Writing Our Lives Workshop

by Vanessa Martir

In the backdrop of the controversial ban on ethnic studies, textbook wars and immigration legislation occurring in the American Southwest, we must use these circumstances to inspire and empower ourselves as Latinos/people of color. It’s time we put our stories down and write ourselves into the fabric of this nation.

For so long people of color have been left out of American history and literature. We’ve been taught that our stories don’t matter and can’t stand alongside the heavyweights of the American literary canon. It’s up to us to change this attitude for the sake of our young people, and what better way to do it than to show them through our own words? Considering the exponential growth of ethnic communities, primarily that of the Latino population, now is the time to leave our stories for the generations of tomorrow. Vanessa Martir’s Writing Our Lives Workshop will help emerging writers do this.

Through such techniques as mind mapping, voice development exercises, and interactive lessons on character development, plot, and dialogue structure, Vanessa will work with writers to start and/or complete a short story, essay, memoir, or novel. There will be daily and weekly assignments. The writers will also be given the opportunity to contribute to an anthology. This will be discussed further in class.

The class is being capped at 13 students.


Dates: February 27, March 6, 13, 20, 27, April 3 (This a six week course that meets once a week for three hours)
Times: 3pm to 6pm
Location: Hunter College
Cost: $300 includes 18 hours of instruction and two one-on-ones with the workshop facilitator.
Scholarship Info: There are three need-based scholarships available. Please ask for detail.

About the facilitator: A graduate of Columbia University, Vanessa Martir is a writer, educator and speaker. Her first novel, Woman’s Cry, was published in 2007, and she is currently shopping her second, Play Right. Vanessa most recently co-wrote Do Something!: A Handbook for Young Activists, an interactive workbook that gives young people all the tools they need to change the world. She is currently working on her first memoir, A Dim Capacity for Wings, and a one woman show, Millie’s Girl. Known as La Loba in the literary scene, Vanessa performs regularly and curates the La Loba Poetry Series. Last year, Vanessa resigned from her full-time editing position to live her dream of being a freelance writer, performer and teaching artist

If interested, contact Vanessa Martir at vanessa_martir@yahoo.com.

Pa’lante Latino is dedicated to the forward progression of the people. We support, sponsor, write and showcase current events in the Arts, politics as well as community service. Please feel free to email us at  palanteforward@gmail.com. Join our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/palantelatino.


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