Aug 15, 2022 - Aug 19, 2022

Levels: All
Workshop Fee: $1050
Class Size: 10 (max)

“To write as if your life depended on it; to write across the chalkboard, putting up there in public the words you have dredged; sieved up in dreams, from behind screen memories, out of silence– words you have dreaded and needed in order to know you exist.”

Adrienne Rich

The need to write can feel urgent. Whether you’re writing a memoir, a Substack, or an artist statement, woven through the work is a story of self clamoring to be told. Maybe you keep pushing off your writing project into the future. Maybe a little voice admonishes that you don’t have anything original and necessary to share. Maybe today’s digital whirlpool of content has you overwhelmed. But still you are compelled by the unmistakable sensation that writing is a necessity, not a choice. 

Come gather and answer that clarion call to improve the world through a voice only you can offer. 

Together with your classmates, I will champion your writing while we study some masters of the craft. This class helps writers (from first-time students to seasoned wordsmiths) write their lives onto the page. Over five days on the beautiful MMW+C campus, we will review the various forms that blend combinations of life story, advocacy, and truth to power:

  • First Person Essay 
  • Memoir 
  • Opinion Piece  
  • Artist Statement 
  • Journaling
  • Longform Personal Narrative 
  • Graphic Memoir/Visual Narrative

This course allows for a broad range of writing styles that are as varied as the sources mined for motivation. Our common denominator is the first-person viewpoint of the writing combined with a story whose time has come. Whether it’s a rear-view recollection excavated from years past with book aspirations, or a contemporary column reflecting a current worldview, this course can help catalyze, crystalize, and then actualize your voice and story.

Each of our five days I will facilitate dynamic discussions, build in significant writing time, and oversee opportunities for peer-to-peer feedback in ways that strengthen and refine your work. You will read and discuss a range of writers who were/are propelled forward as though they had no choice; stretch your writing chops; and quiet the voice of procrastination once and for all.

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Instructor: Anita Verna Crofts

Anita Verna Crofts is on faculty at the Department of Communication at the University of Washington. Her 2016 memoir published by Chin Music Press, Meet Me at the Bamboo Table, showcased a combination of prose, illustration, and photography. Anita teaches about the interplay of culture, identity, and communication and is the 2021-22 Artist in Residence for the Communication Leadership graduate program, where she offers courses on storytelling, creativity, and the relationship between personal narrative and leadership. Her classrooms are designed to be collaborative spaces that provide substantial time for individual reflection and skill sharpening. Anita’s writings on food and identity have been published in Gastronomica, Saveur, Seattle Met, and Comestible, with a particular emphasis on the preservation of foodways in post-conflict societies as a means of preserving community identity. Her work appears in the four-volume set, Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia. Anita is a German Marshall Memorial Fellow, Thomas J. Watson Research Fellow, and serves as a judge for the James Beard Foundation book awards.