I’ve been teaching for over twenty years and I regularly offer workshops and presentations to universities, NGOs, small businesses and grassroots community groups. Read more about my recent work.
For more information about booking a workshop or other event, please get in touch.
I’m currently offering the following workshops (online and in person):
Intersectionality is everywhere. We’re told it’s crucial, both for social justice and for democracy. It might even be a requirement for funding our projects and organisations. But what does it mean to keep intersectionality at the core of our work? How can we turn theory into practice without falling back on tokenism? What do we need to gain a deeper understanding of power? This workshop offers a space to explore these questions.
Land rights, environmental protection, and queer liberation are intimately interconnected.
In this workshop we will investigate some of these connections, including opportunities offered by the discipline of queer ecology. We will learn from, and be inspired by, grassroots, community-led queer-environmental movements.
In cultures built upon oppressive norms and rigid definitions of gender, sex and sexuality, LGBTQ+ people are more likely than others to live a precarious life on the edge. We experience increased risk of violence and poverty and we are more exposed to harm caused by environmental destruction.
It is now well established that degradation of our living environment brings greater probability of disasters, including, in the case of climate change, more frequent and intense extreme weather events. Marginalisation, such as that found in LGBTQ+ populations, further increases that risk. We have less resources to prepare for crisis, and we are frequently underserved by programmes such as those for disaster response.
In addition, LGBTQ+ populations experience reduced access to environmental benefits such as healthy food and access to land.
Partly as a result of marginalisation, discrimination and violence, LGBTQ+ communities, in common with other marginalised groups, have a long history of creating collective strategies for resilience, resistance and survival. These strategies prove to be powerful tools during disaster, as illustrated by the abundance of queer-led mutual aid groups during the first months of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Investigating some of the intersections between queerness, liberation, ecology, and environmental protection, is the discipline of queer ecology. Queer ecology serves as an invitation to challenge binary notions, not only of gender, sex and sexuality, but of those divisions between humans and nature; natural and unnatural; individuals and community. It gives us tools to look deeply into what we mean when we use terms like sustainability. What is being sustained? By, and for whom?
Worldwide, grassroots communities are creating projects and movements that offer alternatives to mainstream sustainable development. Queer solidarity and liberation are combined with environmental connection, defence and restoration as an everyday praxis. Further exploration of these queer environmental networks can prove instructive for finding alternative models that centre the needs of the most marginalised in our communities.
Queer and trans life is, for a large part, an urban one. We gather for our safety, and cities can be the building sites for our communities and livelihoods. But there, surrounded by cement and trees in boxes, we can lose touch with the land, if we ever had it to lose. We lose touch and we touch loss for the five billion other species who are also our community. But what if our transness, our queerness, our divergence, and our power, is a call to connect? What if that connection could redefine who we are?
In this workshop from author, Kes Otter Lieffe, we will explore the precious places that cause us to breathe deep. The mountains and rivers and the overgrown corners of car parks. We will find out what happens if we write down our dreams for the places, and beings, we love. Participation in this creative workshop will be by consent: sharing our stories is invited, but never mandatory. The workshop will be focused on writing, but feel free to use whatever medium brings you the deepest joy.
I've been using consensus decision-making in one way or another since around 2001 and it's been a huge part of my life, especially as an organiser. I run this workshop both for people/groups who are totally new to consensus and for those with experience who want a refresher on the protocols that so easily get lost over time.
More details coming soon (or get in touch)
Since releasing my second novel in 2018, I've been holding spaces for marginalised writers to come together, to share challenges - and solutions - and to deepen our craft. I've taught 'Writing from the Margins' in various formats, as a weekly course over several months and as one-off classes. We've covered subjects that include: writing marginalised characters, land and setting the scene, writing utopias and world-building.
Get in touch if you would like to host a Writing from the Margins workshop or course.
I've worked with lots of very different spaces and projects over the years from one hour workshops to week-long programmes and inclusivity audits. In these trainings I work through general trans awareness, when needed, as well as addressing the specifics needs of each project to help them become more competent to work with the trans community and to meet our needs of access, safety and relevance.
More details coming soon (or get in touch)
“We invited Kes Otter Lieffe as a keynote to our Trans Ecologies Symposium, a fully sold-out event attended by 75 participants over two days. Kes ran a thoughtful, fluent, and powerfully moving workshop on speculative trans ecological fiction – It all starts with the land – in which we reflected together on the crucial roles of sensation and imagination in radical change work that aims to take account of more-than-human agencies. Her genuine, personal, and inclusive approach helped set the tone for the entire symposium, and participant feedback mentioned the workshop as a highlight. We definitely would work with Kes again!” Sage Brice, University of Durham
“I attended a writing workshop with Kes exploring relationships with place and speculative futures. Kes is a skilled facilitator, guiding us through each writing exercise and extending care around all aspects of the process – we were invited to join her in breathing exercises and in doing simple stretches after each period of focused writing, which I’ve never experienced at a writing workshop before! The environments Kes creates feel genuinely engaged and compassionate, and she is attentive to the complicated feelings that can arise in using writing to explore the futures we want and hope for.” Felix McNulty, cofounder of Books Beyond Bars UK