Muse HR Big Read Free Seminars
As part of the Hampton Roads Big Read, the Muse Writers Centers is offering three free seminars!

3/2 - 10-12:30
How Unforgettable Experiences Become Written Stories
Each individual has personal stories that are waiting to be told. In this creative nonfiction workshop, we learn how to tell these stories in writing as we explore point of view, visual aids and imagery, and traditional and hybrid form. We will engage in traditional writing conventions as well as style and form experimentation to produce a balanced blend of the old and new in a nonfiction piece. This workshop will leave you with different tools that will give you the ability to write the unforgettable, personal stories that you want to tell.

About the teacher: Lili Louzhi Nizankiewicz was born in China and raised in Hampton Roads, Virginia. She holds a BA from Regent University in Creative Writing and English and is pursuing an MFA at Old Dominion University in Creative Nonfiction. She can usually be found in a library or coffee shop. When she is not reading or writing, she enjoys playing the violin and creating Excel spreadsheets.

3/10 - 1-3:30
The Poet as Citizen
What does it mean to be a poet? What does it mean to be a citizen? In this workshop, we'll explore the intersection and responsibilities of being a poet and a denizen of today's society. As part of Hampton Roads' NEA Big Read, Claudia Rankine's acclaimed book Citizen will help shape and inform the course of this one-time workshop. All skill levels welcomed; a completed reading of the book is not necessary but recommended.

About teacher: Nishat Ahmed is a Bangladeshi-American residing in Norfolk, Virginia and is an MFA candidate at Old Dominion University studying poetry. He is a Chicago native with a deep love for Fall Out Boy, The Notebook and Chipotle. His work has been published by Words Dance, Sobotka, The Mochila Review, Blue Agave, The Academy of American Poets, and has been performed at TEDxUIUC and AWP.

3/16 - 10-12:30
Historical Self vs. Self Self
"Americans battle between the “historical self” and the “self self.” By this she means you mostly interact as friends with mutual interest and, for the most part, compatible personalities; however, sometimes your historical selves...arrive with the full force of your American positioning." - Claudia Rankin
We will explore "self self" (who we are daily) and our "historical self" (what the past has made), along with how they define us in different situations through storytelling, writing and good listening activities. The goal being to become more aware and curious about our historical self and identify when it colors our view of a person.

about the teacher: Sheila Arnold has been performing since she was 8 years old. She currently lives in Hampton, VA and presents Storytelling Programs, Historic Character Presentations, Christian Monologues, and Professional Development for Educators and Inspirational/Motivational Speaking for schools, churches and organizations throughout the US. She also performs in, manages and contracts new business for History’s Alive!, which mentors and provides employment opportunities and guidance to other performers. She has been performing full-time since 2003, and goes to over 150 different venues a year. Sheila has had many positions: Drama Ministry Director; Colonial Williamsburg Assistant to Director of Public Relations, Storyteller, Theatrical Interpreter & Manager of Programmatic Outreach; Substitute Teacher; Social Worker for aggressive teens with emotional problems; and even Pizza Driver.


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Appropriate standards of behavior will be respected during all class sessions, including not interrupting other classes in session, otherwise students are subject to removal from the class with no reimbursement of tuition. To ensure the creation of a safe environment for all in which to write and learn, students and teachers will respect the confidentiality of material written by (and personal information about) fellow students and teachers. Do you agree to these terms? *
I agree to grant to The Muse Writers Center and its authorized representatives permission to record photos of my participation and audio or video footage of my experience of The Muse classes, programs, and events. I further agree that any of the material photographed or recorded may be used in any form, as part of the nonprofit's future publications, social media content, or printed materials. I agree that such use shall be without payment of fees, royalties, special credit or other compensation. *
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