Hispanic writer and teacher latest Writer-In-Residence
Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture welcomes Miguel Antonio Chávez
Miguel Antonio Chávez is the newest Writer-In-Residence at The Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture (CCWOC) at the University of Manitoba. Chávez will work with students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the public from January to April 2024.
Chávez is a writer, lecturer, translator and screenwriter from Guayaquil, Ecuador. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing in Spanish (NYU) and is a PhD candidate in Hispanic Studies (Western University). Chávez was a finalist for the 2007 Juan Rulfo Prize (Radio France Internationale) with the short story “La puta madre patria” [The Whore Motherland], a winner of the 2016-2017 Competitive Funds (Ministry of Culture of Ecuador) in the literary creation category, and was chosen by FIL Guadalajara as one of “The 25 best kept literary secrets in Latin America”.
Chávez is excited to work with the UM community. “Teaching and writing are among the activities I love the most,” said Chávez. “Thanks to this program I will be able to combine both my artistic and professional passions. This will be a great opportunity to share my experiences in the creative craft both as a Hispanic writer and as a creative writing facilitator (inside and outside the academic setting). Likewise, it will be great to learn about the community’s experiences as creators and readers.” Chávez also shared that he plans to “listen to the daily struggles or uncertainties my mentees may be facing with their writing projects so that I can provide them with the kind of ideas their stories need to flourish.” Chávez will also be developing his newest fiction project during his stay at UM.
“Miguel loves both writing and teaching, which makes him an extra exciting writer in residence,” says Jocelyn Thorpe, CCWOC Director. “His workshops promise to be engaging and fun. We are lucky too that he writes in both Spanish and English and that he is looking forward to working with writers in both languages. I encourage aspiring writers to take advantage of the opportunity to learn from him.”
CCWOC will welcome Miguel Antonio Chávez to the University of Manitoba at a welcome event held on campus. Chávez will talk about his experience both as a writer in the Spanish-speaking world and as an educator, particularly his involvement in the Tales of Freedom project where he conducted a creative writing workshop in a penitentiary. Student writer Hanako Teranishi will also read at the event. All are welcome. No registration necessary. The event is free.
Thursday, January 25, 2024
Lunch: 12:30 p.m.
Readings and talk: 1:20 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Room 108 St. John’s College
Chávez is hosting two, three-session free workshops during the residency for aspiring writers. The same workshop will be run twice – once in English and once in Spanish.
Know yourself, know your story (3 sessions)
Wednesdays – January 31, February 7, February 14
5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Conócete a ti mismo, conoce tu historia
5:00 – 6:30 de la tarde
28 de febrero, 6 de marzo, 13 de marzo
Often we don’t look for that great idea to write a fictional story; that idea looks for us instead. And many times when we find that idea, we don’t know how to shape it. What can we do? This workshop will help you to, on the one hand, listen to your creative instinct, and to know how to listen to your characters and find their voices, and, on the other, to apply the writing techniques your story needs so that it takes a life of its own. By better understanding your own skills as a storyteller you will both develop your style and face other creative challenges that may lie ahead.
Who is the workshop for? Ideally (but not exclusively) unpublished fiction writers who are interested in developing a specific genre of creative writing. Although the short story genre will be preferred, plays, novellas, and creative nonfiction are also welcome.
Is any experience required? It’s highly recommended that you have a rough idea of a short story you would like to develop.
What will the sessions look like? We will have three 90-minute on-site sessions, followed by assignments to work on at home. Each session will generally have four components:
- Sharing and discussion of motivations to write, and understanding your writing skills;
- Comprehensive reading of printed materials (reflections on the craft of writing by various authors) provided at the workshop;
- Writing exercises (searching for a narrative voice, spatial and temporal setting, character development, story structure, etc.);
- Group critical reading and constructive feedback for participants’ works-in-progress.
Register for a workshop by completing the registration form.
INDIVIDUAL WRITER CONSULTATIONS
As part of Chávez’s role, he will be available by appointment to writers of all levels from January 15 to April 15. To consult with Chávez, students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the public are encouraged to contact him by email to arrange a free meeting.