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The Piper Writers Studio Presents Visiting Faculty John Calderazzo

Date(s): Friday, March 23, 2018, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 24, 2018, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Piper Writers House, 450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85287
Generative Workshop, Workshop
Genre and Form(s): Creative Nonfiction, Essays, Fiction

Individual Course Cost: $119 Regular, $99 Student
Two-Course Bundle: $210 Regular, $175 Student

About the Classes:

Teacher, author, and freelance writer John Calderazzo joins the Piper Writers Studio from Fort Collins, Colorado to provide two unique nonfiction workshops and help Valley writers develop their skills. Register for each course independently or for both courses as the Creative Nonfiction Writers Intensive Bundle to save.


Finding the Story You Need to ​Write

Friday, March 23, 2018, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Like bombs, stories can lie deep inside us, waiting with their incredible power. Other, quieter stories may need just some surface prying to emerge. But how do you find the ones you really want and need to explore? This hands-on workshop, full of writing prompts, will show you how.

Stories float all around us, all of the time, and it's our responsibility and pleasure to find the ones that speak most powerfully to us and to write them down in the best form possible. Join me as we explore mementos, memories that can make the past speak to the present and the future, and other deep-down emotions waiting to be forged into great nonfiction or fiction. We'll also search for deeply personal story connections that, with the right kind of searching, can be found in the stories of others.


Using the Secrets of Fiction to Write Nonfiction

Saturday, March 24, 2018, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

I was driving in the country with a neighbor-friend and her seven-year-old son, Jake, when he spotted some aluminum cans by the side of the road that he wanted to recycle. So I pulled over, and his mom walked back a ways to retrieve them. The second she got out of the car, Jake leaned forward from the back seat and said, "Tell me a story."

We are all story-telling animals, and our desire to hear a good tale, well told, is universal; this goes as much for nonfiction as for fiction. I wrote short stories and got an MFA in fiction before I started freelancing full time for magazines and industries, then later writing literary books and personal essays. In this workshop, I'll share (and we'll practice) using compelling techniques I've gleaned from novels and short stories to use in essays and literary journalism, including ethical and exciting ways to make things up in nonfiction. 

About the Instructor(s): 

John Calderazzo has taught creative nonfiction and lyrical prose workshops for over 30 years. His students have gone on to publish work in hundreds of journals and magazines, written best-sellers, and won some of our country's most prestigious literary prizes. A "Best Colorado State University Teacher" award winner, Calderazzo urges writers at all levels to recognize and pursue the stories that float around us everywhere, all the time. His essays, poems, and stories have appeared in Audubon, Georgia Review, High Country News, North American Review, Orion, Witness, Best American Nature Writing, Best Travel Adventure Stories, and many other venues. His books include an over-the-shoulder, how-to book, Writing from Scratch: Freelancing; a children's science book; a poetry chapbook; and Rising Fire: Volcanoes and Our Inner Lives, essays which explore volcanoes and culture around the world. He’s presently writing about a Quechua Indian ritual and climate change in the Peruvian Andes. He travels widely teaching scientists how to use storytelling techniques to better communicate with the public. 

Selected Media:

Calderazzo, John. "On My Birthday, A Wish for My Mother." Brevity 33 (July, 8, 2010).

Over these still-unlit Colorado foothills, I watch a single cloud build like breath, an enormous pink wing buoyed by a sun that has not yet touched the valley floor to coax ravens into air, or turn creek water to fire, or hammer gold bars from the dull blades of my backyard windmill.

Calderazzo, John. "Rabies." The Best Travel Writing: True Stories from Around the World. Solas House, Inc, 2012.

The bite came out of nowhere—came when I was thinking of other things or maybe nothing at all, jet-lagged and exhausted as I was in the thin Himalyan air, chasing my breath at 10,000 feet. Maybe I was distracted by the ranks of snow peaks standing unbelieavably high in the north. Or maybe, because it was my first full day in Bhutan, I'd been coaxed into a kind of trance by the sheer unreality of the place, the goregeous mountain valleys and then this twisting mountain path crowded by giant, dusty-pink rhododendrons. At any rate, I wasn't at all ready for the attack.