Yesterday, I was one of two writers to kick off Holes in the Wall Collective‘s new 360 writing residency. Six hours, 360 minutes, in a space chosen for you and your project.
“Make it real, make it plain, and tell the whole story.” Congressman John Lewis presented this as the mission statement for March a graphic novel trilogy that brought the civil rights movement and Lewis’s own incredible story to life.
When I arrived at Housing Works Bookstore and discovered that my writing perch wasn’t within reach of an electrical outlet (the horror… the horror…), I found this March journal in the “For Sale” stacks near the register. What a treasure!
Yesterday, I clicked 360 minutes closer toward the completion of my memoir. Having struggled to “tell the whole story” for years, I’ve also found a new writing mantra for when the task at hand feels too daunting.
Make it real. Make it plain. Tell the whole story!
Great second session with the 7th graders at Madison Junior School this week. Each student created four distinct openings using various story starter techniques. Love watching their personal narratives take shape!
Honored to be a returning as a teaching artist this spring at Madison Junior School in New Jersey for their memoir unit.
Here’s a fun shot from my first day working with 200+ 7th graders! Started the wheels spinning to generate seed ideas for their personal narratives.
By the end of the unit, each student will draft, revise, and polish a personal story. This summer, I’ll edit and publish the finals into an anthology of their work. Such a thrill to help these young writers become published authors.
Crafting Mythic Quests: Myths represent the ways that ancient cultures sought to explain the origins of the world and of existence itself. Sounds like a killer creative writing prompt to me! Through a mixture of discussion and writing exercises, we will explore the mythic realm of quests, break down the hero’s journey, and write into a time before time began.
Some pics from a lovely night at the 2019 Queens Council on the Arts Awards Ceremony.
Honored to celebrate my “switched-up” storytelling series No, YOU Tell It! (noyoutellit.com) alongside these amazing Queens artists.
Click here to listen to our recent “Crafty” show at The Astoria Bookshop made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Subscribe to the No, YOU Tell It! podcast on iTunes or AudioBoom for more switched-up storytelling from our live shows.
Wacky Revision Techniques! All writing is rewriting. Well, great, but how does a writer approach their first, third, twelfth revision from a fresh perspective? In this workshop, we’ll go through a series of fun, bizarre, and efficient methods to tackle those tough revisions. Feel free to bring in something you’ve been working on already and/or practice materials will also be provided.
Lovely NYC day crafting and sharing stories with the Public Affairs team at Success Academy Charter Schools. So happy to hear they enjoyed the session as much as I did!
Huge shoutout and thank you to Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons for her amazing storytelling workshop today. My team can’t stop talking about how great it was!!! ✍️ – Heather Kirtland Tsonopoulos, Chief of Staff, Success Academy Charter Schools
SENSORY BLITZ! How often have you heard this famous refrain: Show, don’t tell. But how exactly? Most writers interpret it to mean that one should write vividly with detailed images and sensory information (show) rather than dull summaries (tell). Working through the series of writing exercises designed to blitz your and, thus, the readers’ senses, we’ll explore the show, the tell, and what they both mean in writing.
Story Starters! Give your new year of writing a strong start by playing with a variety of ways to begin your short story, chapter, or personal essay. Feel free to bring in a previous piece you’ve been working on to give it a new start. We’ll also work together to create multiple story starters for the same tale.