About Writers At Work
Photo by Yvonne M. Estrada
Creativity thrives in community.
That’s the central philosophy of
Writers At Work.
I learned this at the Woman's Building, which brought together visual artists, designers, writers, performers and video artists in an environment of permission and support to grow as women artists. Learning from the skills of other artists, receiving feedback that was constructive and focused on strengthening the work, and knowing that others were invested in my progress—these things helped to break down the isolation and competition that can thwart our development.
From 1989 through 1997, I taught a writing program at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, including a workshop for people with HIV and AIDS, and I saw how these same principles helped writers of all genders to find their voice, deepen their skills and develop their audience.
As a writer, I’ve been interested in working in a lot of different forms—short fiction and the novel, poetry, memoir and essays, dramatic forms. I like taking on new challenges, figuring out how to do something I don’t know how to do. I’m not afraid of “failure,” because as an artist, I just keep learning. I try to encourage students to cultivate an open mind and a willingness to take risks.