Listen to the Wild: The Magic of the Written and Spoken Word

Submitted by event organizers

Creative writing begins with reflecting on the outer and inner world, listening, seeing, turning words into thought-provoking images. On Orcas Island, Moran State Park is a beautiful location to tap into the natural world and explore your inner voice. Writers of all types are invited to join the summer Wonder Camp for our Writers Track, Aug. 6 and 7. Registration is online at

Guest instructors for the Writers Track are Abigail Morgan Prout and Quinn Bailey who both grew up in the San Juans and whose writings capture the intricate balance of loving, observing, fearing for, and protecting these beautiful islands. Abigail and Quinn join together to launch the Writers Track with a Sunday morning reflection on listening, observing and writing that informs their work, with poetry readings and dialogue sharing and an introduction to their inspirations and methods. This session engenders inspiration for your own development as a writer.

Abigail’s Sunday afternoon class at Wonder Camp is Walk Deep, which she describes as “Nature can be a writer’s most stalwart ally. Walking and writing are a perfect combination to help integrate and express. In this workshop, we will be Walking Deep by calling our attention to the power that a familiar outer landscape has as a companion, mirror, compass, and divination tool for our inner landscape. Holding a personal question or topic in mind, we will do a walking meditation, asking the Earth to help us form thoughts and give words to our tender topics. “

Quinn invites writers to join him in an insightful workshop on Monday morning called ‘Listen to the Wild’ that he describes as: “All poetry begins with observation. In this class we will dip into the natural world’s never-ending pool of inspiration through a series of playful and connective sensory awareness activities designed to help us hone our powers of observation. Once awakened we will turn our senses to the beautiful island landscape around us before turning to the page, where we will focus on how precise detail and description can convey both complex emotions and powerful images to the reader.”

Each enrollment is designed as a two-session option. Attending all 3 Writers Track sessions is encouraged. Or complement your written explorations with visual and hands-on art and nature, perhaps the medicinal plant walk and herbalism hands-on sessions. 100% of the workshop fees help fund the instructor stipends and camp costs for this non-profit program.

Abigail grew up as a wild island hippie child on the island of Lopez in the Salish Sea. She surprised herself by returning to raise a family here. Walk Deep, her first book, won the 2021 Homebound Publications Poetry Prize, a 2023 Nautilus Book Award, and is currently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Walk Deep was published by Wayfarer Books/ Homebound Publications in October 2022. This book is a love letter to Lopez Island, specifically to a forest path on Lopez Hill that functions as her muse. Abigail is passionate about the role that nature and poetry plays in personal transformation and leadership.

Quinn was born and raised on Orcas Island and is a poet, naturalist, and wildlife tracker who feels most at home wandering the wooded hills and rocky shores surrounding the Salish Sea. Quinn’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in a number of publications including Camas, Deep Wild, Big Sky Journal, and His first full-length collection of poetry, The Currents of the World was published by Homebound publication 2020.

Camp participants have the option to attend these and other inspirational and hands-on workshops with walk-in day camper and overnight options with meals. There are two full days of activities and 3 evenings. The setting is at the historic Camp Moran Environmental Center amidst forest, meadow, mountains and orchards on the shore of Cascade Lake in the heart of Moran State Park. In addition to these adult (and mature teen) workshops, Quinn is also offering a Wilderness Survival class for youth 11-17 on Sunday afternoon. See the workshops and instructor bios at All Ages of Wonder Welcome!