24PearlStreet Workshops and Events

Deborah Jackson Taffa Storytelling as Radical Empowerment Multi-Genre August 15 to August 19, 2022 Number of Participants: 12 Price: $550.00 Format: 1 Week Asynchronous Workshop


Dear nonfiction and fiction writers: Are you imagining characters—either yourself or others—who constantly swim against the tide? This class will serve the protagonist who, for whatever reason, finds herself consistently misperceived by others. Maybe she is mixed-race yet white presenting. Maybe they are nonbinary, but society is forcing them to choose a single gender. Maybe she has blond hair and blue eyes yet feels like a minority because she grew up in a Mexican barrio. Winning readers as an outsider or underdog requires more than arguing a worldview, and in this generative workshop we will discuss the techniques—supposition, imagery, plot, humor, accrual—that engage readers while leading them into new terrain. To expand the literary canon, we move from the familiar to the unfamiliar, but what do we use as our bait? Through close reading and an exploration of ready-made structures and forms, we will excavate the beating heart of your character’s conflict. By the end of the week, you will leave with at least two healthy drafts.


Deborah Jackson Taffa’s debut book, Whiskey Tender, has received advanced praise from the following outlets: Zibby Mag “Most Anticipated Book,” San Francisco Chronicle “New Book to Cozy Up With,” Publishers Weekly “Memoirs & Biographies: Top 10," The Millions “Most Anticipated,” and Electric Lit “Books by Women of Color to Read." With fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in Prose (2024), PEN America, MacDowell, Rona Jaffe, and the NY State Summer Writer’s Institute, Taffa received her MFA from the NWP at the University of Iowa. A member of the Yuma Nation and Laguna Pueblo, she is the director of the MFA CW program at the Institute of American Indian Arts and splits her time between Saint Louis, MO, and Santa Fe, NM.

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Provincetown, MA 02657

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