Debka Colson leads dynamic community-based workshops in short fiction, poetry, and memoir.
Debka has taught creative writing in the Writing, Literature and Publishing Department at Emerson College, to high school students at Meridian Academy and as a Teaching Artist through the Boston Public Library. She strives to cultivate an interactive environment in which students can express themselves freely while learning to engage with literature and writing in meaningful ways. Debka encourages her students to apply their creativity for personal insight and to explore issues and challenges facing communities today—from conflict to cooperation—using popular education training models, excerpts from literature, writing exercises and experiential group activities.
Debka Colson has also been vetted as a Teaching Artist by Lifetime Arts (see: http://lifetimearts.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/newrosterartistsfall2013/). The mission of Lifetime Arts is to encourage creative aging by promoting the inclusion of professional arts programs in organizations that serve older adults; to prepare artists to develop the creative capacity of older adult learners; and to foster lifelong learning in and through the arts by increasing opportunities for participation in intergenerational and community based programming. Debka is listed on Lifetime Arts Creative Aging Roster, a free service which provides direct access to teaching artists who are qualified to instruct older adults in community settings.
“Debka is a gifted teacher and group leader with unique abilities to manage the dynamic of a group and simultaneously advance the skills of each participant. We were certainly a culturally diverse group and her leadership enhanced the development of each voice in the workshop.” -Workshop Participant at the Boston Public Library
“I am contacting you because my residents have named YOU as (one of) their favorite professors from this year. I have the wonderful opportunity to work with these remarkable students every day in the residence halls. I would like to thank you for working with them in and outside of class and ensuring that their first year here is successful.” -Resident Assistant for STAR (Students Taking an Active Role) for a freshman floor in an Emerson College dormitory.
“This course has been the most important class I’ve taken so far in reference to actually learning how to write better. The discussions, (writing) workshops, and selection of readings were excellent. I’d recommend Debka’s class to any student who is serious about improving their writing skills.” -Undergraduate student enrolled in ‘Creative Writing: Introduction to Fiction’ course at Emerson College.
“Debka brings to her teaching a poised and accessible demeanor. She engages students. If you can’t do that, no amount of experience or credentials can make you a teacher. Debka is a teacher.” -Steven Cramer, Director, Low Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at Lesley University
Debka Colson also offers writing, planning and other creative resources for community groups, nonprofits, small businesses and educational organizations.
Debka has over 25 years of experience in writing and editing, program design and development, strategic planning, evaluation, fundraising and training for nonprofits and community organizations. She knows the challenges inherent in the development of effective programs and the importance of creating clear communications for constituents, donors and other stakeholders. She is ready to work with you in the development of your program reports, case studies, annual reports, donor communications and program proposals.
Communications: Debka will work with program staff, constituents and/or donors to uncover the stories that will best communicate your good work to a wider audience. With years of experience supervising programs in a variety of settings, she understands both the opportunities and challenges of community-based work.
Staff Training: Debka also offers engaging and interactive workshops for nonprofits, youth groups, community centers and educational institutions in goal-setting and strategic planning; program evaluation; meeting facilitation; group process and conflict resolution; community-building; and creative writing.