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Apply Now to Palabras del Pueblo Workshop!

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. Palabras del Pueblo Writing Workshop is intended 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.

The classes are ONLINE and take place over two weekends to accommodate work and family schedules. Class times are 9am to 1pm PST May 20, 21 and May 27-28, 2023. There will be a mid-week panel and/or writing exercise each week.


See for more information.

Classes to Choose from:

Poetry The Personal is Political With Matt Sedillo 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.

Poetry with Lorna Dee Cervantes Class description coming soon!

Fiction The Lore of a Life Story/Wandering Worlds With RIOS DE LA LUZ Fiction and creative nonfiction with Rios de la Luz. This generative writing workshop will focus on creative nonfiction on day 1 to create a mythos based on lived experiences. We will be loosely writing from body memories and geographic memories. On day 2, we will focus on fiction and generate stories without fear of being too weird, too wild, too experimental. Prompts will focus on writing from a space of meandering and wandering in storytelling and then we will focus on character and forming a space for them in a short story or flash fiction triptych (narrative braid with three themes connecting a story or character). I want to create a space to provide practical and productive feedback based on your voice while also encouraging and pushing writers to explore traditional forms of storytelling. Optional reading will be provided one week before classes start and in between as means of inspiration. Day 1 -- The Lore of a Life Story: Writing a mythos based on your lived experiences Day 2 -- Wandering Worlds: Meandering Fiction Day 3 -- Expansion: Building from themes in your short story/flash fiction triptych Day 4 -- Exploration: Writing together and Sharing Work Goal for the workshop: One completed short story (under 3,500 words) or a completed one flash fiction triptych (Under 3,500 words)

Papí Sci-fi's Ancient Chicano Wisdom With Ernest Hogan Ernest Hogan was born in East L.A. during the Atomic Age and his mother’s maiden name is Garcia. His 40 years of writing and publishing science fiction and other strange things have caused some call him the Father of Chicano Science Fiction, though there has not yet been a DNA test. He is now willing to share his vast Ancient Chicano Sci-Fi Wisdom. Come, learn about how to use the weirdness of the Latinoid Continuum in your writing, and how to market yourself to the Anglo-centric publishing industry, use the social media for self-promotion, as well as hear outrageous—sometimes hair-raising—firsthand anecdotes of living a professional writer’s life. Ernest will also answer your questions, wants this to be an interactive experience, hopes to learn a few things himself, and maybe even get his mind blown. Goal for the workshop: During the course of the workshop, he will start and write a story, sharing how he does it, and help the students do the same. Then we will all set our creations loose on an unsuspecting world . . .

Screenwriting Speculative Fiction from Nepantla with Juan Beruman 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. GOAL: This script writing workshop intends to do just that and provide a community of speculative fiction enthusiasts (Fantasy/Magical realism, Sci Fi, Alternative histories, horror) the required support for each of us to tell a great story that is as distinctive, sublime, curious, playful, and totally unique as our lived experiences and imagination. This two-week workshop is opened to storytellers of all levels—from inspired novice to seasoned pro. At each session (total of four), participants will share at least four-pages (2 scenes max) to be table read for supportive and structured feedback. By the end, participants should have at least a rough first draft of a short or at least one act to a full length script, either for the screen or stage.

Social justice writing

Rise! The Importance of Raza Stories with Vanessa Bustamante, aka la Doctor Chola The purpose of this workshop is to empower raza students to use different modalities to amplify and document their stories. GOAL: Students will learn the importance of storytelling and of archiving and documenting, so raza stories are no longer marginalized and erased.


Juan G. Berumen, PhD. Raised in the Bay Area, Juan is a teatrista and filmmaker who positions storytelling for self-expression while empowering our communities and transforming society. Currently, Juan is an Ethnic Studies Lecturer at UC Berkeley and is in production for his second short film Recetas. He is also an editor for Somos En Escrito, a press dedicated to publishing our storytellers, which typically get overlooked by mainstream presses.

Lorna Dee Cervantes is an American poet and activist, who is considered one of the greatest figures in Chicano poetry. She has been described by Alurista, as "probably the best Chicana poet active today."

Doctora Chola

Dr. Vanessa Marie Bustamante is a self-identified first-generation, bilingual, queer Xicana sCHOLAr. Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, CA, she has has a deep-rooted appreciation for community involvement, engagement and advocacy. Known as the Homegirl Doctora, Vanessa serves as a motivational speaker, trainer, and workshop presenter. Author website:

Ernest Hogan, the Father of Chicano Science Fiction, was born in East L.A., his mother's maiden name is Garcia. He is the author of High Aztech, Smoking Mirror Blues, Cortez on Jupiter and many works of short fiction. He blogs at and and has finished another novel. Author website:

Rios de la Luz is the author of the short story collection, The Pulse between Dimensions and the Desert (Ladybox Books 2015), and the novella, Itzá (Broken River Books 2017). Her upcoming collection, An Altar of Stories to Liminal Saints is forthcoming in May 2023 from Broken River Books. Author website:

Matt Sedillo has been described as the "best political poet in America" as well as "the poet laureate of the struggle." His work has drawn comparisons in print to Bertolt Brecht, Roque Dalton, Amiri Baraka, Alan Ginsberg, Carl Sandburg and various other legends of the past. Sedillo was the recipient of the 2017 Joe Hill Labor Poetry award, a panelist at the 2020 Texas book festival, a participant in the 2012 San Francisco International Poetry Festival, the 2022 Elba Poetry Festival, and the recipient of the 2022 Dante's Laurel. Matt Sedillo is the author of Mowing Leaves of Grass (FlowerSong Press, 2019) and City on the Second Floor (FlowerSong Press, 2022). Both of which are taught at universities throughout the country. Sedillo is the current literary director of The Mexican Cultural Institute of Los Angeles. Author website:

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