Garden Writing Workshop with Gardens Writer Jackie Bennett

Sat, 08/02/2014 - 10:00am - 4:00pm
University of Oxford Botanic Garden

Garden Writing Workshop with Gardens Writer and Editor Jackie Bennett


Jackie is the award-winning former editor of the Garden Design Journal and the English Garden magazine, and she continues to write regular features for both magazines. She will lead you through an exploration of the different ways of writing about gardens and will help you find your writing ‘voice’. There will be individual and group exercises with plenty of time for feedback and above all lots of plants in the Botanic Garden to inspire your writing.

The course is aimed at those with an interest in plants and gardens, but no prior writing experience is needed. It could also be suitable for those who write in a different medium (eg PR or academia) and want to move over into gardening media.

Aim: to explore different media and publishing outlets for writing about gardens. We will look at common mistakes and discuss how to find a writing ‘voice’. There will be individual writing exercises and group exercises where participants get a chance to practice interviewing, research and to write short pieces. There will be built-in time for questions and feedback on individual’s writing. At the end of the day, the participants should have a good idea of what direction their writing is taking, whether they aim to write for pleasure or publication.

Types and styles of garden writing: 
• Reports on talks, events and shows
• Features: Gardens, Plants, Garden History
• People: interviews
• Diaries and columns
• Book Reviews

Getting published: Magazines and journals - inc garden photography
• Newspapers - Blogs and Websites - Books

Other topics: Presentation guidelines, plant naming conventions, payments & agents

Participants to bring: 
• Examples of any published writing (optional)
• Copies of magazines & journals they enjoy reading (useful but not essential). 
• Notebook and pen (or laptops if preferred)

Jackie is the Editor of the Garden Design Journal for the Society of Garden Designers and is a former editor of the English Garden magazine for whom she writes regular features. She has written several gardening books including Wild About the Garden (Channel 4, 1997), The Wildlife Garden (1993, reissued 2011). She won the Garden Media Guild’s Gardening Column of the Year 2009 for a series about her own Norfolk garden.  Jackie studied garden design at Capel Manor and runs garden writing workshops for members of the Society of Garden Designers and for the general public. 


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