Who is an ideal applicant?
We are looking for anyone and everyone! Our criteria for picking storytellers will be based on:
• Uniqueness of the mission you want to embark on
•Realistic plan of action to attempt and complete your goal
•Ability to captivate an audience
•Diversity of the applicant
What will you do with the video I shoot on my adventure?
Great question. We drew our inspiration for this project from our co-founder, Elina. She recorded hundreds of hours of video as she hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. Once she returned home to Auckland, New Zealand, she turned that raw footage into a video series on Youtube.
Upon returning home, our storytellers will work with our team and turn their footage and narration into a cohesive video essay that will be ready for distribution onto streaming platforms.
I am not Arlene Blum or Jimmy Chin and there's no way I could do what they've done, should I even apply?
Yes! We are looking for individuals who break the mould. We don't expect you to have the experience or technical ability of a professional. This is your adventure.
I am caucasian, can I still apply?
Absolutely! While we strongly encourage BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ individuals to apply, we believe diverse storytelling can still come from anyone.
I love telling stories and love the outdoors, but I am not formally trained in videography and don't have the necessary equipment!
That is okay! We are not looking for people with industry experience and we don't expect you to have thousands of dollars of recording equipment laying around. We will work with you before you depart to buildup your storytelling muscles and will outfit you with recording equipment that will be appropriate for your journey.
My trip would be expensive to complete, how much will each person receive?
Think of the New Wilderness Essays as a personalized grant. If we fall in love with your proposed story, we will work with to craft a realistic budget that will allow you to reach your goal.
We are fully aware that many adventures will require technical gear, plane tickets, specialized cameras, foreign currency, and much more. Ignore that for now, just tell us your idea as it looks from cruising altitude. In other words, what are you dreaming of generally?
My story isn't an individual story but one that includes another person.
Okey-dokey! Submit a story to us all the same. Journeys of self discovery often have more than one person in them. If your story includes a partner, parent, or even near-stranger that is okay but we will want to get to know you both personally over the course of your journey.
What if I can't complete my journey? Do I have to pay you back?
We expect you to do everything in your power to complete your goal but almost every journey concludes differently than how we imagined on the outset. We are looking for journeys of introspection and self-discovery. Whether or not you stood on your proverbial (or literal) summit doesn't matter as much as the path it took you to get there. We do not expect repayment because as long as you try your hardest, you can't fail.
Why are you called the New Wilderness Essays?
As you probably know, the Wilderness Essays were written by John Muir. While Muir was a notable explorer he was also racist. We believe it is time to modernize who and how wilderness essays are document.
We also believe it is important to address the world "wild." This word has been used by Anglo explorers to describe the lands inhabited by native people for millennia. The idea of "the wild" or "wilderness" has been, and continues to be, incredibly damaging to some of our most displaced and at-risk populations.
We want to diverge from our predecessors' definition of the world "wild" and acknowledge that we all live in a global community and ecosystem that, as a whole, is living, breathing, and wild by nature.