Craft Your Artist Statement

Craft Your Artist Statement--Clarify the Why Behind Your Work. Person in front of cloudy sky holding ipad in front of face with the sky matching the background. Person is also holding another device which also has an image that matches the sky, and a third screen at the bottom matches the landscape behind the person. The Instructor is looking up and smiling, inside a circle on the right side of the image.

Clarify the why behind your work, and learn how to cast it in its strongest, most evocative light.

Upcoming Session:
Two Week Bootcamp–6 Hours Total

February 15 & February 22, 2024

5-8 pm Pacific Time

This is an online class.

Wordcrafters Online Studio
Zoom link will be sent with registration confirmation.

We now offer Pay From Your Heart Pricing

We want everyone to have access to our writing programs. Choose the ticket price that best reflects your financial capacity. If you need further support, please contact us at bewriting@wordcrafters.org.

Participant – $224.00 (For those with limited access to funds)

Sustainer – $299.00 (The true cost of this offering)

Patron – $374.00 (This amount supports those who need to pay less to attend)

(Members Save 10%)

Registration closes on February 8.

Members save 10% on this and other events and classes. Want to know more about becoming a Wordcrafter? Click here.

Artist statements aren’t just for visual artists and performers–to create and sustain a literary career, writers need them too! 

As you progress in your writing life, you’ll likely find yourself figuring out how to make a living at it. Grants, fellowships, and residencies, as well as teaching classes, and presenting at conferences are all ways to make a professional writing career financially feasible. 

You’ll need to use some incarnation of an artist statement for:
  • Writing Residency applications,
  • Grant and Fellowship applications,
  • Proposals for conference workshops and classes.
  • You can even use it on your website and social media accounts. 

Your statement needs to demonstrate that you’re a thoughtful, deliberate writer who takes their work and literary career seriously. This statement speaks for you, and you want it to speak well!

While this class will primarily focus on artist statements for this purpose, your artist statement can also be a fantastic exercise to gain clarity on the why behind your work.

Over the course of these two sessions

(three hours a piece, one week apart)

  • You’ll read several artist statement examples
  • You’ll learn how they are used
  • You’ll complete a series of writing exercises to generate ideas about how to talk about your work
  • You’ll craft, workshop, and revise several drafts of your own statement
  • You’ll get individualized feedback on your statement from Lyzette between sessions
  • You’ll leave with a polished statement that is ready for use 

Participants should be computer-savvy and comfortable sharing work-in-progress with their workshop peers.

About the Instructor:

Lyzette Wanzer is a San Francisco writer, editor, and writing workshop instructor. Her work appears in over twenty-five literary journals, magazines, books, and newspapers. Library Journal named her book, TRAUMA, TRESSES, & TRUTH: Untangling Our Hair Through Personal Narratives, a Top 10 Best Social Sciences Book. Her articles have appeared in Essay Daily, The Naked Truth, and the San Francisco University High School Journal. Her research interests include professional development for creative writers, Black feminism, critical race theory, and the lyrical essay form.

Lyzette serves as judge of the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition’s Intercultural Essay category and the Women’s National Book Association’s Effie Lee Morris Writing Contest’s Fiction category. She presents her work at conferences across the country, including the American and Popular Culture Association, Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP), College English Association, Desert Nights, Rising Stars (Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing), Empowering Wom[x]n of Color Conference, Louisville Conference on Literature & Culture Since 1900, Grub Street’s Muse & The Marketplace, San Francisco Writers Conference, The Society for the Study of African American Life and History, and Southern Humanities Council. In August 2021 she produced her own two-day virtual conference, Trauma, Tresses, & Truth: A Natural Hair Conference, featuring panels, workshops, and readings examining the policing, perception, politics, and persecution of Black women’s natural hair.

A National Writers’ Union and Authors Guild member, Lyzette has been awarded writing residencies at Blue Mountain Center (NY), Kimmel Harding Center for the Arts (NE), Playa Summer Lake (OR), Horned Dorset Colony (NY), Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow (AR), Headlands Center for the Arts (CA), The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Canada, PlySpace (IN), and The Anderson Center (MN). Her work has been supported with grants from Center for Cultural Innovation, San Francisco Arts Commission, California Arts Council, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Black Artist Foundry, The Awesome Foundation, and California Humanities, a National Endowment for the Humanities partner.

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