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residential nature writing
weekends and courses

Friday 29 September - Sunday 1 October

Two-day residential course on covering
environmental issues

Tooth and Claw residential nature writing weekend


Friday 29 September - Sunday 1 October


Tooth and Claw is delighted to offer its first residential nature writing weekend, Writing the Wild, to be held this autumn on the dramatic and wildlife-rich Pembrokeshire coast.



James Fair

Environment editor of BBC Wildlife Magazine

Louise Tickle

An award-winning journalist who writes for a range of national newspapers and magazines on conservation, rural affairs and travel

Iolo Williams

BBC wildlife presenter, naturalist and writer, who will give a special guest session and lead a wildlife walk

Iolo Williams is a guest speaker with Tooth and Claw Courses: Writing the Wild

Iolo Williams

The course (maximum 12 participants) aims to provide a thorough grasp of the critical elements required in a piece of prose writing about wildlife, nature or conservation. It will also include a trip to the RSPB’s Ramsey Island reserve during the seal-pupping season.



You may be keen to start writing about your experiences in nature for the first time, have a nature-writing project such as a blog that you’d like to improve, or you may be hoping to get your work published. Please note: participants need to be able to walk for up to five miles on variable terrain including the short but steep ascents and descents typical of the Pembrokeshire coast.


What will you learn?


This weekend will give you the opportunity to explore three distinct forms within the nature writing genre:

  • environmental writing that explores a particular issue

  • pure nature writing based on personal experience

  • travel writing


Led by James Fair, environment editor of BBC Wildlife Magazine, and award-winning journalist Louise Tickle who writes for a range of national publications on conservation, rural affairs and activity travel, the course will be based in a beautifully restored traditional Welsh farmhouse just outside the village of Marloes, where the teaching and writing will mainly take place.



11.30am: Arrive at St Justinian’s, just west of St David’s. This is the embarkation point for the RSPB’s Ramsey Island reserve.


*12 noon. Weather permitting, the boat will depart at noon for a tour around the geological splendours of Ramsey at the height of the seal pupping season. After landing on Ramsey for a hike to the seal rookeries with assistant warden Lisa Morgan, participants will have another couple of hours to explore the reserve.

Late afternoon:
Boat arrives back at St Justinian’s and participants drive to the course venue near Marloes.


Evening: Dinner, tutor-led talk and short writing task.

What do we mean by writing inspired by the wild? Is it simply concentrating on animals and plants? What are the demands of different ‘types’ of writing about nature? Is a story important, and where do humans come into the mix? Writing task: how to build understanding of an environmental issue.


Morning: Breakfast, followed by a tutor-led discussion and critique of the work produced the previous evening. The latter part of the morning will be focused on an exploration of pure nature writing, how to deploy the raw material, intent, audience and tone. Writing task: bringing a personal perspective to an experience in nature.


Early to mid afternoon: Lunch followed by two-hour session with naturalist, broadcaster and nature writer Iolo Williams.


Late afternoon to dinner: Writing task: honing a piece of nature writing or re-angling it for a different audience. This will be combined with individual sessions for tutor feedback and guidance.


Evening: Dinner, followed by continuation of individual tutor feedback. Optional travel writing task: planning out a piece of nature-based travel writing.



Morning: Breakfast, followed by a taught session: what makes a piece of nature-based travel writing into a compelling read?

Travel writing task: selecting from a plethora of riches: how to thrill, not bore, your audience.


Afternoon: Lunch, wash-up discussion, and leave by 3pm.


*The Ramsey trip is weather dependent. In the event that the boat operator advises us that conditions make the crossing impossible, participants will be contacted on Friday morning with alternative local arrangements for the first afternoon of the course.



The weekend is priced at £495 per place: earlybird price of £445 applies until 31 May 2017.


What’s included?
All tuition and one-to-one feedback, warden and naturalist talks, the Ramsey boat trip and landing, two nights accommodation sharing in comfortable twin rooms, all meals, soft drinks, teas, coffees, snacks and wine at dinner.

What’s not included?
We don’t provide outward or return travel to St Justinian’s or onwards (though by prior arrangement we may be able to provide limited numbers of participants with a lift if you have arrived at St David’s by public transport); participants will also need to bring their own notebooks and laptops for writing exercises.


Please indicate you have read our terms and conditions and reserve your place on the Booking page

 Tooth and Claw: Two-day residential course  covering environmental issues

Date tbc

Register your interest in this course delivered by Tooth and Claw Courses


As the global environmental crisis deepens, how do you research an issue of pressing concern, write about it with authority, and even make a difference?

Seeing Red, Writing Green: Writing Courses by Tooth and Claw

Whether you want to raise the roof on a topic that’s of immediate local interest, or explore an environmental problem that has wider reach, this two-day course led by journalists with long experience of covering environmental issues, conservation, ethical trade and the politics of food production will give you the tools and confidence you need to raise your voice – and pen – to best effect.



James Fair

Environment editor of BBC Wildlife Magazine

Louise Tickle

An award-winning journalist who writes for a range of national newspapers and magazines on conservation, rural affairs and travel


If you want to develop a campaigning blog, contribute to your local press or write for national print and online publications, this course is for you.


What we'll cover


  • developing an environmental specialism
  • subject research and idea development 
  • staying legal: fairness, accuracy and balance
  • how and when to quote experts
  • building an argument: a discussion of structure and content
  • pitching to editors 

Nature Writing weekend course with Tooth and Claw
Tooth and Claw: Weekend writing course covering environmental issues
One to one support and coaching for writers and journalists with Louise Tickle at Tooth and Claw Courses
In Search of the Gruffalo.  Adventures in nature with James Fair and Louise Tickle

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