Meet Minna Dubin, one of the latest additions to WritersCorps’s staff of dedicated teaching artists. This year, Minna is teaching at both Hilltop School and the San Francisco Main Public Library. We asked Minna about teaching, writing, her hobbies, and her advice to young writers.
Name: Minna Dubin
Her favorite thing about teaching for WritersCorps: “I love the diversity of youth I get to work with. I am teaching youth ages 14-22, from all over San Francisco, from many different high schools and colleges. Some speak almost no English, some can write beautiful descriptions that blow my mind. All of them have great stories to tell.”
How she deals with writer’s block: “I talk to my friends about not being able to write. Usually, through the conversations about what inspires me and excites me, I have an ‘a-ha’ moment and can begin again. Another thing I do is attend a literary event, because more often than not, something that’s read will inspire me to stop moaning and groaning and start typing. ”
What she likes to do when she isn’t teaching or writing: “I love watching good movies, cooking big pots of hearty food, reading novels of people with messed-up lives, biking to the ocean and back, talking on the phone with my long-distance friends.”
What she is currently reading: “‘Tasting Freedom: Octavius Catto and the Battle for Equality in Civil War America,’ by Murray Dubin and Dan R. Biddle (Yes, Murray Dubin’s my dad). A lot of it is about free blacks, race relations, and the struggle for rights in Philly during slavery times. Learning the stories that cradle the city in which I’ve spent most of my life inspires and feeds my writing, which is about the racial nuances that inform(ed) my experiences growing up.”
The best advice anyone has ever given her about writing: ” ‘Honor newborn writing. Treat it with care and respect so it can grow.’ From Caryn Mirriam Goldberg, Poet Laureate of Kansas.”
Her advice to aspiring young writers: “Tell your story. Fearlessly. The world is waiting. And you never know when your story is the one it’s been waiting for.”