Partner With Us

We partner with organizations around Madison to develop and deliver quality workshops for their members and customers.

Are you looking for ways to increase value for your customers or members? Our writing workshops are the perfect way to do this. We partner with businesses all around the Madison area to offer personalized writing workshops in the topics of composition, nature, poetry, creative writing, well-being, mindfulness, and many more. We will work with you to adjust our topics so they’re relevant to your audience and goals.

Our classes can be held as one-time events or ongoing courses and are available both in person, online, or a mix of both. Please note that during the Coronavirus pandemic we will be following State guidelines regarding social distancing requirements.

Affiliations and Partnerships

On the Yahara Writing Center has made it a primary goal to work with other educational organizations, conservancies, centers, schools, and businesses in order to provide a useful and enduring educational experiences.

Some of our current and former partners include:

  • Institute for Collective Wellbeing
  • Collective Wellbeing Stories (regular monthly classes coming soon)
  • Social Innovation and Sustainability Leadership Program (SISL) Edgewood College
  • UW Arboretum
  • Olbrich Gardens
  • Pheasant Branch Conservancy
  • Sun Prairie Library
  • Middleton Library
  • Waukesha Library (regular monthly classes coming soon)
  • Middleton Senior Center
  • Western Technical College

Workshop Formats

Consider On the Yahara to serve as an embedded writing center for your specific business needs. There is no better tool for education than regular one-on-one or small group presentations and exercises. On the Yahara will create week-long, day-long, or half-day lesson plans to suit your exact reading and writing needs. Sometimes the very difference between struggle and competency is nothing more than a week of dedicated instruction. Save yourself the standard time spent in a semester’s long class or a weekend seminar. On the Yahara will come to you and cater to your time available.

Our workshops are available in person or online via Zoom. We work with our partners to put together a schedule and figure out details regarding student registration.

For online workshops: Once students register, we provide them with a link to join our secure Zoom room. The students do not to pay for a Zoom membership in order to download the software.

What Students Are Saying

“The feedback Troy provides is like headwind. The teaching, support, and encouragement he offers is outstanding. He has an enormous knowledge of nature writing craft. In assisting me with a lyrical essay, he not only helped to define and articulate what I was laboring to create, but he helped me discover resources I never could have found on my own, and he prescribed enlightening exercises to support me in moving my essay forward. Troy also includes plenty of livening praise and validating encouragement. He understands that this is as essential to the learning process as craft knowledge.”

– Tricia D. Wagner, Author of Where Fish Can Breathe

“I attended one of the creative non-fiction workshops with Troy and I was really impressed with the session. Not only did we learn about the genre and cover interesting topics (including reading excepts from some wonderful texts), we also got to focus on our own writing. We had some prompts to work on and spent time discussing ourselves and our direction with our writing. The personalized nature of the classes gives you a chance to really focus on specific issues and concepts. I would highly recommend!”

– Scarlett via Google

“I’ve taken more than one writing workshop with On the Yahara and I plan to attend more in the future. Troy is a competent instructor and very personable. The workshops combine information with writing practice, which are both of interest to me. Troy was even generous enough to offer me feedback on my writing after one of the classes was over. I’d highly recommend this organization.”

– Amy via Google

“I did a narrative non-fiction workshop and it was great. Nice to meet up with a small group of like-minded people to talk writing and look at great examples.”

– K Montgomery via Google

About Your Instructor, Troy Hess

Troy Hess is the founder of On the Yahara. A Wisconsin native, Troy has enjoyed nature and the process of writing for as long as he can remember. His passion for writing led him to complete a minor in English from UW-La Crosse and a Master of Arts in Creative Writing & Poetry from Winona State University, as well as to teach college English for 10 years at Viterbo University and Western Wisconsin Technical College.

Three years ago Troy completed a fellowship in the Social Innovation and Sustainability Leadership program at Edgewood College, Madison, where he focused on the connections between sustainability, eco-literacy, nature writing, and how to offer these as classes outside of standard academic institutions.

Nowadays you can find Troy volunteering as a Land Restoration Team Leader for the UW Arboretum, writing for CHEW Magazine, teaching OTY workshops at Olbrich Gardens or the Arboretum, or writing about his favorite books, recipes, and travel destinations.