Debka Colson

Debka Colson
Boston, MA
Creative Non-Fiction, Fiction, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Poetry
After School Program, Assisted Living, College/University, Arts/Cultural Organizations, Community Center, Correctional Facilities, Independent Living, K-12 Schools, Library, Senior Center
I write fiction, poetry, essays and creative nonfiction. I am currently working on a memoir composed of short vignettes, and a novel set in an unnamed Latin American country. I am the Administrator (and sole staff person) for the Writers’ Room of Boston, a nonprofit organization that provides a supportive community and an affordable workspace for established and emerging writers from throughout greater Boston. I have taught creative writing as a Teaching Artist through the Boston Public Library with funding from Lifetime Arts and the Boston Cultural Council; to undergraduates in the Writing, Literature and Publishing department at Emerson College in Boston, MA; through the Brookline Center for Adult and Community Education; and to high school students in the Urban Scholars Program at the University of MA in Boston and at Meridian Academy in Brookline, MA. I received my MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University in Cambridge and have been awarded scholarships to attend the 2014 Writers in Paradise writers' conference at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida and for a 2015 residency at the Vermont Studio Center. I live in Jamaica Plain (a vibrant community of Boston) and coordinate the annual Flash Fiction Contest for JP Reads, a community-wide literary celebration designed to engage the Jamaica Plain neighborhood to join together in reading a single book by hosting an author talk and a variety of events addressing the themes in the book. I also create handmade books and journals for sale through my local independent bookstore, Papercuts JP.
As a Teaching Artist, I offer interactive exercises that inspire individuals to think about themselves, their world, and their writing in new ways. I encourage supportive engagement as a group as we work together to push the boundaries of our work. I supplement my teaching with writing samples and prompts, and encourage participants to share their work. I love to end my workshops with a public reading that offers a sample of each participant’s best work. I am available to teach a variety of workshops including Introduction to Creative Writing that touches on poetry, flash fiction and short memoir. I am also available to teach separate workshops from the beginning to the advanced level in short fiction or memoir, as well as innovative workshops combining writing, collage and simple book-making. I have worked with older adults through the Boston Public Library and through continuing education programs, as well as through prior employment in the nonprofit sector. Writing is a process. Though fully revised and completed work is an important end product, I want participants in my workshops to use writing as a way to interact with the world. In other words, I want their writing to be like the world, to remain fluid and continuous, open and playful, rather than static and fixed. Ultimately my goal is help them foster a writing practice and to offer them a chance to explore the breadth and depth of their abilities.