MDC’s Miami Book Fair to Offer New Spring Creative Writing Courses

Miami, Feb. 7, 2017 – The Miami Book Fair, presented and produced by Miami Dade College (MDC), announces new Creative Writing Courses! Don’t miss this opportunity to enhance your writing, network and receive feedback from published authors with extensive teaching experience. Unless otherwise noted, all courses will take place at MDC’s Wolfson Campus. Sign up now! Seating is limited. Events part of Book Fair’s year-round programming.

The 2017 Spring Creative Writing Courses are:

Multicultural Approaches to Writing Prose
Tuesdays, Feb. 21 – Mar. 14
7 – 9 p.m.
Fee: $100

How does your background affect the way you write? How can you make the most of your hyphenated, multi-layered pasts and turn those roots into fruitful creative endeavors? This class will explore what it means to be multicultural and how to be truthful to that core, while making the most of it in creative writing – both fiction and nonfiction.

Vanessa Garcia has been recognized among the “2016 Top 10 New Latino Writers to Watch (and Read).” Her debut novel, White Light (2015), was named one of the Best Books of 2015 by NPR, Flavorwire, Al Dia, and numerous other publications and institutions. Her essays, features and op-eds have appeared in The LA Times; The Miami Herald; The Washington Post; The Southern Humanities Review; The Art Basel Magazine; The Rumpus, among other publications. She’s also a Huffington Post blogger. Garcia has a doctorate in English from the University of California Irvine, an MFA from the University of Miami and a bachelor’s from Barnard College, Columbia University.

How to Tell True Stories, Out Loud
Tuesdays, Feb. 21 – April 5
7 – 9 p.m.
Fee: $190

The stories presented at Lip Service – Miami’s showcase for true stories presented out loud – are personal, heartfelt, and honest. This seven-week course, taught by Lip Service co-producers Esther Martinez and Nicholas Garnett, will show students how to identify, create, and present meaningful personal stories. Each will have the opportunity to present a final, edited story in front of their classmates and instructors. Participants will receive valuable feedback at each phase of the process, from story inception to final presentation.

Nicholas Garnett is a freelance writer, editor and teacher. His writing has appeared in Salon, Best Sex Writing of 2013 and as the title stories for two anthologies, All That Glitters, and Badass: True Stories, The Double Album. He’s a graduate of Florida International University’s MFA program.

Esther Martinez has a bachelor’s degree in literature writing from Columbia University and an MFA in creative nonfiction from Florida International University. Her work has appeared in the anthology Badass: True Stories, The Double Album, in Pan ‘Ku, Quarto, The Columbia Observer, Sliver of Stone, The Daily Beast, and Newsday, as well as on NPR and PBS.

Memoir Workshop
Tuesdays, Feb. 21 – April 4 (not on Mar. 21)
7 – 9 p.m.
Fee: $150

Take your memoir writing to the next level with this workshop led by Nikki Moustaki, author of 46 works of book-length nonfiction, including the memoir The Bird Market of Paris. Whether just starting writing or experienced in creative nonfiction, the workshop aims to hone your current skills as well as offer new techniques. Marketplace and publishing will be discussed as well.

Nikki Moustaki has spent more than 20 years working with agents and editors on commercial projects, and submitting her literary and commercial work for publication in newspapers, literary magazines and glossies. She is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant in poetry and been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Publishers Weekly and Good Housekeeping, among other magazines and journals. Her memoir, The Bird Market of Paris, won Elle magazine’s “Lettres 2015 Reader’s Prize,” and was featured in Glamour magazine. Oprah’s O Magazine named the book a “burn it down memoir from women who lived their truth.” Moustaki has taught creative writing at Miami Dade College, New York University, Indiana University, and The New School in New York City. She is currently working on a novel and her second memoir.

Writing the World
Wednesdays, Feb. 22 – Mar. 29
7 – 9 p.m. Fee: $150

Students will work on travel stories with the goal of eventually publishing them. Discover the seven key elements – a personal voice, a point of view, imagination, insight, humor, people, dialogue – and how best to incorporate them into your stories. Learn about the importance of finding a theme – something that ties your disparate and seemingly random experiences of a place together, creating a narrative arc and, if possible, a sense of suspense (so readers will keep reading). The course will also cover markets – both print and online – for travel stories, and practice how to write an efficient and appealing query letter.

Thomas Swick is the author of the travel memoir Unquiet Days: At Home in Poland; a collection of travel stories, A Way to See the World: From Texas to Transylvania with a Maverick Traveler; and most recently The Joys of Travel: And Stories That Illuminate Them.  From 1989 to 2008, Swick was the travel editor of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. His work has appeared in The American Scholar, The North American Review, The Oxford American, The Wilson Quarterly, The Missouri Review, Ploughshares, Boulevard, Smithsonian, National Geographic Traveler, The Morning News, Roads & Kingdoms and six editions of The Best American Travel Writing.

Writing for the Ear 
Thursdays, Feb. 23 – Mar. 16
7 – 9 p.m.
Fee: $100

Writing for the ear is different than writing for the eye. The rhythm is different. Often the vocabulary is different. Sentences tend to be shorter. Like this. In this course, students will learn to write out loud. They’ll discover what writing for the ear means in their own writing. These principles apply to both non-fiction and fiction, and can be applied to all sorts of writing, including story slams, a podcast, audio essays, the screen, the stage — or the page.

Alicia Zuckerman is the editorial director at WLRN, where she’s in charge of editing feature stories and other long-form radio. Her reporting has aired on NPR, Public Radio International and American Public Media and has won a national Edward R. Murrow award. Before coming to Miami in 2007, she covered the arts for New York Public Radio and New York magazine. She was a 2013 USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism fellow. She has edited many regional, state and national award-winning stories, from outsider art to the Central American migrant crisis. “Remembering Andrew,” a radio documentary she co-produced about Hurricane Andrew, won a Third Coast International Audio Festival award, known as the “Sundance of radio.” Zuckerman has a bachelor’s degree from the University at Albany (SUNY), where she studied writing and music, and a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Ekphrastic Poetry Walking Workshop 
Saturday, Feb. 25 (ONE DAY ONLY)
2 – 5 p.m.
Fee: $60

Different location: Books & Books & Bikes & Lebo, 2602 N.W. 5 Ave

Participants will meet in the Wynwood Arts District to visit galleries, museums and murals for an interactive writing workshop. The one-day workshop will discuss published poems that take their inspiration from art. Through carefully crafted examinations of these poems that showcase the importance of painting a picture onto the page and observing local art, students will explore how poetry can show more than words can ever tell. In addition, short in-class writing exercises will help break up well-worn writing routines and strategies while engaging with art.

Laura McDermott’s first book of poetry, Vision on Alligator Alley (2015) features the work she created during her tenure as the 2014-15 Writer-in-Residence of Girls’ Club, Ft. Lauderdale. McDermott studied creative writing at Florida State University, received her MFA in poetry from Florida International University, and is a tenured assistant professor of English at Broward College. She is also the founder and executive director of Orange Island Arts Foundation, a literary arts organization.

To register for courses and for more information, please call 305-237-3940, or visit

Miami Book Fair media contact: Lisa Palley, 305-642-3132,