Creative Nonfiction: Leaping from Form to Form by Jervey Tervalon

According to Jervey Tervalon, every good thing in his life comes from his writing and his habit of reading obsessively. He’s had the good fortune to be paid to write about growing up in Southern California and Louisiana. In total he’s published ten books, novels, story collections and memoir, as well as numerous stories, essays, articles, and poetry.

Tervalon is called a “professional teller and gatherer of stories” and “literary networker” by the LA Times, an “award-winning poet, screenwriter, and dramatist” by Simon and Schuster, and “literary sage, cultural recorder, working class hero, father” by a community blogger.

Recently he said he’s especially fond of food writing, because he gets to eat great food. However love of food has not kept him from more challenging subjects, including murder, drugs and race.  

His dexterity as a writer makes him an apt SBWC workshop leader in the area of creative nonfiction, which blends the skill sets of various forms of writing to create work that reads like great fiction, even if it is not.

His workshop at SBWC in creative nonfiction combines techniques of fiction and nonfiction. The successful creative nonfiction writer strives to incorporate what is important to him or her and then transforms those passions into a compelling narrative. 

Jervey Tervalon was born in New Orleans, but moved to Southern California with his family when he was a young boy. He received his MFA in creative writing from UC Irvine and was a Disney Screenwriting fellow and a Shanghai Writers Association fellow. He is cofounder and literary director of Pasadena LitFest and teaches fiction writing at the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara. His latest novel is Monster’s Chef, published by Amistad/HarperCollins.

Jervey Tervalon cropped and edited for blog.PNG