Heidi W. DurrowHeidi W. Durrow

News from Heidi

Here you can find news about the book, festival, and what's happening with Heidi.

I'm Teaching a Week-long Writing Workshop

 

I'm excited to announce that I'll teach a week-long writing workshop Writing the Debut Novel: Developing Your Craft & Your Career in January 2016 at Djerassi, an idyllic writer's retreat where I was in residence for 4 weeks in 2005 and 2013. The workshop is geared to debut novelists and is well-suited for those writing about difference, race, and social justice. The workshop will include workshop manuscript critiques, time for new writing as well as workshop writing prompts, a private consultation of 50 pages of your manuscript, and talks on actionable steps you can take to start your career as a published writer. Includes up to 50 pages manuscript consultation in private 1/2 hour session with me. Full novel review available for an additional fee. Applicants accepted pending review of writing samples.  Space is limited.  I hope you'll apply and make the promise you've made to yourself come true: finish that novel you've always wanted to write! Learn more here.

 

Statement:

"At age 29 I quit my job and set out to write the Great American Novel by age 30. After 6 years of feeling stuck, I realized I was only playing at writing a book while I waited for my muse to come and for someone to discover my talent. I had to treat my ambition to become a published novelist the same way that I had planned out my professional career. That’s when I started to see results the non-MFA way. I learned to grow my craft and my career and ended up with a New York Times best-selling novel that continues to grow a wide readership now internationally. This workshop is tailored for the person who has always wanted to write for a living, but doesn’t have an idea about how to start. I'm looking forward to sharing my process and helping other writers who are looking for a way to take tangible steps toward achieving their dreams."--Heidi

 

Heidi Durrow Djerassi

Testimonials: 

"Heidi herself was warm, generous, and gently constructive & gave attention to practical matters, e.g. how to give a great reading. She set a wonderful tone for workshop and critique to be directed at expanding work in progress, rather than attacking it." Jenn R., workshop participant

"Heidi's candor was refreshing. She really emphasized how relentless debut authors need to be BEFORE being published and after publication. She shared some critical strategies and some of her mistakes so that we can avoid making them. I also liked her authenticity. She was not afraid to get emotional. She does not present a façade, she is refreshingly real and approachable. One story she told us about one of her young readers perfectly illustrated the power of being an author and it had nothing to do with fame, money or ego. The story she shared left me determined to create art with my novel. I never had that goal before the workshop because I did not consider myself an artist. Finally, I think Heidi is brilliant. She has keen insights and is a writer’s writer. She set a constructive tone for the workshop by emphasizing that we look for the energy in each other’s work and suggest ways to build on that. That was such a great approach and we all benefitted. I felt like I could share freely because I was in a safe place."  Robin Farmer, workshop participant

"Heidi provided extremely constructive, detailed manuscript critiques; extremely useful and practical information re the nuts and bolts of selling and promoting your work – and the practice doing readings was so helpful. Heidi is an engaging, energetic and masterful guide through the intricacies and necessary action steps to successfully complete, publish and promote your novel.

"The positive energy, support and enthusiasm from Heidi and the workshop attendees that renewed my spirit and revved me up with the energy and tools I need to complete my novel and get it out into the world." — Ginger McKnight-Chavers, workshop participant

"I loved the intimacy of the group—it was very supportive and generative. And I loved Heidi’s teaching/coaching style. She is a natural teacher and encourager. I enjoyed the pacing and the mix of sessions and events planned. I learned so much, and received so much encouragement from, the workshops, the one-on-one, the discussions and talks that Heidi gave on the other parts of the writerly life. I appreciate Heidi’s style and her genuineness. And I surely appreciated her generosity of spirit and heart." Michele Beller, workshop participant

"I was so impressed with Heidi’s organization and preparedness for the workshop. I wasn’t expecting anything more than a few workshops and time to write, but she provided so much more than that with super informative sessions on marketing, networking and getting published. I am always so focused on writing that I hadn’t even thought about all of the nuts and bolts that go along with creating art. She also managed to curate a group of writers who seemed to mesh perfectly together, as well as create a workshopping environment that managed to be both nurturing and constructive. I didn’t feel like my fellow workshoppers (or Heidi) were holding back, but at the same time I never felt attacked or defeated. Quite the opposite."  Jessica Haas, workshop participant

"It was, quite simply, a stupendous experience. Heidi packed so much into a few days: giving us advice; providing the opportunity to have our work read by others as well as by herself; and even “forcing” us to read our own work, out loud and in public. Her selection of other writers was spot-on, and she quickly created a safe space for us to bond and support each other. I don’t think anyone expected we’d become life-long friends, our own clan, within a few short days."  Romalyn Tilghman, workshop participant

 

My Latest Essay in the New York Times

How excited was I to be asked to write a piece for the New York Times again. It happened to coincide with the end of the 2015 Mixed Remixed Festival which was a huge success.  Actually better than huge!  It was the best-attended (we had standing room only in almost every program).  We had the best press coverage: not just the New York Times, but also NBC News, KTLA, and a full-page feature in the New York Times  And we had the best feeling of energy and love.  I felt so proud (exhausted but also proud.)  So already I'm gearing up for next year's festival!  Stay tuned for a date.  Here are some of the fun photos.  Be sure to check out the links to the press the Mixed Remixed Festival received! 

 

Trevor Noah Taking the Tragic Out of Mulatto . . .

I was really happy with this piece I wrote for the Huffington Post about Trevor Noah becoming the new host of The Daily Show, one of my all-time favorite shows and addictions. 

Trevor Noah Taking the Tragic Out of Mulatto One Joke at a Time

by Heidi W. Durrow

No matter where people shake out on Trevor Noah and his controversial tweets, one word fans and critics alike have agreed to describes Jon Stewart's Daily Show successor is "mixed-race."

His multiracial background is mentioned in most headlines about the announcement and is central to his description in most stories.

But why is it so remarkable?

In the 2010 Census, 9 million people -- or 2.9 percent of the population -- chose more than one race to describe themselves -- a change of about 32 percent since 2000. Mixed-race children are the country's fastest-growing demographic.

And our president -- although he self-identifies as African-American -- comes from a decidedly mixed-race family.

Some pundits say that Noah's upbringing as a biracial child in South Africa is notable because it provides him with a unique perspective on American race relations. And surely it will.

But what I think is most remarkable is the way that Noah's mixed-race funny man status allows us to fundamentally change the conversation we've had about mixed-race identity and experience.

You can read the rest of the article here

More Amazing Art Inspired By My Book!

I wanted to share more great artwork inspired by my book.  These drawings were done by a student from ENG 200H, Critical Thinking & Writing, Honors class at Wor-Wic Community College taught by Melissa Reddish. To see more artwork inspired by my book, check out this wonderful image gallery.

Beautiful Art Inspired By My Book!

I was elated and honored to receive an email with this image from Jill Kuanfung, an incredibly talented young artist who was inspired to paint this piece after reading The Girl Who Fell From the Sky.  Check out more of her work here.  I see an amazing career in the works!  To see more artwork inspired by my book, check out this wonderful image gallery.

Help Make The Girl Oyster Book's Most Popular of the Year!

It's Oyster Books' (think of them like the Netflix of books) 1st Birthday and they are celebrating with a giveaway!  Vote for your favorite books and you have a chance to win a year's subscription to Oyster!  The Girl Who Fell From the Sky is up for Most Popular against some heavy-hitters including fellow Yale Law grad Gretchin Rubin's The Happiness Project and the classic The Giver by Lois Lowry.  Please vote now.  Voting closes on Sunday.

I'm Teaching a Week-long Writing Workshop

 

I'm excited to announce that I'll teach a week-long writing workshop (Writing the Debut Novel the Non-MFA Way) in February 2015 at Djerassi, an idyllic writer's retreat where I was in residence for 4 weeks in 2005 and 2013. The workshop is geared to debut novelists and is well-suited for those writing about difference, race, and social justice. The workshop will include workshop manuscript critiques, time for new writing as well as workshop writing prompts, a private consultation of 50 pages of your manuscript, and talks on actionable steps you can take to start your career as a published writer. Includes up to 50 pages manuscript consultation in private 1/2 hour session with me. Full novel review available for an additional fee. Applicants accepted pending review of writing samples.  Space is limited.  I hope you'll apply and make the promise you've made to yourself come true: finish that novel you've always wanted to write! Learn more here.

 

Statement:

"At age 29 I quit my job and set out to write the Great American Novel by age 30. After 6 years of feeling stuck, I realized I was only playing at writing a book while I waited for my muse to come and for someone to discover my talent. I had to treat my ambition to become a published novelist the same way that I had planned out my professional career. That’s when I started to see results the non-MFA way. I learned to grow my craft and my career and ended up with a New York Times best-selling novel that continues to grow a wide readership now internationally. This workshop is tailored for the person who has always wanted to write for a living, but doesn’t have an idea about how to start. I'm looking forward to sharing my process and helping other writers who are looking for a way to take tangible steps toward achieving their dreams."--Heidi

 

Salem College: First Year Read Visit Sept. 16, 2014

I'm excited to visit what was once my homestate on Sept. 16.  I'll be visiting with students and speaking at Salem College in Winston-Salem, NC.  The school selected The Girl Who Fell From the Sky as the First-Year Read.  It's an incredible honor and I can't wait to hear what the students have to say!

The Mixed Experience Podcast Season 2

I'm super excited to kick off the new season of The Mixed Experience, my weekly podcast, that features the musings of a mixed chick on a mixed-up world, culture, politics, and the arts.  Season 2 begins with an interview with the wonderfully talented author Celeste Ng (Everything I Never Told You).  Her book--which has received rave reviews--is a great-read: a literary thriller about an interracial family.  Check out the interview here.

Mixed Remixed Festival Attracts More than 700 Multiracial Families and Individuals

More than 700 multiracial and multicultural families and individuals enjoyed a day of workshops, panel presentations, film screenings, readings and performance at the Mixed Remixed Festival June 14, 2014.

"The event was a huge success," said Festival Founder Heidi Durrow.  "What people kept telling me was that they felt like they were coming home!"

Heidi Durrow Mixed RemixedThe Festival featured more than 5 dozen writers, scholars, filmmakers and performers in a varied set of programs.  Festival attendees were also treated to music DJ'ed by Power 106 and wonderful take-aways from Miss Jessie's hair products, Cards in Color, and LA Parent magazine.

The Festival culminated in an amazing performance that featured the talented TV actress and singer Erica Gimpel (Fame/Profiler), poet Aaron Samuels, musician Mya Greene, and the award-winning stage actress Khanisha Foster. The Storyteller's Prize was presented to Comedy Central's Key & Peele, Cheerios, and writer Susan Straight.  The next Mixed Remixed Festival will be held in June 2015.  Dates will be announced in September.--Heidi Durrow

 

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