Spring 2012 Creative Writing Course:
Tumbled Histories

ACTC’s spring 2012 Creative Writing course was taught by Marco A. Villalobos at St. Catherine University.

About the Course

In this course, students receive writing prompts virtually, launched from various historical readings which are to be deconstructed, scrapped, retooled, salvaged and posted from new narrative points, largely, those of underheard, underspoken, overlooked, marginalized, shadowborne and peripheral historical characters as well as dominating characters whom we wish would have just behaved differently.

Consider this possibility: imagined student Casey Florentine’s “The Mahavishnu Guide To Lows” re-tumbles history to show: Mohandas Ghandi’s foray onto LA’s Whittier Boulevard shortly before his 1948 assassination. This under-explored, imaginary episode in the 20th century post-colonial movement impacted scores of Mexican American youth, the eventual United Farm Worker’s movement, and the appropriation of South East Asian auto-mobile aesthetics into Chicano.

Writing prompts arrive to the participants via Tumblr posts including: vintage photos, new geographies, library call numbers, word image and sound from the great digital sea as well as from the ancient dewey decimal system. The final body of work will be just that: A body of work that should pop as well from a printed page as from a webpage.

Students will communicate with the instructor and each other online and will work in person altogether in two intensive sessions during the term.

About Marco A. Villalobos

Marco A. Villalobos is a freelance writer, poet, and documentary film director and producer, currently based in Los Angeles, CA. He received a Fulbright Fellowship to Mexico to develop his film project Son Siglos about traditional music and culture in southern Veracruz. He co-developed and toured the multi-media exhibit African by Legacy: Mexican by Birth and co- wrote the accompanying catalogue.

He has reported and written for Teachers & Writers, The Fader, Complex, Dazed + Confused and A Gathering of the Tribes. His poetry has been published in the United Nations Dialogue Among Civilizations through Poetry, Step into A World: A Global Anthology of New Black Literature, Bumrush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam, and other literary publications. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.

Spring 2011 Creative Writing Course:
Screenwriting

The ACTC’s spring 2011 creative writing course was taught at Augsburg College by Christina Lazaridi.

About Christina Lazaridi

Christina Lazaridi holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature and Creative Writing (Honors) from Princeton University and an MFA in Screenwriting (Honors) from Columbia University. She was nominated for an Academy Award for her work on the WWII short drama “One Day Crossing.” Her latest feature film “Coming Up Roses,” starring Bernadette Peters and Peter Friedman (Lisa Albright, dir.), is currently in post-production.

Lazaridi has consulted on projects developed for New Line and Bruckheimer Productions and has worked with Producers Eva Kolodner, Anne Chaisson, Lester Persky Productions, and Academy Award Winner Documentarian Richard Kaplan. Her screenplays have won multiple European Media Development Awards, a Student Academy Award, a Euroscript Development Award, and a Chris Kazan Memorial Award.

Currently, Lazaridi freelances as a Script Consultant and teaches screenwriting at Columbia and Princeton University and is a Screenwriting Mentor for the Mediterranean Film Institute. She has taught screenwriting and mentored writers in the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, and Greece, and at NYU, Emerson College, UCLA, SUNY, and CUNY. Lazaridi has also been a judge for The Balkan Fund, the Student Academy Awards, and the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival, among others.

Visit Lazaridi’s official website for more information.

About the Course

The spring screenwriting course will begin online, with students corresponding with Lazaridi and completing an assignment before their first in‑person intensive meetings. These will take place during two full‑day sessions on February 19 and 20, to be followed by additional full‑day sessions at the beginning of March (either the 5th or the 6th) and the beginning of April (the 2nd or 3rd). Students will then have three weeks to complete a final project, which Lazaridi will grade during the first week of May.