liz gonzález
Writer, Writing Coach and Consultant, and Instructor

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I conduct free community workshops at a variety of venues; offer private coaching, consulting, and feedback for individuals and small groups; and, I teach creative writing through the UCLA Ext. Writers' program.

In 1993, I had recently begun writing poetry and was eager to share with others the life-changing experience of self-expression through creative writing. So, I volunteered to design and lead my first poetry workshop at the Boys & Girls of Venice, California. Since then, I've led numerous poetry, fiction, and memoir workshops at many venues, from community centers to public libraries. I've been teaching creative writing courses at colleges and universities since 1999.

I enjoy working with students who are at different levels of creative writing experience, of different ages, from different backgrounds, including students with varying levels of literacy and English as a second language learners. It's an honor to be part of someone's creative writing journey, to offer guidance and share tools I've learned while nuturing their voice and what they're trying to say. It's also exciting to see what people create on the page. When working with a group, I set up a supportive community of writers where it is safe for everyone to share their voice.

Community Workshops (See also Uptown Word & Arts)

I am available to teach community writing workshops, one-day or longer, to people of all ages and stages of writing on a variety of topics, including basics of creative writing--poetry, fiction, and memoir, generative workshops, keeping your family's stories and your own, submitting to journals, and applying to MFA programs and for scholarships. Recent workshops I've conducted:

Cuento Poems: Turning an experience, memory, or a description of a person or place, real or imagined, into poetry that resonates.

Stories and Craft Workshop: Learn how to celebrate a person, place, or thing in an Ode Poem from liz gonzalez. Then create a one-of-a-kind cover for your composition book from craft and sewing expert Cynthia Duran.

Private Coaching, Consulting, and Workshops

I offer one-on-one and small group private consultations, coaching, and workshops. They are personalized to your needs and can include:

  • Generative writing prompts
  • Guidance and support on specific craft techniques, goal setting and staying on track
  • Starting and finishing a project
  • Preparing a manuscript for application to an MFA program, residency, or fellowship
  • Detailed feedback on short and long manuscripts, written and verbal
  • Recommendations of creative works and craft books to read
  • A sounding board for ideas and challenges

Writing services are offered through email, in person, video chat, and phone. For more information, contact liz

Creative Writing Course through the UCLA Extension Writers' Program

I've been teaching through UCLA Ext. Writers' Program since 2001 and love participating in the program as an instructor and student.

Fall 2017: The Essential Beginnings of Nonfiction Writing: An Introductory Workshop (Downtown Los Angeles)

Course Description: Sometimes the best stories are true. To help you turn your personal experiences, anecdotes from everyday life, and family stories into compelling narratives, this workshop teaches beginning writers the basic elements of good storytelling. You learn how to excavate memories and discover fresh or unexpected facets of your life stories. Through weekly exercises, you generate new material and learn an array of fictional techniques to tell your nonfiction story, including how to play with voice, focus on a small unit of time, and describe landscape and character. By the course's completion, you will have in hand a series of short sketches or a draft of a nonfiction piece. (Six week course)

Winter 2017: Cuento Poems: Turning Experiences, Real or Imagined, into Poetry (Online)

Course Description: Cuento Poems are short, concise narrative and hybrid poems that resonate. Whether you write poetry or creative prose, this course will help you vivify and tighten your work. You learn the basics of narrative and hybrid poetry; study and discuss poems, including poems in Ted Kooser’s column American Life in Poetry; and discover how to write resonant poems. Each week, you generate poems and workshop your drafts in a safe and supportive environment. By the end of the course, you have several completed poems and a better understanding of Cuento Poems as a reader and writer. This course is appropriate for all levels of poetry and creative prose writers. (Six week course)

TBA: Writer as Witness to Life (Online)

Course Description: Writer as Witness to Life (Online) "A writer's work is to witness things," states essayist Edward Hoagland. But how do you write creatively about events and experiences that are personal and important to you without getting too self-absorbed, sentimental, preachy, or narrow? Through reading like a writer, discussions, lessons on craft techniques, and practicing those techniques in your writing, you learn to enhance your observational abilities, strengthen your descriptive skills, and write artfully on a human, universal level. Some topics you might explore as a "witness to life" include memories, the life or death of a loved one, family history, socio-political or historical events, or a specific time or place. This course is appropriate for fiction and memoir writers. The course goal is to have a revised draft of a short story or chapter, the beginning of a short story or chapter, or a series of sketches.

See the UCLA Extension website to search for liz's current classes and to register:
https://www.uclaextension.edu/

Testimonials

“liz's teaching and class structure were ON POINT. Her and one other instructor’s classes have been better than the other classes I've taken. The structure, readings and writing exercises simply made me learn more about writing than other classes.” ~ Leo Marquez, Writer as Witness to Life student

“Writer as Witness to Life was my first creative writing class. Since then I have taken seven online classes. liz's are the best, I believe. Her lectures were comprehensive, including definitions, examples from great literature, suggestions for brainstorming and a breakdown of the assignments, not to mention really great assignments.” ~ Melissa de Jesus

Instructor Evaluations by UCLA Ext. Writers' Program Students in The Essential Beginnings of Fiction Writing

"The instructor is knowledgeable in the topic and realizes we may not be. The delivery of lessons was perfect. One building on another."

"liz was the perfect combination of mothering guidance/supportive friend. She provided a wealth of invaluable information while providing a safe environment for creative expression."

"This was by far the best course taken so far."