BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Zia Credit Union is collaborating with Fuller Lodge Art Center by sponsoring a free creative writing workshop or teens June 20-24 called “Story Anatomy”.
The workshop will be led by Cat Ozment who has taught creative writing though the Art Center since 2017, including Fiction Basics, Principles of Story Structure, Compelling Characters, Critical Reading for Creative Writers and a variety of NaNoWriMo prep classes, and more.
Ozment’s undergraduate degree was in Creative Writing, and her Ph.D. is in Contemporary Literature. Before moving to Los Alamos, she spent more than a decade teaching college students to write, read, and think critically and collaboratively about the world around them.
“Teaching in the language arts is my great passion, and getting back to both my creative writing roots and teaching was essential to find my footing after I moved to Los Alamos in 2015,” she said. “I currently teach English as a Second Language at UNM-LA in a state-funded program that is part of the phenomenal Adult Learning Center,” Ozment said.
“Story Anatomy” will be the first time teaching in the Summer Art Camp for Ozment who is a also a freelance editor.
“I could not be more excited to bring my expertise and enthusiasm to such a wonderful program by offering four classes this year. ‘Story Anatomy’, which is being generously sponsored by Zia Credit Union, adapted from an adult creative writing class I taught in early 2020,” she said.
Ozment said there is a long tradition of established authors playing with the stories, forms, and conventions of fairy tales through retellings.
“For good reason: fairy tales grab us with the basic building blocks of compelling storytelling. Students in this class will use analytical skills, creative skills, and their experience of everyday storytelling to uncover basic story structure, create their own retelling of a specific fairy tale, and give it their own unique perspective,” she said, adding that the course is designed for both beginner and advanced writers.
Ozment’s other classes being offered during Art Camp are “Find Your Voice” in June and “Writer Superpowers: Observation” in July for middle schoolers, and “Exquisite Corpse” in July for teenagers.
“An investment in our community is the best investment one can make, and there’s no finer investment than in the future of young professionals,” said Zia Credit Union President and CEO Dwayne Herrera. “This workshop promotes creativity and writing skills – preparing young adults for success in college and their future careers. We are incredibly proud to offer our support.”
Herrera said Zia believes it is important to influence the lives of its members, employees, and community in a positive way and that by offering financial guidance, education and tools for the people of Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Taos, Pojoaque and Santa Fe Counties, they have made a significant impact on the quality of life within the communities where their members live, work or worship.
“Much like Zia helps people change the narrative or financially write the story of their lives, we hope investing in this workshop inspires these young adults to strive for the best versions of themselves now and in the future,” he said.
Participants may enroll by visiting the Fuller Lodge Art Center’s Eventbrite page.