Glenda teaches creative nonfiction and storytelling with a focus on understanding and finding meaning in personal lived experience. Glenda sees arts education not only as a means of activating the creativity and aliveness of her students but also as a tool to get to know oneself for full self-actualization. She believes narrative structure has the power to reveal truth latent in lived experience.
In her programs, Glenda guides students in the exploration of stories haunted by the real, the tangible, and that which lies beyond the concrete, and encourages students to root their stories in the fictional techniques of setting, plot, dialogue, backstory, and subtext. Through in-class discussions, writing and storytelling exercises, and sharing opportunities, Glenda walks her students step-by-step through the creative process from idea generation to completion. Students practice critical language skills and have the opportunity to use writing as a means of grappling with the issues of our time.
Glenda teaches writing with COMPAS, at the Loft Literary Center, and at libraries across Minnesota, and mentors through the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop. She is an award-winning feminist writer, artist, educator, and adventurer. Her work has received funding from the Jerome Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, among others. Glenda is a winner of The Moth StorySLAM. Her work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction and The Best Travel Writing. She holds a BA from Beloit College.
Students explore the contemporary art of storytelling by listening to 5-minute, true-life stories told by youth and adults from all walks of life living across the country and across the globe. Example stories are chosen in collaboration with students and teachers to fit current classroom units and focus of study. Students practice listening comprehension and critical language skills by listening to stories, reading story transcripts, and responding. We discuss and identify foundational elements that help make a successful story and students then practice these new skills by crafting a story of their own. An important aspect of this work involves discussing boundaries, safe spaces, supportive listening, and what makes a story appropriate to tell both for the audience and the storyteller. We work independently, in pairs, and in groups to craft and hone our stories around a shared theme selected by the class. At the end of the residency students have the opportunity to share their own 5-minute, true-life stories.
Session I: Listen to and read example stories and discuss foundational story elements.
Session II: Brainstorm story ideas independently and in pairs. Identify foundational story elements in our own true-life tales.
Session III: Craft 5-minute, true-life stories.
Session IV: Hone and practice our 5-minute, true-life stories. Discuss elements of performance that can enhance our stories.
Session V: Students have the opportunity to share their stories with the class.
Curriculum Connections: Writing Standards, Listening & Responding
Participants explore how writing can help us process difficult feelings associated with loss: grief, anger, sadness, groundlessness. We discuss and practice evidence-based writing techniques that can assist in healing one’s relationship to one’s own stories. We explore writing techniques that have been proven to help us come to terms with challenging emotions with the added benefit of improving our immune system and lowering inflammation and hypertension in the body. Together we practice writing exercises participants can practice in class and then take home to use for extended benefit. An important aspect of this work is co-creating a safe space with participants. This offering can be book as a single workshop session or a multi-session residency and is intended for adults ages 18-85.
Session I: Discuss and practice elements of a healing narrative and explore strategies for caring as ourselves while we write. In this first session participants have the opportunity to pick a personally meaningful topic to explore throughout the course of the residency.
Session II: Discuss more in-depth aspects of healing narratives and how we can employ these strategies to explore our own topics. Multi-step writing exercises walk participants step-by-step through the process.
Session III: Discuss and practice strategies for deepening and shaping healing narratives that help writers more fully understand and come to terms with our own stories.
Session IV: Discuss and practice tools that can help writers complete a healing narrative.
Session V: Participants have the opportunity to share and discuss our experiences of writing through grief. A key component of this final session is the creation of a personal writing schedule and writing manifesto.
Students explore the contemporary art of storytelling by listening to 5-minute, true-life stories told by youth and adults from all walks of life living across the country and across the globe. Example stories are chosen in collaboration with students and teachers to fit current classroom units and focus of study. Students practice listening comprehension and critical language skills by listening to stories, reading story transcripts, and responding. We discuss and identify foundational elements that help make a successful story and how students can use these tools to craft their own stories.
So you have to write a college essay, but you aren’t sure where to begin. How do you write an essay that will grab admissions officers attentions and, hopefull. , purse strings? In this workshop we will use improvisation and brainstorming games to quiet our fears and inner critic in order to generate a host of ideas for stories that can act as the foundation of a standout college essay. We will discuss strategies anyone can use to help turn these nascent ideas into fully-realized essays that will catch a college’s eye.