Past Workshops & Appearances

  • Ever Changing/Never Less Than Whole: Writing the Getty Garden
    Museum Studios, Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA
    How do you engage the world? This is a crucial question in Robert Irwin’s llife and work. To ask this question of yourself, join writer and teacher Paula Panich in this writing workshop focusing on Irwin’s Central Garden. Participants will experience the garden, talk and write about it, and conclude with small group feedback.   Fee includes Panich’s book Cultivating Words: The Guide to Writing about the Plants and Gardens You Love.
  • Writing the Garden: Workshop and Seminar
    New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY
    Join writer and teacher Paula Panich for a nuts and bolts workshop regarding writing on subjects relating to houses, gardens, and horticulture. Explore the differences among the forms of non-fiction, including news writing, feature stories, essays, and full-length books. Discuss how garden writing intersects with food and travel writing. After lunch, another garden writer, a literary agent, and a magazine editor join the class to discuss the world of publishing books and articles.
  • GWA Writers Workshop: Inside this Pencil, Inside this Heart: Essay, Memoir and the Art of the Personal Narrative
    San Diego Botanic Garden, Encinitas, California
    Personal narrative is an attempt to shape a corner of one’s experiences, whether in the garden, through childhood memories or from one’s travels.  This genre invites us to define the self and to deliver that hard-earned wisdom to the page.Writing instructor Paula Panich will show you how essay and memoir are nurtured, layered and written (and revised and revised) on that delicate high wire held by the tension between the discipline of art and craft and the releasing of expectation.  Writers of all levels welcome.  Paula will take special care to discuss the enemies of vivid narrative writing: abstraction and summary.
  • Garden Writing Workshop
    Laurtizen Gardens, Omaha, NE
    Learn to translate your passion for plants and gardens into words that others can read and enjoy. This fast-paced workshop is for everyone – novice or experienced writers are welcome. We will engage in a few writing exercises. Come prepared with an open mind, a notebook, a pen – and an open heart. Join Paula Panich for a lively, one-day workshop in which you will learn:

    • To read as a writer does
    • To distinguish among the forms of nonfiction writing
    • To write clear and concise sentences
    • To be able to recognize the internal structure of a piece of writing, such as: lead paragraphs; nut grafs; transitions between paragraphs and ideas; quotations; summarized material; clustered ideas and information
    • To set up a writing practice and stick to it
  • Writing for Illustrators and Naturalists
    Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, CA
    Designed for botanical artists, scientific illustrators, and professional and amateur naturalists. Learn to write clear, concise, and lively captions and short pieces to accompany your work.
  • Writing Workshop for Photographers
    Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, CA
    Writer Paula Panich will lead a workshop designed to help photographers write clear, concise, and lively prose to accompany images of gardens, landscapes, architecture, and other subjects.
  • Place & Garden, Form & Structure: A Writing Workshop
    New England Wild Flower Society, Framingham, MA
    Gardeners learn with time and experience that interesting and complex gardens are based on underlying architectural structures made of soft and hard elements. Likewise, writers learn with time and experience that the most effective writing is based on good bones. In this two-day workshop, Paula Panich will teach you how to read as a writer does, taking apart articles on plants and gardens with (metaphorical) screwdrivers and wrenches to see how they are made. There will be an emphasis on constructing feature articles, which are complex pieces of writing. Special emphasis will be made on writing about place. Students will leave the workshop with a lead paragraph, a nut graf (the second paragraph of a story grounding the reader in details), and a plan for finishing an article. Experienced and novice writers alike are welcome.  Co-sponsored by Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, New England Wild Flower Society, and Wellesley College Friends of Horticulture.
  • Tales of Passion, Obsession, and Other Firsthand Reports from the Garden
    Wellesley Community Center, Wellesley Hills, MA
    Do you think garden writing is mostly about rattling teacups among the delphiniums? Think again. You know in your heart the garden is all about passion and obsession. Spend an enlightening evening with Paula Panich as she unearths written tales of sex, lying, cheating, greed, and other first hand reports from the garden. Hear the voices of witty and world-weary writers (ever think of Chekhov’s garden outside that cherry orchard?) who know it’s not all about the Garden of Eden.  Co-sponsored by Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, New England Wild Flower Society, and Wellesley College Friends of Horticulture.
  • Cultivating Words: Writing about the Plants and Gardens You Love,
    Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, CA
    Learn to write clear and precise nonfiction articles and essays about plants and gardens. This lively workshop is for everyone, novice or experienced writers. You’ll bring a short article or essay (on a topic of your choice) to the second meeting of this useful workshop for a gentle critique.
  • A Gathering of Words: A Manuscript Workshop
    New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY
    Bring a 500-800 word manuscript about a plant, garden, or garden-related subject to share in a gentle discussion of like-minded (aspiring or not) garden writers. Open to all. Articles and essays alike are welcome.
  • Your Favorite Plant: A One-Day, Hands-on Writing Workshop
    Berkshire Botanical Garden, Stockbridge, MA
  • Cultivating Character: Invigorating Articles and Essays with Vivid Writing about People
    2005 Garden Writer Association Symposium
    , Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Characters in nonfiction are not just conduits for facts; gardeners are among the most passionate subjects anywhere. Bring them alive through scenes, dialogue and rich description to give readers a three-dimensional portrait.
  • Writing in Response:  Southern Arizona and the Chiricahua Mountains
    Sunglow Ranch, Pearce, AZ
    All writers need to translate a sense of place to the page. Writing well about place is an art and a craft, and like with any art or craft, development takes practice and an awareness of the tricks of the trade.  This three-day, two-night, open-hearted, writing retreat  with Paula Panich intended to develop the writer’s ability to respond to place: the foothills of the Chiricahua Mountains in southern Arizona, about 90 minutes southeast of Tucson.  Novice and experienced writers welcome. Writing instruction; feedback; writing time; hiking; stargazing; bird watching; delicious food.  This workshop will assist writers who see the world through almost any prism: landscape, geology, ornithology, biology, botany, ethnobotany, human relationships with the land and with each other.

Contact Paula Panich about giving a workshop