Our college will be the venue of a four day writers’ workshop with Dr. Michael Schuessler, author of Peregrina – Love and Death in Mexico.
Sunday November 8 – Wednesday November 11, 2015
This is an opportunity for English language writers living in Yucatan to meet one another. There are also writers coming from cities in the USA and Canada.
The workshop is open to both aspiring and published authors.
Day One: Sunday November 8
Meet at TTT: Calle 57 No. 492, Entre 56 & 58, Centro. From the college we will travel to the Maya archaeological site of Uxmal.
11:00 am – 12:30pm:
Tour of the Uxmal site with TTT founder, Lic.Jorge C. Rosado Baeza
1:00 – 2:30 pm:
Lunch at The Pickled Onion in Santa Elena
3:00 – 5:00 pm:
To cultivate sensorial awareness of the ambiance at Uxmal, participants will hear a selection of poetry readings by Dr. Claire Joysmith. This will be followed by a writing exercise
Return to Mérida.
Days 2 – 4
Outline of the Writing Workshop
Monday November 9 – Wednesday November 11, 2015
Research, Editing and Writing
Dr. Michael K. Schuessler
During this workshop the participants will learn how to organize and edit the background material for their writing projects. Solid, well organized research adds authenticity and depth to any fiction or non-fiction piece.
Over the next three days, the participants will conduct online research, edit their research material and use it to write a 1,500 word piece on the subject of their choice.
Participants should select their own subject and time period. This could be themselves, a person of interest or someone they are currently writing about. The subject might even be a fictional character. Prior to the workshop, it will be expedient to look up websites that are relevant to the subject, the related period of history, the subject’s works, or other pertinent materials.
What you will need to bring with you to the workshop:
- A notebook and pencils for note taking
- Your lap top. If you do not have a portable computer, let us know. There are a number of extra ones available at TTT
- Any material you have researched prior to the workshop. During the three days of the workshop, a WIFI connection will be available if follow-up searches or verification are required.
- If you have the photograph of a deceased family member or loved one who served in WW I or II, please bring it. We will be using these at our Remembrance Day observance on November 11th.
Monday November 9th
Dr. Michael K. Schuessler is the author of Perdidos en la Traducción – “Lost in Translation”, a collection of short stories inspired by the lives of five foreigners who spent time in Mexico: Howard Hughes, William S. Burroughs, Marilyn Monroe, Edward James and B. Traven. As an introduction to the workshop, Dr. Schuessler will give a presentation on the process he used during the research, editing and writing stages this book.
Following the process explained by Michael K. Schuessler, the participants will organize their materials and highlight the pertinent passages in order of utility to the type of story they wish to tell. They will learn how to make timeline and character charts, as well as other useful tools that will enhance the authenticity and richness of their writing projects.
The group will discuss their research and exchange ideas to enhance each project
End of Day One morning session
Dr. Michael Schuessler with an image of La Peregrina – Alma Reed
Tuesday November 10
Another of Michael K. Schuessler’s books is: Peregrina – Love and Death in Mexico. His inspiration was an incomplete memoir he found in an abandoned Mexico City apartment. The author, Alma Reed, was an American journalist who was engaged to marry Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Yucatan’s socialist governor from 1922 – 1924. Carrillo Puerto was assassinated by his political enemies, and according to Ms. Reed, this occurred on the eve of his departure for the USA to begin a new life with her. The governor’s supporters and family denied her claims yet their correspondence, also edited by Schuessler, tells a very different story.
In his introductory remarks, Dr. Schuessler will explain how he separated the probable truth from fiction.
Every story has many approaches. The participants will reorganize and restructure their research. They will need to edit out the materials that do not support the story they are writing. They may need to do additional internet searches to flesh out the details.
The editing process will be discussed as a group
End of Day Two’s morning session. Participants will have a free afternoon and evening
Wednesday November 11
Michael K. Schuessler will begin today’s session with a short review of the research and editing process covered so far. He will also remind the group of some writing techniques they may elect to use, such as the use of metaphor, simile, alliteration, effectiveness of adjective and adverbs, reported speech, etc. Using their edited research materials, the participants will have until noon to write the first draft of a 1,500 word piece about the subject they have chosen.
Breaks will be taken as needed
The participants who wish to do so will be asked to read their pieces out loud. Constructive feedback will be exchanged.
After the workshop, the participants will be encouraged to continue to hone the piece they worked on during the three day workshop. When they have completed their final copy, it is hoped that they will submit their work to the workshop organizers. The completed pieces will be shared on a website that will be created for next year’s expanded edition of the program.
Day Two: 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Keynote: Mexico’s “Peregrina”: Alma M. Reed by Dr. Michael K. Schuessler
Day Four: 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Remembrance Day Commemoration and Book Presentation
CIRCLES by Joanna van der Gracht de Rosado.
November 11th is the day we honor our servicemen and women. As well, this workshop will be held shortly after Mexico’s celebration of the Days of the Dead. In keeping with these two events, the final evening’s activities will include a Remembrance Day observance. All those attending will be encouraged to add their photographs of WW I and II veterans to a display that will be made to honor them. A reception and book signing will follow the commemoration and the presentation of CIRCLES.