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The Graphic Memoir

Date: Saturday, February 22
Time: 10 am - 3 pm (with one-hour lunch break) 
Instructor: Janice Shapiro
Ages: Adult 
Genre: Memoir
Price: $150          

The graphic memoir is an exciting development in modern literature, filling the niche between prose and film. As exemplified by Art Spiegelman’s Maus, Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor, and Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, the combination of images and words strengthens, magnifies, and illuminates in unique ways the large and small truths of life. 

In this class we will look at examples of graphic memoirs and discuss the visual and storytelling techniques. Then everyone will create a short graphic memoir about a significant moment in his or her life. The moment does not have to be momentous: It can be funny, tragic, embarrassing, heroic or just about a surprising, cool observation, as long as the moment has resonance.  


No background (or particular talent!) in art or writing is required. Just come with a desire to express yourself in a fresh, fun and exciting way.

Janice Shapiro_edited.jpg

Janice Shapiro is the author of Bummer and Other Stories (Soft Skull Press, 2010). Her stories, comics, and reviews have been published in Catapult, The RumpusThe North American Review52 StoriesElectric Literature, Post Road, and Real Pants, among others. 


Janice is currently completing her graphic memoir, Crushable, My Life In Crushes From Ricky Nelson to Viggo Mortensen. The John Lennon chapter from Crushable appeared in the anthology Crush: Writers Reflect on Life, Longing, and the Power of Their First Celebrity Crush, edited by Cathy Alter and David Singleton (HarperCollins, 2016), and the Linus chapter will appear in The Peanuts Papers, edited by Andrew Blauner (Library of America 2019). 


Janice has taught a graphic memoir class at Politics and Prose in Washington D.C. and The Young Writers Workshop at The University of Virginia, and was an Assistant Adjunct Professor in Screenwriting at Columbia University. Janice currently lives in Berkeley, California.

More about Janice: 

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