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Writing the Heartbeat – Personal Narratives for Teens of Color

Writing the Heartbeat – Personal Narratives for Teens of Color

Instructor: Connie Pertuz-Meza

High School, Grades 9 -12

July 27 – July 31

Are you a teenager of color ages 14 thru 18 who desires to see your voice out in the world? Do you have a story to tell, one buried in your heart, ready to be uncovered, but yearn for the safety and love of community in which to tell it? This one-week camp is for writers of color who want their voices and stories to be heard. We will write our personal narratives in a way that ensures your heartbeat will be felt on the page, through personal essay, flash creative nonfiction, short memoir, and poetry. Or we can write autobiographical fiction, and borrow from our lives to create characters, and build setting and plot lines. Whatever form your writing takes, stories from your life will help you process your feelings and allow you see your own humanity. We will study craft to inspire, inform, and investigate the art of writing. Each session will include generative prompts to get into the creative flow, workshop discussion of the writing, and feedback from the instructor, as well as peers. Students will have the chance to sign up for a one-on- one videoconference with the instructor to get individualized writing attention.

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Check out what time it will be in various parts of the world when this camp meets.

Here are the specifics for this camp, which is offered twice this week:

See if there’s a time zone that works for you!





  • 6 AM – 7 AM Honolulu
  • 8 AM – 9 AM Anchorage
  • 9 AM – 10 AM Los Angeles, Seattle, Phoenix, Vancouver
  • 10 AM – 11 AM Denver, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, Edmonton
  • 11 AM – 12 PM Chicago, Houston, Mexico City, Bogota, Quito, Lima, Winnipeg
  • 12 PM – 1 PM New York, Detroit, Atlanta, Caracas, La Paz, Toronto, Montreal
  • 1 PM – 2 PM Buenos Aires, Sao Paolo
  • 4 PM – 5 PM Accra, Reykjavik
  • 5 PM – 6 PM London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Tunis
  • 6 PM – 7 PM Paris, Stockholm, Berlin, Warsaw, Cairo, Lagos, Johannesburg
  • 7 PM – 8 PM Moscow, Nairobi, Istanbul, Doha
  • 8 PM – 9 PM Dubai
  • 9:30 PM – 10:30 PM Delhi

Instructor Bio: Connie Pertuz-Meza

Connie Pertuz-Meza writes stories about her life, family, and ancestors. Connie has been an educator for two decades in the New York City public school system. Having found safety and validation in school, she works to recreate those feelings for students in her classroom. Connie is also a mother of a sixteen-year-old daughter and twelve-year-old son. Connie’s writing has appeared in The Rumpus, Kweli Literary Journal, Raising Mothers, Dreamers Creative Writing, Voices In The Middle, the Acentos Review, MUTHA, Latina Outsiders: Remaking Latina Identity Anthology, La Pluma y La Tinta Peinate Anthology, and La Pluma y La Tinta Emerging Voices Anthology. She is a 2017 Brooklyn Film and Arts Festival Non-Fiction Prize Finalist and Honorable Mention. Connie is also a three-time VONA/Voices Fiction Fellow, an alum of Las Dos Brujas writing workshop, a Cullman Teaching Institute Fellow, a Tin House Craft Intensive participant, and a Kweli Fellow. Connie is working on a semi-autobiographical YA novel, and is a staff writer for the online literary magazine,