Mathew Rodriguez

Instructor Bio:
MA, contributing editor for the anthology Modern Loss: Candid Conversations about Grief. Mr. Rodriguez is a staff writer at INTO, an LGBTQ digital magazine, as well as an essayist whose work has appeared in Slate, the Village Voice and Mic. He hosts a podcast, Slayerfest 98, about Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Instructor Statement:
Writers write what they know — at least, that’s how the saying goes. And that can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, we are limited by our experiences, but on the other, no one knows your experience better than you do. Your upbringing, your identities and your story are unique to you and no one is more qualified to tell them. Whether it be straight reporting, creative nonfiction or short essays, writing for the internet requires us to bring ourselves to the table and deal with who we are. That is especially true of writing a thinkpiece, a much-maligned format that is, nevertheless, one of the most-read genres on the internet. The reality is, the genre is only maligned because too many writers don’t take into account the rigor and style that makes a successful thinkpiece. A successful thinkpiece can change culture. It can unearth an unexamined truth, raise public consciousness and foster thoughtful discourse.  Together, we’ll explore how to relay our realities, research our ideas and argue our points — all in the hope of making other people see the world in a new way.

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