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Palabras del Pueblo
Writing Workshop
Fall 2023

Many writing workshops are overpriced and do not serve our Mexican American/Chicano community. Our storytellers, poets, and thinkers are not nurtured or given as many opportunities and so our voice as a people becomes drowned out or dictated by others. 

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Palabras del Pueblo Writing Workshop is intended to develop our writers to seek our gente as an audience and to be financially accessible for raza to learn to better express themselves so our existence and values can be heard with clarity with no doubts to what they are and what we are. We intend the workshop to be a place to acquire tools, inspiration, and contacts for Chicana/o/x writers.

When & Where
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The classes are ONLINE and take place over two weekends to accommodate work and family schedules. Class times are 9am to 1pm PST October 21, 22 and 28-29, 2023.  There will be a mid-week panel of independent Chicano publishers with Somos en escrito Press, El Martillo Press, Aztlan Libre Press, Riot of Roses Press, March/Abrazo Press and Tia Chucha Press.  

Classes Offered
Check up updates and upcoming classes

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Creative Writing

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If writing is a gift, a poder, within every aspiring writer, then giving it to the world is our aim. And in a world of turmoil, uncertainty, oppressions, this is greatly enriched by the careful, methodical, yet organic and even rasquache manner of your giving. You need skills, strategies, and subtle earth. But most importantly you must write. Write your heart out. Write till you scare yourself. And with every obstacle and distraction, don't ever stop. Luis J. Rodriguez is a multi-genre writer who has been published by Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins, but also medium and small presses like Curbstone, Lee & Low, and Seven Stories. He has also been a working journalist, TV script consultant, and a playwright. He's founding editor of Tia Chucha Press and former Los Angeles Poet Laureate. Story is our heritage. Writing our weapon. Write as if your life depends on it.

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Poetry

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This intensive poetry workshop presents the whole enchilada of writing like the "best" Chicana poets, according to Indigenous New Mexican Chicana poet & literary critic, Prof. Cordelia Candelaria. Divided into the 4 phases of the Creative/Critical Process (GENeration/ SELection/ RE-Vision/ CRITical Evaluation) each session will introduce and explore Candelaria's four "I/ eye/ ¡ay!/ hay"s of a "good" Chicana poem. Focus will be on our work. All levels. Simon que sí es bilingual. (You need not be.) Be prepared to write. Be Brave. Be Real. Be Critical. Be There. Anywhere. ¿Y qué?

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Join internationally renowned, world traveling poet Matt Sedillo as he guides workshop attendants to explore the events of their own lives as the product of broader historical forces. Using a multi prompt strategy Sedillo's simple but effective workshop ties the struggles of the individual to the struggles of the community while also arguing that no individual crisis can be truly solved without solving the crisis the community is facing. Your story is part of the bigger story of your people. Tell that story, awaken your people. The personal is political.

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Social Justice
Writing

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Join Dr. Ernesto Mireles for an immersive writing workshop where you'll delve into the politically pertinent realm of Resistance Writing. Over the course of these sessions, you'll have the opportunity to enhance your writing skills, gain insights into resistance literature, and explore the profound impact of your words in opposing settler colonialism.

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This workshop will focus on the writing of testimonios. The testimonio is a genre of social justice writing that grew out of organizing and activism across the U.S. and Latin America, and that has strong roots in Indigenous storytelling traditions. We will work on building stories from our personal experiences and learning how to connect those stories to larger narratives of solidarity. We will focus on creating and writing for our own communities. 

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Students who participate in this workshop will identify issues affecting Raza and their communities. They will document them with writing in various editorial forms: news and feature stories; accompanying editorials and columns and may even shoot photos. We will provide instructions of the means. Students will come prepared with three identifiable issues affecting real Raza and/or Raza communities, which they will present to a panel of workshop instructors for approval. These issues will become the subjects of the work they produce through the course of the workshop.

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Creative Nonfiction

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This generative writing workshop will primarily focus on creative nonfiction to create mythos based on your lived experiences. Prompts will focus on writing from body memories and exploring liminal spaces that sit in the portals of your imagination. We will build from there.

 

This workshop focuses on YOU.
Your origin story.
Your roots.

The characters you bring to life.
Your call to be a storyteller.

Fiction

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This workshop will focus on helping Chicanx writers immerse themselves in their fiction and use their life experiences and cultural touchstones to find their voices. Through journal entries, generative prompts, and presentations on effective fiction technique such as robust points of view for strong storytelling, Chicanx writers will explore the literary possibilities for their prose. The final session will focus on constructive peer/group review, finding supportive publishers and sustaining a Chicanx writing community to “voice” (publish and peer-review) their fiction.

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In this intensive writing workshop, we celebrate the rich diversity of Latin American, indigenous, and diasporic writers whose works and worlds defy the narrow boundaries of four speculative genres: horror, science fiction, fantasy, and magical realism. Drawing inspiration from writers like Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Malka Older, Gabino Iglesias, Isabel Cañas, Gabriela Romero LaCruz, Pedro Iniguez, Ernest Hogan, and others, we experiment with “genre fiction” through worldbuilding exercises, weaving our experiences, languages, myths, and aesthetics into our stories. Come ready to share your worlds with us as we collectively define and redefine the speculative in nuestre/a/o fiction. Spanglish is welcome.

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There has been an explosion of horror in recent years. Why are we drawn to the macabre and how Can we express our identity and experiences Through it. This class will help you to develop a story or stories that delve into the darker side of storytelling in your own voice. I will also go into the world of publishing and defining writing goals.

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Screen Writing

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If you were to journey through the borderlands, what stories would you encounter? Would they be of curanderas driving lowriding hovercrafts exorcising those possessed by The Curse of El Mal Ojo? 

 

For our gente, speculative fiction allows us the freedom to tell similar stories unfiltered without fearing the straitjacket while also envisioning wildly new worlds and possibilities

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Graphic Novel

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Embark on a creative odyssey in our Graphic Novel Writing Workshop, where we delve into the captivating realm of the hero's journey. Explore the art of storytelling through stunning visuals and compelling narratives. Unlock the secrets of crafting unforgettable characters, epic challenges, and triumphant transformations. Join us for an immersive experience that merges the power of words and images, guiding you on a path from ordinary to extraordinary. Unleash your inner hero and shape worlds beyond imagination in this transformative workshop. Your epic adventure begins here.

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