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Jerry Dennis, Personal Essay and Nature Writing


Jerry Dennis has been on the faculty of the Bear River Writers Conference since its inception and has earned his living as a freelance writer for more than 30 years. His dozen books of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry, including A Walk in the Animal Kingdom, A Daybreak Handbook: Prose/Poems, The Windward Shore, and The Living Great Lakes, have appeared on national bestseller lists, have been translated into six languages, and are taught in many universities and high schools. His shorter works have appeared in The New York Times, Smithsonian, Orion, Michigan Quarterly Review, PANK, Mid-American Review, and many other publications. Among his awards are the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award, the Michigan Author of the Year Award, and the Great Lakes Culture Award.


Workshop: Writing the Sense of Place

Place is an important element in many books, stories, essays, and poems, yet writers sometimes treat it as if it were mere background. In this workshop we’ll explore ways to capture and evoke the unique sense or “character” of a place, both as a literary form of its own and as a way to instill depth, texture, and authenticity to your writing. Daily writing assignments—including sketching from observation and writing from memory—will be shared with the group and discussed in detail, with the goal of completing work suitable for publication.