whiting Award, an American Book Award, and the PEN Book Award, he has published three collections--Dissolve, Flood Song, and Shapeshift.

Teachers subject to change. Please check back for updated information.

Program Schedule

SUNDAY 3/10

4:00–9:00 p.m.

Check In (Check in by 4:00 p.m. if you plan to be at dinner.)

6:00 p.m.

6:00 p.m.

Coach bus leaves Tucson International Airport

Dinner for early arrivals

7:30–8:30 p.m.

Opening Event for early arrivals

9:00 p.m.

Late arrival check-in

 

MONDAY

6:30 a.m.

Bird Walk with Chip Blake (Optional)

7:30 a.m.

 

9:00

Breakfast

 

Welcome from Omega and Orion

9:15 a.m.–Noon

Workshop

Noon

1:45–3:15 p.m.

Lunch

Free time

3:15–5:00 p.m.

Individual Conferences*

6:00 p.m.

7:30–8:30 p.m.

Dinner

Orientation to the Canyon

 

TUESDAY

7:30 a.m

9:00 a.m.–Noon

Breakfast

Workshop

Noon

1:30–3:30 p.m.

Lunch

Hike with writer and naturalist Ken Lamberton

3:15–5:00 p.m.

Individual Conferences*

6:00 p.m.

7:30–8:30 p.m.

Dinner

Ken Lamberton speaks on the region

 

WEDNESDAY

6:30 a.m.

Bird Walk with Chip Blake (Optional)

7:30 a.m.

9:00 a.m.–Noon

Breakfast

Workshop

Noon

1:45–3:15 p.m.

Lunch

Chip Blake speaks on editing

3:15–5:00 p.m.

Individual Conferences*

6:00 p.m.

7:30–8:30 p.m.

Dinner

Readings by faculty

 

THURSDAY

7:30 a.m.

9:00 a.m.–Noon

Breakfast

Workshop

Noon

1:45–3:15 p.m.

Lunch

Open with hike option

3:15–5:00 p.m.

Individual Conferences*

6:00 p.m.

7:30–8:30 p.m.

Dinner

Readings by participants

 

FRIDAY

6:30 a.m.

Bird Walk with Chip Blake (Optional)

7:30 a.m.

9:00 a.m.–Noon

Breakfast

Workshop

Noon

1:45-3:15 p.m.

3:15-5:00 p.m.

6 p.m.

7:30-8:30 p.m.

 

Lunch

Faculty and Chip Blake: The Business of Writing

Individual Conferences*

Dinner

Participant readings and farewell

 

SATURDAY

6:00 a.m.

7:30 a.m.

Coach departs for Tucson Airport

Breakfast for those remaining

10:00 a.m.

Checkout

* To be scheduled with individual instructors.

The above schedule is subject to change at the discretion of the faculty.

Program Fees

The workshop tuition, meals, and accommodations are included in the following fees. Participants must first apply to Orion (cnye@orionmagazine.org) to be accepted into the program. Once accepted, participants should call Omega to set up their preferred housing at 877.944.2002 (845.256.8144 outside the United States).

Please note that a variety of housing options are available at the Arizona site. Those who apply earlier will be able to choose their housing sooner. Some housing options may sell out faster than others.

Dorm room/shared hall bath/Single Occupancy                   $1,800 per person

Dorm room/shared hall bath/Double Occupancy                 $1,600 per person

Camping/Single Occupancy                                                    $1,100 per person

Duplex/ shared bath/Double Occupancy                               $1,900 per person

Triplex/ shared bath/ Double or Triple Occupancy               $1,700 per person