Stephanie Elizondo Griest is available for the following events:
“Out of the Barrio”
In this high-energy motivational speech, Stephanie Elizondo Griest describes her “escape” from South Texas to become a globe-trotting foreign correspondent, human rights activist, and author — and how she combated racial, gender, and cultural stereotypes along the way. Keynote includes a performance from her award-winning memoir Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana (Villard/Random House, 2004). Time length: 15-50 minutes, not including Q&A.
After a lifetime of racial insecurities (“Am I Latina enough?”), Stephanie Elizondo Griest moved to her mother’s homeland of Mexico to learn more about her roots. Through her interviews with Mexican undocumented workers, indigenous resistance fighters, and gay/lesbian activists, she realized she wasn’t alone in questioning her own Mexicanidad. Keynote includes a performance from her award-winning memoir Mexican Enough: My Life Between the Borderlines (Washington Square Press/Simon & Schuster, 2008). Time length: 20-50 minutes, not including Q&A.
“Art Against The Wall”
In this multi-disciplinary performance, Stephanie Elizondo Griest documents the wide range of artistic responses to the world’s border walls. Keynote includes a reading as well as a Power Point presentation of images of artworks found along the Great Wall of China, the Berlin Wall, the West Bank Wall, the Wagah-Attari Wall, and the U.S./Mexico wall. Time length: 50 minutes, not including Q&A.
“The Mojado Monologues”
In this dramatic performance, Stephanie Elizondo Griest traces the history of Mexican immigration, from the Bracero program to the Border Wall, via monologues of those impacted by it. Keynote concludes with a critique of the Obama Administration’s immigration policy. Time length: 20-80 minutes, not including Q&A.
“The Accidental Memoirist: The Art and Ethics of Living Backward”
James Frey. Margaret B. Jones/Seltzer. Misha Defonseca. The Rosenblats. So many sham memoirists crowd the bookshelves these days, even Oprah is growing skeptical. Why does the genre still hold such appeal? Two-time memoirist Stephanie Elizondo Griest will divulge the pitfalls of memoir writing – such as losing friends and scaring off lovers – as well as its merits. She’ll also discuss the ethical dilemmas she routinely faces on the job. What are the ramifications of putting your family in a literary Petri dish? When do you take “creative license” and when do you call a lawyer? What does it mean to view life as “potential material”? Time length: 20-60 minutes, not including Q&A.
“Traveling Sola: Tips For Wandering Women”
Got wanderlust? This workshop covers everything a woman needs to know before hitting the road, including how to: conquer your fear, fend off parasites (and sketchy men), handle culture shock, and avoid getting tossed off Trans-Siberian trains for not having your papers in order. You’ll also learn about the world’s most “women-friendly” places. Time length: One to two hours.
“See The World On Someone Else’s Budget”
Learn the secrets of traveling abroad as a fully-funded exchange student, scholar, teacher,
volunteer, or “grammar gypsy.” Topics include scholarship and fellowship research tips; composing the perfect essay or pitch letter; and landing internships, jobs, and press trips overseas. Time length: One to two hours.
“Travel Writing 101”
Want a dateline from Zanzibar? Learn how in this workshop, which covers the full spectrum of travel writing – from blogs to magazine articles to books – as well as basic craft elements, such as description, dialogue, and character development. We’ll share tips on how to travel overseas on somebody else’s budget, including press trips, grants, scholarships, and work-gigs as a teacher or “grammar gypsy.” The class will conclude with a business overview, including how and where to sell and promote your work. Time length: One to three hours.
“Crash Course in Memoir Writing”
Everyone has a story to tell, but some people earn their living with theirs. What is their secret? Learn how to mine your memories for experiences that can be developed into marketable stories in this workshop. We’ll discuss craft techniques (including character development, plot, theme, and description) as well as ethical issues (including when to use a pen name, and when to call a lawyer). We’ll also discuss the various types of memoirs and where yours might fit in, plus how and where to pitch them. Time length: One to five hours.
“From Inspiration To Publication: Landing Your First Book On A Shelf”
Learn the nuts and bolts of the publication process, from how to write a killer query letter to where to find an agent; from crafting a marketable book proposal to setting up a national book tour without going broke. Time length: One to three hours.