The Freedom to Write: A Fiction Workshop for Beginners (All Levels - Weeklong PM) - Demetria Martinez
Starting a work of fiction should be a joyful experience. You will have the freedom to write without knowing much about your characters or even how the story will end. Your work is to be open to surprise as your characters reveal their lives. Like a reporter you will take notes until you have the makings of a story you and others will want to read.
In this workshop we will employ a variety of exercises that bring characters to life. We will get to know their surroundings and their secrets, their manner of speech and what they struggle with in silence. We will write in class and read our work out loud. Our goal is also to gather material for you to take home and use to build your story long after the workshop ends.
As part of the workshop, I offer an hour of creativity coaching to each participant to discuss what it will take to keep you inspired after the workshop ends. Many people depart from a creative writing workshop lacking techniques to remain motivated. We’ll make sure this doesn’t happen.
Demetria Martinez is an author, activist, journalist and creativity coach. Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she now resides, she earned her BA from Princeton University in 1982. She is an activist on several fronts, including work with the Jardines Institute which is committed to food justice and sustainable farming in economically disadvantaged communities.
In 2011, she was honored with the Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature. Her autobiographical essays, Confessions of a Berlitz-Tape Chicana (U. of Oklahoma Press), won the 2006 International Latino Book Award in the category of best biography.
Her widely translated novel, Mother Tongue (Ballantine), winner of a Western States Book Award for Fiction, is based in part upon Martinez’s 1988 trial for conspiracy against the United States government in connection with allegedly transporting Salvadoran refugees into the country, a charge that with others carried a 25-year prison sentence. A religion reporter at the time covering the faith-based Sanctuary Movement, she was found not guilty on First Amendment grounds.
Her books of poetry include Breathing Between The Lines and The Devil’s Workshop (The U. of Arizona Press). She also co-authored a children’s book, Grandpa’s Magic Tortilla, with Rosalee Montoya-Read (U. of New Mexico Press), which received the Young Reader’s Book Award in 2011 from New Mexico Book Awards.
The Block Captain’s Daughter, her first novella, was released in 2012 by the U. of Oklahoma Press.