Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa teaches Writing Workshops that can be brought to your classroom, book club, or organization. Click here to schedule a workshop for your classroom, organization, or Book Club.
All workshops work in an honest, supportive, nurturing, and noncompetitive atmosphere, allowing participants to learning from each other's experiences and inspiring each other to keep writing inspiring and thoughtful stories.
• Mining for Memoir Workshop
• WisdomKeeper Workshop
• Celebrating the Ancestors
• From Image to Word
• Finding Character
• Finding Story
Mining for Memoir Workshop
Writing memoir gives us an opportunity to organize the events of our lives into a cohesive whole. It gives us an opportunity to notice patterns, examine intent,and review decisions. Even if no one ever reads it but the author, the exercise of writing memoir is one of assessment and evaluation and perhaps even regeneration. It also allows us to watch our mind at work in the different stages of our development. This workshop is designed for all those who wish to write their life journeys but have no idea where to begin or how to structure the material of their lives. Participants will practice techniques for excavating memory and for organizing what you have mined.
This workshop, though very similar to the "Mining for Memoir Workshop" is geared towards the over 40 writer who always wanted to write, but was apprehensive on where or how to begin. Many of us would like to write memoir for very personal reasons that have nothing to do with commercial publication. We may want to leave behind a record of our lives for our family members. We may want to record our perspective of the events that occurred throughoutour lifetime. We may hope that by sharing our journeys we help others navigate their lives more smoothly. We may hope to introduce our children to the person we have been in our most secret spaces. Or we may just want to set it all on paper and stand back to read our minds from the distance and perspective of a reader. Life happens and we are often too busy or too involved in it to really examine it. Writing memoir gives us an opportunity to organize the events of our lives into a cohesive whole. It gives us an opportunity to notice patterns, examine intent, and review decisions. Even if no one ever reads it but the author, the exercise of writing memoir is one of assessment and evaluation and perhaps even regeneration. It also allows us to watch our mind at work in the different stages of our development. Who were we in our teenage years? As young brides? As tired workers? As close friends? As betrayed lovers? As declining seniors? This workshop is designed for those over 40 who want to write their life journeys but have no idea where to begin or how to structure the material of their lives. Participants will practice techniques for excavating memory and for organizing what you have mined.
Celebrating the Ancestors
This workshop is about very personal writing. The resulting pieces may be shared or not with people outside the workshop. Participants may want to self-publish for their family or keep it in the drawers of their secret soul. The workshop is designed for the more mature writer who wants to connect the past with the present and even the future. We will examine the lives of our elders and their legacies to us. We will examine our own legacy to the next generation. And we will build a bridge between the two. Life is about a continuum. Where do we fit into it? What has been given to us to pass on? How can the lessons of the past help our children in the future? For this workshop, Participants will be asked to bring an image of, or an object that once belonged to, an ancestor. From there, we will begin to build and share through a series of writing exercises and discussion.
From Image to Word
In a world that is increasingly focused on the visual, this workshop is designed to use the visual to spark the written word. It is the perfect workshop for writers who are seeking direction or are stuck in a rut. You will be given prompts that will help you approach storytelling from a different perspective. You will leave the workshop with a new piece of writing that can later be expanded to a short story or incorporated into their pre-existing work.
People read stories for many reasons. One of the most important reasons is that they are hooked on a character and can't wait to find out what will happen next to him or her. If your reader isn't interested in your character, he or she will probably not keep reading. The most interesting characters are living in your head. You just haven't been making space for them to come out. In this workshop, you will have the time and quiet to listen to your characters so that you can introduce them on to us, the readers. These characters may be familiar or totally unexpected and unrecognizable to you. But by the time you complete the workshop, that character will have come to life, and you will share him/her with the rest of us. Then, if you wish, you can take the character home and write her/him a story.
All writing comes from the same place—the author. We all have stories within us that are bursting to come out. We just need to make time and space for so that the stories may be known. How do you begin to tell a story? Do you begin with the characters? The setting? The plot? In this workshop, we will begin to explore characterization as the first step towards storytelling. Then we will focus on conflict, which will then lead us to the larger plot. Most people want to know what the story is about. So what happens to this character, and why should I care? How do character and plot come together? These are some of the questions that will be explored through writing exercises and shared discussions.