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  • Cooper Street Workshop: Writing About Your Immigrant Experience

Cooper Street Workshop: Writing About Your Immigrant Experience

Date & Time

Tuesday, April 02, 2024, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.






Sienna Zeilinger

​​​​​​​Vesna Jaksic Lowe

This is a sequence of two virtual workshops held on Zoom on April 2 and April 9, from 6-8pm EST.   

This workshop seeks to encourage and empower participants to share their immigrant and refugee stories, whether they are first-generation immigrants, or those whose families came here a long time ago. We will discuss some tropes and myths related to writing about the immigrant experience, and read short passages by contemporary authors, including Aleksandar Hemon, Min Jin Lee, Nadia Owusu, Elif Shafak, Safiya Sinclair, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Javier Zamora.

The class will focus on creative non-fiction/memoir/personal essays, and will allow time for generative writing. The workshop will strive to help participants produce ideas for personal essays, give them tools to start drafting them, and provide input on where they could pitch their stories. Participants will walk away with a resource document containing a worksheet, a list of books by immigrant authors, and suggestions for outlets to follow and pitch personal essays to.

COST: $80 General, $15 Camden residents & Rutgers-Camden students

About the Instructor: 

Vesna Jaksic Lowe is a writer, nonprofit communications consultant, and creator of the Immigrant Strong newsletter. Vesna, who grew up in the former Yugoslavia, has written about her immigrant experience for the Connecticut Literary Anthology 2023 (Woodhall Press, 2023), The New York Timesthe Washington PostPigeon Pages, Catapult, and the New York Daily News. She has an essay forthcoming in the Back Where I Came From anthology (Book hug press, Fall 2024). In 2021, she attended Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing’s conference as a first-prize parent-fellow, and participated in the Tin House Workshop. Her free monthly Substack newsletter, Immigrant Strong, features writing by immigrants and children of immigrants. It has been featured by publications such as Longreads and organizations such as New Women New Yorkers. As a communications consultant, Vesna works with nonprofits in the social justice and human rights space.