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VOICE THE PANDEMIC WITH BVC FOUNDER DEBORAH SIEGEL-ACEVEDO

A Flash Nonfiction Workshop to Capture Our Lives in Transition 4.28.21


LIVE WORKSHOP: 

WEDNESDAY APRIL 28, 7-9pm CT

Pricing: $195

Fee helps cover the cost for essential worker scholarships.

If you are an essential worker, we invite you to take the course as our guest. Please 
contact us for the coupon code.

We aim to make this course accessible to all who wish to participate and offer partial scholarships as well.

SPACE IS LIMITED

Read on for more about the what and why.  

An open invitation:

Maybe you're a professional writer who isn't writing. Maybe you're a regular journal-keeper who isn't journaling. Writer or not, if you've survived 2020 (and the Q1 of 2021), I sense two things are true:

#1: You're as exhausted as I am by the day-to-day of pandemic, and now "liminal," life.
#2: You have something powerful to voice about this time you've been living through.

 We are not okay 
(a special note to women*)

Economists recognize that while everyone has faced unprecedented challenges, women continue to bear the brunt of the economic and social fallout right now.

According to UN Women, "The impacts of crises are never gender-neutral, and COVID-19 is no exception.”


And women, of course, are experiencing the losses of this pandemic differently across and within different communities. 

I'm among the privileged ones who lost neither life, nor home, nor their complete livelihood. Yet I lost clients and a dear friend's father. My children lost the world they knew. When my
 partner lost his job, I stopped writing. I lost my words.

(*We use an inclusive definition of “women” to mean cis and trans women. Please note: Humans of all genders--man, woman, genderqueer, non-binary--are welcome here.) 

 But I refused to let 2020 end without writing a small piece of it.

As 2020 dragged toward its close--with the pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism in full swing and the trauma created by Trump still in clear view--I had an epiphany. 

If I could even just write something short, I'd
 consider it a win.

 History needs our pandemic postcards.

As I looked into venues for publishing short snippets of personal narrative, I found something better: the archives. Over 100 of them

Archivists recognize the need to capture diverse voices of "everyday" people before memories are lost or overshadowed. 

Historians acknowledge the paucity of records from the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.

Universities and libraries are hungry for submissions.

Let's keep filling them with our words.

-

Please join me for...

VOICE THE PANDEMIC

A Flash Nonfiction Workshop
to Capture Our Lives in Transition

Wednesday April 28, 2021
5-7pm PT / 7-9pm CT / 8-10pm ET 

This interactive "flash" writing workshop is for all those needing to write about their pandemic experience, to carve out a small chunk of time and space to capture some aspect of what happened in personal narrative form.

Here's how it works.

The 2-hour LIVE workshop requires about 30 minutes of pre-work (some guided freewriting in response to writing prompts) and includes mini-lessons in personal narrative,* a pop-up writing community for the morning, and a vetted list of archival repositories seeking stories from this time.

*Personal narratives are short, powerful stories about meaningful life experiences, big or small.

Prior to the LIVE workshop with experienced writing coach and instructor Deborah Siegel-Acevedo, PhD, you will be prompted (through pre-recorded audio prompts, also provided in pdf form) to call up your most pressing memories of these pandemic months. 

During the LIVE workshop, you will be guided to select the one that begs to go down in history and learn narrative strategies to dig deep and fully yet concisely express.

By workshop’s end, you will have a crafted a perfectly imperfect short narrative ready to be archived at one of the many sites currently archiving human experiences of this “unprecedented” time. We'll send you a list of archives accepting personal stories as well as a list of media outlets and literary venues looking for powerful personal narratives.

Along the way, you will reconnect with an abandoned writing practice or learn new tactics for incorporating writing into an unpredictable life.

About Your Instructor

Deborah Siegel-Acevedo, PhD ACC is an author, TEDx speaker, and founder of the creative consultancy, Girl Meets Voice Inc. and the online course platform, Bold Voice Collaborative. She is the author of two books, Sisterhood, Interrupted: From Radical Women to Grrls Gone Wild (Palgrave Macmillan) and Only Child (Harmony/Random House; co-edited) as well as essays published in anthologies and in literary journals. Her op-eds and features on gender, feminism, parenting, politics, writing, and social change have appeared in popular venues including The Washington Post, The Guardian, CNN.com, The Forward, Kveller, Slate, The Huffington Post, The American Prospect, Ms., More, and Psychology Today. She has been featured on The Today Show and in the New York Times. An Adjunct Faculty member in the College of Communication at DePaul University, she currently teaches courses on personal and public narrative. She previously taught opinion writing through The OpEd Project. Deborah has collaborated to create several innovative multimedia initiatives in the writing and publishing space. She is co-founder of SheWrites.com, the largest online community for women who write. Learn more at www.deborahsiegelphd.com (author site), www.girlmeetsvoice.com (coaching site).

What Past Participants Say About Their Experience

"Thank you so much for this opportunity to really stop and absorb all we are going through right now. For today and for the future, writing about the pandemic will be invaluable, impactful, and healing."

Juliet Bond, LCSW​ Author & ​​​Director of Development, Piven Theatre Workshop

Thank YOU for this much needed oasis from the regular program that is insane! I am so grateful for you sharing your knowledge and gifts with us. What you are doing is so important and I am grateful to be a part of it.”

Rina Campbell, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Specialist at Campbell Consulting

"Feeling very contemplative and centered. Thank you!"




Debi Lewis
Author & Owner, Jebraweb



<--MINDFULNESS THROUGH WRITING

"It was a challenging but also cathartic experience. Many times, I doubted my potential and my writing abilities but with each draft, thanks to your help, the piece became stronger which in turn helped me believe in my capabilities as a writer."

Lisa Ventura 

In partnership with BVC and the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, ​​​Lisa published her essay at Slate.

"It was a rare chance to practice mindfulness through writing — all while feeling the supportive energy of a group of talented and motivated people! Thank you!” 

Carrie Goldman
Author/Speaker

Carrie's viral New York Times article, "It's OK to Watch Schitt's Creek with Your Kids," was sparked in response to our writing prompts.






    <-- PUBLICATIONS!


Note to perfectionists: The archives are not looking for perfectly polished pieces.

Together, we'll capture what The Atlantic calls "quick-response art, mess and chaos—not polished elegance.” These are the forms called for, mid-disaster.

Process an element of your own experience while contributing to a historical record that has a history of erasing women’s lives.

What we've experienced merits words.

Join us in sharing yours.



Sign up for the Basic Workshop Experience, or Bundle the Workshop with a Follow-Up Service from a Bold Voice Collaborator.

OPTIONS:

Meet Your Bold Voice Collaborators

Gina DiPonio

Writing Consultant

Gina is an award-winning creative nonfiction writer whose work has appeared in The Sun, Hypertext, Contrary Magazine, Three Hawks Review, Hair Trigger, and elsewhere. She’s been guiding students for nearly twenty years at institutions including the Columbia College Creative Writing Department and the University of Chicago Writer’s Studio.

Dina Elenbogen

Writing Consultant

Dina is author of the memoir, Drawn from Water and the poetry collection Apples of the Earth. Her work has appeared in anthologies including Fury: Women's Lived Experience During the Trump Era and magazines and journals including Lit Hub, Bellevue Literary Review,  Brevity, Newcity Magazine, and many others. Elenbogen teaches creative writing at the University of Chicago Graham School where she received the Excellence in Teaching Award. 

Shawna Franks

Live Lit Performance Coach

Shawna is a professional actor as well as a public speaking and performance coach. Her method is rooted in an organic process, drawing from an alchemy of techniques gleaned during her many years of acting and vocal coaching for the theatre. She works with live lit performers, TEDx speakers, and both seasoned and first-time keynoters and presenters, helping speakers show up, reveal what’s inside them, and put it all on the stage.


FAQ

Q: I can't attend the LIVE workshop but would like to participate in the experience nonetheless.  Will you be sending a replay?

A: Yes, we will send a replay of the mini-lessons, which will be re-recorded after the workshop. (We are not recording the workshop itself, to protect the privacy of participants and ensure a safe and courageous LIVE space.)

Q: Can I submit my piece to an archive and to a media outlet?

A: Sure! But only if you are willing to revise and polish until it's the best tiny essay you've ever written. Check out Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction to learn more about the form. 


Q: Can I hire a Bold Voice Collaborative writing consultant to help me polish and/or expand my piece into a full-fledged essay, or a Live Lit performance coach to help me turn my piece into something to read at a Live Lit event?

A: You bet. Bold Voice Collaborators are standing by. See package options above and learn more 
here.



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