2468 Online: Moniack in a Month – Writing about Nature and Place with Malachy Tallack

2468 Online: Moniack in a Month – Writing about Nature and Place with Malachy Tallack

Date(s) - Wed 3rd Jul - Fri 26th Jul, 2024
7:00pm - 9:00pm

Putting the natural world into words

Join award-winning writer Malachy Tallack  online for a month, exploring writing about nature and place.

Over the past decade, the genre of nature writing has developed and expanded rapidly. Many writers today are inspired to tell their own stories entwined with stories about landscape, nature and the environment. If there’s a key piece of wisdom to be gleaned from this, it’s that we – as individuals, as communities and as a species – can’t be fully understood without understanding the world around us, to which we are intricately and intimately connected. Likewise, it is near impossible now, and some might say irresponsible, to write about nature without considering the damage that human beings are doing to it.  

In these four workshops you’ll learn about nature and place writing, how this genre is changing, what works well (and what doesn’t) and what publishers are looking for. We’ll consider the two fundamental things a nature writer needs – rich detail and a strong narrative – and we’ll look at how to bring these elements together in prose that is beautiful and compelling. 

Moniack in a Month: Writing about Nature and Place includes: 

  • a short introductory welcome session 
  • four stimulating online workshops, preceded by optional drop-in social time 
  • one 30-minute tutorial 
  • a Guest Writer event 
  • a final ceilidh session – sharing of work 
  • Contact and support from your community of writers via Google Classroom (optional) 
  • Drop-ins before each workshop to help you get to know your group (optional) 
  • Support from your Moniack Mhor host
Malachy’s workshops will focus on the following themes:

Workshop 1 – Introduction

What does it mean to write about nature and place today? In this rapidly-growing genre, how can writers find new and exciting ways to engage with the world around them, and to think about their own place within it?  

Workshop 2 – Noticing

What you notice, the details you observe and record, are all-important in nature writing. This workshop will consider how to become a better noticer, and how to gather the raw material you need for rich and engaging prose.

Workshop 3 – Telling 

Good nature writers are good storytellers. Whether it’s an essay or a book, getting the narrative right is key to holding your readers’ attention. We’ll examine what makes for a compelling narrative structure, and how memoir can be a key element of the story you tell. 

Workshop 4 – Showing

Now you have your structure and your notes, what’s next? How do you bring your prose to life? This workshop will show how to craft sentences, paragraphs and pages that do justice to the material you’ve gathered.

Guest Writer Event

In an hour-long event that will also be open to the public, writer Noreen Masud will read from her memoir A Flat Place and be in conversation with Malachy Tallack and our online audience.



Week 1        Wednesday             3 July         19:00–21:30      Welcome Session and Workshop 1

Week 2        Wednesday           10 July        19:00–21:00      Workshop 2

Week 3        Wednesday           17 July         19:00–21:00      Workshop 3

Week 3        Thursday               18 July         20:00–21:00      Guest Writer event

Week 4        Wednesday           24 July         19:00–21:00      Workshop 4

Week 4        Friday                    26 July        19:00–21:00       Ceilidh



Your one-to-one tutorial with Malachy will be scheduled when the course starts.



Malachy Tallack is the award-winning author of four books with nature and place at their heart, most recently Illuminated by Water, which was shortlisted for the Richard Jefferies Award for nature writing in 2022. His novel The Valley at the Centre of the World was shortlisted for the Highland Book Prize and longlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize. His first book, Sixty Degrees North, was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, and his second, The Un-Discovered Islands, was named Illustrated Book of the Year at the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards. Malachy is the managing editor of Gutter, Scotland’s leading literary journal. He is from Shetland, and currently lives in Fife. www.malachytallack.com

Guest Writer

Noreen Masud is a Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Bristol, and an AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinker. A Flat Place (2023) is her first creative nonfiction book. In March 2024, A Flat Place was shortlisted for the inaugural Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction. www.noreenmasud.com


The full fee for this online course is £360.  A deposit of £100 is required to secure your place, which is non-refundable after a 14-day cooling-off period. The balance payment of £260 is due six weeks before the course begins.

Bursaries are available, and you also have the option to pay in instalments, please email online@moniackmhor.org.uk to enquire.

All activity takes place on Zoom, and workshops include a short break. Moniack Mhor staff will be on hand to support you during your course. 

For more information please email online@moniackmhor.org.uk.


Please let us know in your booking form if you have any access requirements when working online so we can do our best to support you. For more information about access to our courses, please visit our Access page.

Terms and Conditions

Please read our Terms & Conditions before booking.


This course is now fully booked. Please contact us on info@moniackmhor.org.uk or 01463 741 675 to be added to the waiting list.

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