Welcome new Writers’ Program instructor, Wendy C. Ortiz! Wendy is teaching a new one-day course this September, Writing the Political Memoir or Essay, and sat down with us to offer some insight into creative life and her upcoming course.


1) What sparks your creativity?
Mainly other books and art, as well as the hike I take three times a week. Though I take the same route every time, I force myself to find what is new along the path when I find I need a spark.


2) What do you rely on for those times it’s difficult to find the time, energy, motivation and/or inspiration to write?
I rely on others! I like to set up times in advance with other writers when we can either meet in my backyard or a coffee shop. I have dates like this booked out up to two months in advance. When the day arrives, it doesn’t matter if I don’t have the energy, motivation or inspiration. I have to show up to be accountable to the other writer, and ultimately, to myself.


3) What excites you most about teaching for the Writers’ Program?
It’s always a privilege to read the work of memoir writers as they puzzle through drafts. I’m excited about the breadth and depth of stories I’ll be exposed to and get to work with.


4) What do you hope your students get from your course?
A deeper appreciation of the memoir genre and a strong sense of how their own stories add to and enhance the genre.


Wendy is the author of Excavation: A Memoir; Hollywood Notebook; and the dreamoir Bruja. Her work has been profiled or featured in the Los Angeles Times, The Rumpus, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.


Thank you to Wendy for taking time to share with us. Look for more instructor interviews coming soon!



Bree is the Assistant to the Director and Social Media Coordinator. You can email her at btodish@uclaextension.edu.

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