Diverse Voices Scholarships Available for Sterling’s Online Food and Environmental Writing Course

The 8-week online course aims to help writers tackle the complex challenges at the intersection of food, environment and equity

Vermont Business Magazine Sterling College is now accepting applications for a new online course in the art of food and environmental writing, with tuition-free scholarships funded by Penguin Random House and other donors. This is the first offering from the College’s “Writing the Wrongs” program, a degree program examining the ways in which storytelling can advance or thwart efforts toward sustainability and justice.

Led by Joe Fassler, Associate Editor of The Counter, this immersive workshop-based course will focus on how politics and power shape personal experience. Through engaged discussion of assigned readings, a range of guest speakers, and regular classroom feedback, students will build their ability to write compelling stories at the intersection of food, environment, and health. fairness, while progressing towards their personal career goals. For more information and a link to apply: https://www.ce.sterlingcollege.edu/food-and-environmental-writing

Fassler, whose own award-winning writings highlight the often overlooked, sometimes surprising, connections between environmental challenges and issues of equity, is uniquely positioned to teach lifelong learners to:

  • create compelling stories about vast interconnected systems;
  • balance human-level narratives with complex scientific and political questions;
  • interrogating popular narratives that mislead and obscure; and
  • deal with difficult subjects with sensitivity and nuance.

This course begins on April 4 and runs for 8 weeks, with live interactive webinars each week. Thanks to the generosity of several funders, including a Sterling family and Penguin Random House, Sterling is able to offer a Diverse Voices scholarship that covers the full cost of teaching and course materials.

This scholarship is available to selected individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color (BIPOC), or those who have deep and lasting personal connections to systematically marginalized but resilient communities, or who are military veterans. Review of applications begins March 7.

Through encounters with essential reading in key thematic areas – and failed cover case studies – attendees will deepen their knowledge of the subject while learning to navigate the unique challenges of each genre. The workshop component will then put these lessons into practice, with opportunities for students to direct specific text for publication through a process of instructor feedback and peer critique.

Students will also discuss professional considerations and pragmatic concerns with a range of guest speakers, including Dr. Cynthia Greenlee, James Beard Award-winning writer and editor of The Counter; Matt Klise, editor of Penguin Books; and Jenny Dorsey, chef and writer who runs Studio ATAO, a community think tank advancing systemic change in media and other industries.

Fassler, who is keen to guide a mixed cohort of writers and practitioners, has designed this course to serve both experienced writers who are new to the subject and people with lived experience in food systems or research work. environmental justice that are new in writing. It will even offer challenges for established food/environment writers looking to improve their skills or hone their craft in different genres. Through this course, students will be better able to write about the present in a way that responds to the past, structure complex stories, and anchor stories about complex systems with worthy character sketches.

For more information about this workshop and other continuing education offerings from Sterling, visit https://www.ce.sterlingcollege.edu/


Founded in 1958 in Craftsbury Common, Vermont, Sterling College advances ecological thought and action through affordable experiential learning, preparing capable, competent, and responsible leaders to meet the ecological crises caused by rapid growth and unlimited consumption that threaten the future of the planet. Sterling College is home to the School of the New American Farmstead, the Wendell Berry Farming Program, and EcoGather; is accredited by the New England Higher Education Commission; and is one of nine colleges and universities recognized by the United States Department of Education as a “Work College”. Sterling acknowledges that the land on which it gathers is the traditional, unceded territory of the Abenaki people at its Vermont campus, and of the Shawnee, Osage, and Eastern Band of Cherokee at its Kentucky campus. For more information visit: www.sterlingcollege.edu

Joe Fassler is associate editor of The Counter, an award-winning nonprofit newsroom covering business, politics and American food culture. Her writing on food and the environment has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, TheAtlantic.com, Longreads, and The Best American Food Writing. A two-time finalist for a James Beard Media Award, he received a Ted Scripps Fellowship from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an 11th Hour Food and Farming Fellowship from the University of California, Berkeley. Fassler’s first book, Light the Dark: Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process, adapted from his “By Heart” author interview series at The Atlantic, has been translated into six languages. His novel, The Sky Was Ours, is forthcoming from Penguin Books.

Craftsbury township. March 2, 2022 – Sterling College

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