Constance Sherese Collier-Mercado

My time spent in the two Live to Write workshops taught by Raina León have been instrumental in the development of my upcoming book projects. Her four week “Agent to Your Truth” class offered a sense of community unparalleled while challenging me to dig deep into the objectives and goals of my still-in-progress poetry collection. I found myself thinking more clearly about the statement I want to make with my work and the impact it will have toward a larger conversation. When these concerns at times began to feel overwhelming, Raina was always available to offer one-on-one consults as well as Saturday office hours during her eight week class. Across the combined twelve weeks I spent in her company, she has been nothing but generous with her time,wisdom, energy, and personal resources. By the end of our two sessions, I had built up the beginnings of a solid press kit, refined a project proposal and residency packet which I’ve used to apply to several prestigious writer’s conferences, bolstered my confidence in the power of my own voice and work, made lasting connections with agents, editors, and other writers in the class, and hopefully found a mentor and close friend in Raina herself. I would be remiss if I did not mention that one of the best parts of these workshops has been my ability to watch and learn from the rigor and dedication with which Raina approaches her own creative work. She is the kind of writer who keeps me inspired in the belief that we really can do all of the things we’re passionate about without sacrifice. I encourage everyone to study with her if they can!