Laura Fraser|Doniga Markegard: Writing from the Senses at 1440 Multiversity

Ready for Designing Your Life with Dave Evans? Oct 25–27 at 1440.


Writing from the Senses

Tracking and Writing the Wild

November 29 - December 1, 2019

Friday - Sunday, 2 nights

All-inclusive program package to include:

<ul> <li>Tuition</li> <li>Three Meals in Kitchen Table (daily)</li> <li>Shared or Private Accommodations</li> <li>Signature classes and wellness offerings</li> </ul> <p>Please Note: All packages are priced per person. Should you elect a shared accommodation and community hall bath, 1440 will randomly pair you with a gender-specific roommate. Only private rooms have the option of a private bath.  1440 Multiversity is a smoke-free campus.</p>

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Program Description

Why do so many prolific, evocative writers spend so much time in nature? Because great writing ignites the senses—and very few places awaken touch, taste, sound, smell, and intuition more profoundly than the natural world.

Join award-winning writer Laura Fraser and memoirist and professional wildlife tracker Doniga Markegard for a weekend of writing from the senses. Through a mix of outdoor activities, lecture, discussion, and focused time to write, you will:

  • Spend mornings in nature noticing animal tracks, bird song, and plant species and becoming more attuned to the smells and textures of the natural world
  • Learn how to approach the writing process from a meditative and aware state
  • Learn writing techniques you can use to shape a short narrative essay or scene
  • Bring your observations to your writing in order to produce more vivid and descriptive prose.

Writing from the senses is one of the best ways to connect with readers—and yourself—and to make your work come alive. Leave this weekend more inspired and more attuned.

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  • Faculty Bio
    Laura Fraser

    Award-winning writer

    At the age of five, Laura Fraser knew she was going to be a writer.

    Laura published her first piece in the Jerusalem Post while volunteering on an Israeli kibbutz. Since then, she has become a New York Times best-selling memoirist and the author of four nonfiction books. She has contributed to publications ranging from the New York Times “Modern Love” column to O, The Oprah Magazine, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, and Vogue. Much of her work focuses on women’s health, medicine, travel, social justice, personal essays, and food as a way into the hearts of other cultures.

    A master of the craft, Laura has taught writing at Stanford University’s continuing education program, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and the Writers Grotto in San Francisco, where she is a longtime member. Through her company, Narrative Solutions, she develops clear and engaging content for an esteemed list of clients including Genentech and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. A lover of the written word, Laura has kept a list of all the books she’s ever read since she was 13.

    View Bio Page
    Doniga Markegard

    Writer, rancher, and Earth advocate

    Doniga Markegard is the author of the memoir Dawn Again: Tracking the Wisdom of the Wild. Mentored by some of the leading wildlife trackers, naturalists, and native spiritual elders of our time, Doniga overflows with stories of exploration and survival. She has led expeditions to track wolves in Idaho and Alaska, worked on research projects on mountain lions in California, and traveled to Africa to study with tribal wildlife trackers.

    Beyond writing, Doniga expresses her reverence for the Earth and all of its inhabitants through regenerative ranching. Supplying the Bay Area with local, nutrient-dense foods, Markegard Family Grass-Fed is dedicated to practices that build soil, sequester carbon, capture and purify water, and enhance habitat.

    Through her work, Doniga shares her desire for humans to immerse in their own senses and practice balanced living through their conscious connection to nature.

    She has been featured at the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco.

    View Bio Page
  • Why Attend
    • No matter the story, capturing your reader relies on evocative detail and inspiration. Engage in exercises to heighten your senses and write more vividly.

    • Give yourself a real creative retreat: this workshop will be a time of quiet observation, reflection, and writing, with plenty of time to enjoy the natural surroundings.<br />

    • How many writing workshops include lessons in outdoor tracking? Practice looking for signs of wildlife in nature as a way of bolstering your observation skills and becoming more attuned to your surroundings.

  • Things to Know/Schedule

    Program Schedule

    View Program Schedule


    This program is open to all—participants should feel comfortable walking on uneven ground on nature trails outdoors.

    Experience Level

    None required.

    Special Interest to


  • About 1440 Multiversity

    Beautifully nestled in the California redwoods near Santa Cruz, our 75-acre campus is within easy reach of San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

    1440 Multiversity is a place to spend time engaging some of life's most meaningful personal questions and to enjoy, restore, and reenergize yourself as you do it.

    You'll find new energy through immersion learning—setting aside daily urgencies and dedicating uninterrupted time to focus on important, but often elusive, priorities. Our unique collaboration with world-class faculty coupled with an original, inspirational curriculum and magnificent grounds make this a place like no other. Add in fresh, redwood-scented air, delicious and healthy food, deep reflection, fun exercise, and good sleep and you've pretty much captured what you'll experience here.

  • Accommodations

    At 1440 Multiversity, you’ll find a wide range of accommodations to meet your preferences and budget. All of our rooms have been thoughtfully designed to provide comfort, promote reflection, and foster connection with others.

    Accommodation rates include more than just the bed you sleep in.

    Per-person per-night rates include:

    • nourishing locally sourced, seasonal meals
    • daily meditation and yoga classes
    • non-ticketed evening events
    • use of all facilities, including the Fitness Center, steam rooms, and infinity-edge hot tub.

    Guests also enjoy access to woodland trails, cafés, and shops.


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