Current Course Offerings

Below is a current list of workshops being offered by Molly Murfee. Check back often for updates on courses to be offered in the various seasons as the year progresses.

Writing the Wild

Saturday, July 6

8 a.m. – 3 p.m

Do you feel overwhelmed by the beauty of the landscape and wildflowers but aren’t quite sure how to express it? Do you have something to say about nature but nothing you put on paper seems to quite hit the heart of your feelings? Let the wild writer inside of you free! In this full day backcountry hike seize the opportunity to experiment with a variety of writing exercises to describe what you’re seeing or find the words to communicate with others about your passion. Find inspiration from contemporary nature writers and learn from their techniques on how to capture emotion. With the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival.  

Regenerations - Art, Writing & Mindfulness in Nature

Saturday, July 13

8 a.m. – 3 p.m

To regenerate means to bring into renewed existence. This day-long “mini-retreat” from the modern world is a technology-free experience allowing you to sink deeply into just being in nature and re-establishing your connection to it. Through a backcountry hike into the wildflower-clad wilderness, slow down, tap in, take a deep look around you, and notice. Uncover your creative expression through a variety of landscape art, creative writing and mindfulness exercises designed to establish a relationship to place. Hear inspirational readings form nature writers and philosophers and engage in nature-oriented meditations. Instructors: Ivy Walker & Molly Murfee. With the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival. 

Gunnison Valley Literary Festival: 

Friday, August 9 – Sunday, August 11

Rooting Into Place

Friday, August 9

8 – 10 a.m.

Begin the weekend from an inspired and relaxed, open and connected place! Register and pick up your nametag, to-go pastries and coffee, then set out for the woods. We’ll initiate the day with a slow saunter in nature, sipping in the place we are, heightening our awareness and loosening up our creativity through readings of dreamy poetry and exploratory writing prompts. Root down in the forests and fields to discover this mountain environment’s both flagrant and nuanced personas. What is it trying to communicate? To teach? What metaphors lurk in its elements? Bring your reusable to go coffee mug and small backpack to carry a journal, writing utensil, water, breakfast pastries and a warm jacket (as mornings are cool). This is a saunter, so only flat soled footwear is required – flip flops are fine (just leave the stilettos at home)! With the Gunnison Valley Literary Festival.

Creative Writing Taster Series – Nature Writing:

Saturday, September 7 & Saturday, October 5

9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Connect with nature and your own personal creative expression by wandering blissfully through words in this half day outdoor immersion writing workshop. Tucked into a “backcountry classroom” readings from established nature writers inspire and inform your own style and demonstrate the world of possibilities while the surrounding forests, fields and streams stimulate the imagination and provide the content. Specially designed freewriting exercises help uncover your unique language for expressing your sentiments about nature. While experimenting with metaphor, word choice and descriptive techniques, you simultaneously hone your skills of observation and awareness. Explore your relationship with nature, and what the wild means to you. Participants may take one or both classes as topics and exercises will change. With the Literary Arts Department of the Center for the Arts Crested Butte.

Mountain Savvy Backcountry Hike

Wednesday, August 14

8:00 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

Get mountain savvy by learning from a local and gather the necessary skills to hike independently with knowledge, confidence and respect! This full-day hike not only takes participants into a beautiful wilderness setting, but teaches backcountry skills and natural history along the way. Make friends with the wildflowers by learning their names and interesting natural history facts. Gain exposure to the perfect equipment to bring in a backpack; what a first aid kit should contain; and confidence in navigation and reading maps. Learn Mountain Manners by becoming proficient in Leave No Trace skills to reduce physical impacts on the landscape such as trail etiquette; choosing the best lunch and camp sites; making a low impact fire; preserving flora and fauna; “toilet” practices; dealing with trash; preserving water quality and more. Have an inspiring day hiking and learning in the backcountry, making future independent adventures even more enjoyable! With Western Colorado University: Wednesdays at Western Extended Studies Program.

Introduction to Creative Nonfiction

An elective for non-Graduate Program in Creative Writing students who want to develop writing skills. An intensive genre-based survey of major approaches to Creative Nonfiction. Considers the subgenres of memoir, lyric essay, meditative essay, literary and cultural criticism and journalism, social, historical and political writing, travel writing, writing about science and technology, and other forms. Students read, analyze and imitate major works in each genre. CRWR 696 (3 credits). With the Graduate Program in Creative Writing: Nature Writing / Earth StoryCraft with Western Colorado University. 

Thought-provoking prose of the wild and human,

seated in the sublime, seasoned with irreverence.

With inspiring and informative creative essays, Earth Muffin Memos motivates you to instigate positive environmental, social and cultural change on our planet. Articles offer an alternative perspective and commentary on both current and timeless topics involving our environment, connecting to nature, disconnecting from technology, mountain and outdoor culture, sustainability, stewardship, community, modern culture, equality, humanitarian endeavors, communication and beyond. 

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