Liz Stephens

Liz Stephens

Instructor Biography:

A recent recipient of a substantial Netflix incubator award, and a Native American Media Alliance fellow for screenwriting and nonfiction, Liz earned a Ph.D. in nonfiction forms and is the author of the memoir The Days Are Gods (University of Nebraska Press). Ms. Stephens’ essays appear in Brief Encounters: An Anthology of Short Nonfiction (W.W. Norton, 2015), Welcome to the Neighborhood (Swallow Press, 2019) with Joy Harjo and Dirt: An Anthology (New England University Press, 2015) with Pam Houston. She has served as managing editor and contributor to Brevity: A Journal of Concise Nonfiction and has written there extensively on current nonfiction craft and ethics issues. She has been nominated for both the Annie Dillard Creative Nonfiction Award and the Duke University Documentary Essay prize as well as a Pushcart Prize for her essay “All That Glitters” about stripping and identity in 90s Los Angeles, and was also a recent Stowe Story Labs diversity fellow in queer writing and urban native identity. She curates a writing blog currently on her Instagram feed at @doc_stephens and runs a writing residency found at @mojavedesertarts.

Instructor Statement:

I believe in story. I think humans can’t resist it. The power and momentum of story has carried and translated all our history and myths to us, about our cultures and our families. And it’s so convincing, it’s a power not always used for good. Stories, true ones and “true” ones, are told about everything. But I believe we can use a skill of writing stories, which we can learn, to connect; to communicate our joys and frailties to the rest of the human race ­– and so often, to ourselves as we begin to understand them. By understanding the events and observations of our lives as a story, we can connect with readers, by slowing down and untangling the scenes, the characters, the themes, the dialogue and arc of our true life, we can tell the story of all lives. We can all see ourselves reflected in the story and understand others better this way. It’s a pretty grand idea, but I believe in it.

Instructor Schedule
Spring 2024
Summer 2024

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