Most writing happens at the desk, but sometimes we find the heartbeat in our work when we are moving in the world—especially the natural world.

Immersion in natural places can oxygenate our thinking, switch on our senses, enliven our creativity and ignite our imagination.

Join Ilka Tampke and me for a one-day workshop where we will learn how to bring the natural world to life on the page and hear the stories it wants us to tell.

The day will begin in a private room at the historic Mt Macedon Hotel where we will learn skills and techniques to write vividly about place. Later we will go into the beautiful state forest of Mount Macedon to put it into practice with guided writing activities in the bush.

The workshop is suitable for fiction and non-fiction writers of all levels and includes a gourmet lunch and a guided walk through local bushland. No bushwalking experience required but track may have a gentle hill section or sections and occasional steps.

Topics covered will include:

  • Writing the non-human
  • The role of nature in narrative
  • Relationship of place to character and theme
  • Use of language and imagery in writing place
  • Techniques for observing and documenting the natural environment
  • Techniques for generating stories and ideas from nature
  • Developing our observations into a longer piece
  • Guidelines as to how to structure a practice around writing in nature

All participants will also have the subsequent opportunity to submit a 500 word piece to the workshop leaders, for feedback and review.


Participant numbers are strictly limited. Book now to avoid missing out.


10:00am to 4:30pm, Saturday 24 April, 2021.


The Red Room, Mt Macedon Hotel, 694 Mt Macedon Road, Mt Macedon VIC.

Only an hour from Melbourne by car or train – free pick-up from and drop-off to Macedon Railway Station available upon request.


Includes gourmet lunch – $315 per person. Concession $225 (those with a health-care card, student card or pension card).



Ilka Tampke and I are engaging speakers, passionate teachers and experienced authors. Participants in this unique workshop will spend the day learning, listening, talking and laughing. And, of course, writing. We can’t wait for you to join us in the beautiful Macedon Ranges.

Ilka Tampke’s first novel, Skin, was published in eight countries and was nominated for the Voss Literary Prize and the Aurealis Award in 2016. Her second novel, Songwoman, was published in four countries and won the Small Press Network Book of the Year Award 2019. Ilka teaches fiction at RMIT University and La Trobe University and is currently completing a PhD. She lives in the Macedon Ranges of Victoria.