Writing Our Lives: Claiming Your Voice Class


What is voice? What are publishers and agents referring to when they say they’re looking for a strong, original voice?

Have you found yourself wondering what your voice is? Do you find that you can tell your stories but they don’t sound the same when you write them down?

Are you struggling to write in a voice that is unique to you and your stories?

Ever met someone and felt empowered by their story and wonder how they learned to write so fluidly and honestly?

Writing Our Lives has a class for you! Introducing the “Claim Your Voice” Class.

This is an intensive writing class where I, Vanessa Mártir, will lead you through various exercises with the aim of uncovering/re-discovering your voice. Why do you need this class? Because you’ve been told repeatedly, directly and subliminally, that you are not good enough and that your stories are not worthy. You’ve been taught to write in ways that stunt your writing and expression. You’ve been taught that you have to write a certain way and that way negates your cultural influences and verbal tics and everything that makes you you. I get it. It was done to me too, and I’ve written about it,and it has become one of my missions as a writer and educator to help writers discover and learn to write in their own distinctive voices, because that’s where your power is. We will read. We will discuss. We will write. A LOT.


Dates: November 7th & 14th

Time: 12-5pm

Location: Columbia University, Morningside Heights Campus

Cost: $90 for both five-hour classes, $50 for one five-hour class*

* There is a non-refundable $30 deposit to reserve your seat. Payment can be made via PayPal and must be made BEFORE the class starts. 

Interested? Send an email to vanessa_martir@yahoo.com with “Claiming Your Voice” in the subject box.

About the facilitator: Vanessa Mártir is a NYC based writer and educator. She is currently completing her memoir, Relentless. A regular contributor to Huffington Post, Vanessa chronicles her writing journey in her blog: vanessamartir.wordpress.com. She is a five-time VONA/Voices alum, and now works for the organization and serves as the newsletter editor. Vanessa’s essays have been widely published in journals and anthologies including The Butter, Kweli, Portland Review, Poets & Writers Magazine, and the VONA/Voices Anthology, Dismantle. In 2010, Vanessa resigned from her full-time editing position to write and teach full-time. In 2011, she created the Writing Our Lives Workshop where she leads writers through the journey of writing personal essays and memoirs. Vanessa is the recipient of the 2013 Jerome Foundation Fellowship. She has penned two novels, Woman’s Cry (Augustus Publishing, 2007) and The Write Play (unpublished), and most recently co-wrote Do Something!: A Handbook for Young Activists (Workman Publishing, 2010).

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