“A writer—and, I believe, generally all persons—must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.”
— Jorge Luis Borges
“to develop a voice one must develop an ear”
— Anna Deveare Smith
KIKI THAT WALK!
Everyone seems to love a “strong” voice, but what really makes language pop on the page? And, more importantly, how to give that voice form—how does a writer make it breathe as a story?
In this six week generative workshop open to writers with all levels of experience, we will focus on the craft of voice. We will focus on crafting voice from language that is usually discarded: oral traditions, spoken word, language that’s fleeting. For instance, how do we translate our aunties’ magnificent rhythmical storytelling at the beauty salon into a story? How do we use our grandmother’s tongue? A drag queen’s sassy monologue? How do we rescue language that doesn’t typically make it into “high literature”?
Each class will begin with a short lecture on an element of voice and a discussion on excerpted works from Pedro Lemebel, Lynda Barry, David Wojnarowicz, John Rechy, Joseph Cassara, and Toni Morrison. We will look at how these writers we so admire build voice with the goal of borrowing their ways of triggering and sculpting from the material of the imagination. We will also look for voice in places such as music, non-literary text, film, and performance art: the world is our text.
Each student will have the opportunity to workshop one piece. The class will read each piece carefully, and the following week we will discuss the work in a supportive workshop environment. Each student will receive detailed notes and feedback from me and other workshop members.
Students can expect to walk away with one polished piece, along with extensive feedback from peers and the instructor. Students will also end up with concrete strategies for developing voice and for creating a nonjudgmental playful relationship to writing that will serve them long after the class is finished
Class meetings will be held over video chat, using Zoom accessed from your private class page. While you can use Zoom from your browser, we recommend downloading the desktop client so you have access to all platform features. The Zoom calls will have automated transcription enabled. Please let us know ([email protected]) if you have any questions or concerns about accessibility.
Check out this page for details about payment plans and discount opportunities.
- Students can expect to walk away with one polished piece, along with extensive feedback from peers and the instructor.
- Students will also end up with concrete strategies for developing voice and for creating a nonjudgmental playful relationship to writing that will serve them long after the class is finished
- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes
Students will read two of their peers' workshop submissions every week plus a short excerpt from our writer's list. Students will be expected to provide written and verbal feedback on their peers work.
Week 1: Welcome and introductions, Scheduling workshop submissions, and Discussion of writing goals and expectations, Craft lecture, Workshop #1
Week 2: Craft lecture on noticing, Workshop #2
Week 3: Craft lecture on discarded language Workshop #3
Week 4: Craft lecture on word choice and character Workshop #4
Week 5: Craft lecture on music, rhythm and phonetics Workshop #5
Week 6: Craft lecture on Bye bye Adiós, Workshop #6
Julián Delgado Lopera is the author of The New York Times acclaimed novel Fiebre Tropical (Feminist Press 2020), the Winner of the 2021 Ferro Grumley Award and a 2021 Lambda Literary award; a finalist of the 2020 Kirkus Prize in Fiction and the 2021 Aspen Literary Prize. Their work has appeared in Granta, Teen Vogue, The Kenyon Review, McSweeney's, The Rumpus, The White Review to name a few. They are the former executive director of RADAR Productions a queer literary non-profit in San Francisco. Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, Julián currently resides in San Francisco.
“You can open [Fiebre Tropical] anywhere and find sunbeams, the signs of a writer who is grinding their own colors”
"Julián Delgado Lopera—remember that name—is an irreverent, shameless, and disarming new novelist. They are a merciless satirist in control of a pitch-perfect voice that makes an indisputable case for Spanglish as the perfect vehicle to express what we are really like right now."
“Fiebre Tropical is a story of migration, queerness, brokenness, and love. Julián Delgado Lopera has written a novel across borders that buzzes with verve, fierceness, and raw emotion. Delgado Lopera forks their tongue for this book, weaving English and Spanish in inspired and irreverent prose. This book is absolute music to my ears.”
“I enjoyed how Julián welcomed and created a space where everyone could share their work. They also provided generous feedback with enthusiasm which always made each class positive.”
“the workshop was great. I learned so much about how to access language differently, thank you!”
“I had the best time. I am usually a quiet to silent student and here I felt like I could talk without being nervous. Thank you!”