UCLA Extension

Shawna Kenney

shawna 2014 headshot.jpegInstructor Biography:

MFA, award-winning author of the memoir I Was a Teenage Dominatrix (optioned for film by FX), co-author of Imposters, and editor of the anthology Book Lovers.  Ms. Kenney’s work has been published in The New York Times, Playboy, Ms., Narratively, Bust, Creative NonfictionThe Rumpus, and The Florida Review, among others.

Instructor Statement:

book lovers cover smallWe are each an endless fountain of stories. My goal is to help students to believe that—to help them feel the power of their own truth-telling. Wherever you came from, whatever you’ve endured, however it is that you live”it” is all fodder for your work, and your own unique experience is valuable. As Derrick Jensen wrote in his book, Walking on Water, a well-traveled blues guitarist once said, “I can teach you everything I know in fifteen minutes. Then you just have to go home and practice for fifteen years.” Classes can kick-start or reinforce a regular writing practice; flexing our creative muscles together as a community strengthens us as individuals.  I hope to serve as a guide, mentor, and reminder of possibilities.

Our Students Say it Best!

“Shawna is precise with language, clear with expectations, and definite in her belief that all of us have interesting stories to tell and can learn to tell them well. She met each student on their terms (aesthetics as well as belief systems) and did not try to squeeze us into a specific type…” —Writers’ Program student

Watch a video of Shawna reading from her work at the 2015 Writers’ Program Publication Party: