Nicole Hollander is available for several kinds of events including storytelling workshops, book readings, and presentations. If you would like to book Nicole for an event, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graphic Narrative Workshop
Unsure of your drawing prowess? More a writer than an artist? Or more an artist than a writer? Come to this workshop and investigate graphic storytelling in a warm supportive environment (sounds like a massage, doesn’t it?) A workshop for people who want to create a graphic memoir of their childhood convinced that their childhood was the worst or the most idyllic, their divorce or the time they were convinced they had a future in teaching cats to throw their voices. This is your chance to tell your story, an opportunity for people who like to draw and have a story they are burning to pass on but are stymied by commercial expectations of the graphic novel. You will look again at the myriad ways to tell your story. Fill your mind and eyes with the ways other writers have drawn us into their world from Alan Moore to Alison Bechtel to Aline Crumb to Art Spiegelman. From the realistic to the abstract, from the wordy to the wordless. Every student will walk out of the class with a 10 page book written and drawn. The ambiguity of writing and drawing for an unseen audience involves being seen and unseen. One can imagine they write for themselves only to discover that there is a world of people out there who react to your work in powerful personal ways, positive and negative. You are exposed and invisible at the same time.
Writing a Humorous Essay For Bloggers
Think about a humorous essay as a short account of an unpleasant incident which you have transformed through the power of language. Think of it as making lemonade out of lemons with a shot of vodka. If you have an amusing anecdote, bring that and we will work on polishing it and getting it web ready. This is a one-day workshop, 4 hours in length. Students should bring 3 accounts of unpleasant incidents in their lives and we’ll work on transforming one or more of them. Students will be jollied into reading their work out loud to the other students and instructor. Peer and instructor feedback during the workshop is strongly encouraged as well.
I Almost Remember This
A photograph is an excellent aid to memory, and will be used in this workshop as a prompt for a story. Workshop participants will bring one or several photographs. The photograph can be one that is meaningful to the participant, one that someone else provides, or a mystery photo (the one where you don’t quite recognize the people in the shot, but something haunting about them compels you to try and tell their story.) Students will write one page about the photograph and then read it to the others. I’ve given this workshop when participants change their entire direction because the story of another stirs a memory of a moment that is more important to them their initial idea. Both writing and reading students’ work is an integral part of the experience . Feedback in the form of questions from the group is essential as well. Perhaps part of the story is missing and the group asks about it, leading the writer to make additions or intriguing changes. This is a one day, three hour workshop. By the end of the workshop, students should be able to broaden the story or create a new one.
Nicole’s Author Talk: “How I Evolved From A Serious Person to a Cartoonist”
Writers are always asked where they get their ideas. The answer is everywhere you can. Read everything, talk to people, really listen (and this includes eaves- dropping on private conversations) and let everything in. Feminism was my first cause and continues to be central, and it was my entrée into the world of unfair- ness, injustice. Once you see it ,you can recognize it everywhere in every situation where it exists . This talk reflects my journey from painter to cartoonist, from investigator and recorder of my own emotional states to immersing myself in reading about politics and cultural trends and turning them into visual and written satire for a national audience. Questions that usually come up: How did you get your start? What kind of jobs did you work at? Why aren’t there more women cartoonists? Why are there more stand up male comics than women? Can you make a living being a humorist? What keeps you going? Are you happy to make art alone all day? Do you need to connect with other people? Do you need to effect change in the world? Since then, I’ve branched out into health, science, cats, fashion, culture, aliens, superheroes, spaceships, and other planets. I now feel I can give my opinion on absolutely everything. This is a 45 minute talk with an accompanying power point presentation and includes 15 minutes for questions at the end. I am perfectly happy to keep on answering questions as long as the audience is engaged.
Believe it or not Things have gotten better: Female Stereotypes in Comics
When I began the Sylvia cartoon I started collecting sexist cartoons. They were cartoons done by men about women. Some of them were contemporary, others from the 30’s, still others from the 19th century. All of them would make us cringe today. Woman in politics were universally shown as witches, sometimes in full crone regalia. There were few women cartoonists then, there are more now, but few in comparison to our numbers in the population. Because men drew cartoons there were more men than women in cartoons. Even the animals in cartoons were men. There are still very few women cartoonists and few women stand-up comics. My theory is that while women learn the language of male humor, men were reluctant to see the women’s humor. Just as a woman can wear pants and still be a woman, it’s impossible for a man to wear a skirt. On the other hand without the support of men at newspapers I would have never became syndicated nor appeared in any newspapers. Things have changed. How much? What form has the change taken? How has the disappearance of newspapers and the appearance of online and self publishing changed women’s participation? Fathers are more involved in family life than they ever were before. How has their increased involvement changed humor in cartoons? And one last thing, have you ever wondered why women depicted in cartoons eat and drink so little if at all? This is a 45 minute talk with an accompanying power point presentation and includes 15 minutes for questions at the end. I am perfectly happy to keep on answering questions as long as the audience is engaged.
Tales of Graceful Aging From the Planet Denial
Nicole Hollander’s memoir, Tales of Graceful Aging From the Planet Denial, is best experienced live and in Nicole’s own voice. Nicole begins by reading a select section from her book, then has her audience write down their own tales of graceful aging anonymously which Nicole will then read out loud. Intermixing her own life experiences along with the ones that her audience shares always provides an amazing live storytelling experience for any fan or just your average book reader. Nicole offers this book reading anywhere: at the library, in college-level writing courses, bookstores, cupcake or coffee shops, even on the street.