Evocative Nature Writing

One of the finest nature writers I’ve ever read is Eli J. Knapp, Ph.D., whose book The Delightful Horror of Family Birding: Sharing Nature With the Next Generation was published in 2018 by Torrey House Press. I encouraged Eli along the path toward publication of his marvelously funny and insightful essays, a process that forged an enduring friendship and, now, a book we’re both very proud of. Here’s my review.

I was also privileged to assist Charles Babbitt with the editorial side of his informative book Birding Arizona: What to know, where to go. Published in 2019 by R.W. Morse Company, it’s an essential guide for anyone who wants to enjoy and understand Arizona’s abundant and diverse birdlife.

I believe that passionate, evocative nature writing can inspire readers to act on behalf of the natural world and its wild residents. Some of my favorite writers are nature writers,  from Henry David Thoreau and Robert Macfarlane to Richard Nelson, Annie Dillard, and Terry Tempest Williams (to name just a few).

As a devoted reader of nature writing and the former associate editor for Arizona Wildlife Views magazine, I have extensive experience writing about wildlife and wild places and coaching others to do their best work for publication. Over the years, I’ve developed “Seven Rules for Nature Writing.” Those basic rules are:

  1. Take your reader on a journey.
  2. Use specific language.
  3. Take reference photos.
  4. Have the experience. Then go home and write about it.
  5. Know your stuff.
  6. Give your audience motive, means, and opportunity to act on behalf of nature.
  7. Write well.

To get a helpful, slightly longer version that explains each rule, fill out the contact form. Click “Yes, I would like to read your seven rules for nature writing.” I’ll be happy to send it your way!