This workshop seeks to encourage participants to share their immigrant and refugee stories, whether they are first-generation immigrants, or those whose families came here a long time ago. The hope of the class is to generate story ideas that go beyond the legalization debate that the subject of immigration is often reduced to in political discourse, and give participants the tools to start drafting their personal stories. Stories related to immigration can portray pain and struggle, as well as beauty, strength and humor, and this workshop aims to create an empowering space where those stories can be told. We will examine some of the topics that immigrant stories lend themselves to, such as the meaning of home, belonging, and identity. We will turn to essays and memoirs about the immigrant and refugee experience by contemporary writers such as Sulaiman Addonia, Malaka Gharib, Aleksandar Hemon, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, Min Jin Lee, Laila Lalami, Dina Nayeri, Elif Shafak, Grace Talusan, and Viet Thanh Nguyen. Participants will walk away with a worksheet that helps generate story ideas, a comprehensive reading list, and suggestions for outlets and newsletters to follow.
About the instructor
Vesna Jaksic Lowe is a writer and communications consultant. Born and raised in the former Yugoslavia, she immigrated to Canada before moving to the United States. She currently lives in Connecticut. Vesna has written about her immigrant experience for The New York Times, the Washington Post, the New York Daily News, and Catapult. She runs a monthly newsletter about writing by — and children of — immigrants and refugees, Immigrant Strong.
As a communications consultant, Vesna’s work focuses on nonprofits in the human rights field. She has worked with organizations such as Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Brennan Center for Justice, and the Sustainable Development Goals Fund. She started her career as a newspaper reporter. She holds an M.S. in International Affairs from The New School and a B.A. in Communications from Hofstra University. www.vesna jaksic.com.
Date & Time
March 6, 2021
1:00 pm-4:00 pm