Currently live where?
Buffalo, New York
Anything else, like website/blog/Twitter you are ok sharing?
What do you do when you’re not working on packets?
I try to make time to write stories that are unrelated to school and just for my own
enjoyment and love of storytelling. Writing for fun always calls my attention to
how much I love writing, which puts me in the spirits to work on the next packet.
However, spending so much time on the computer for school, one of my favorite
things to do when I’m not working on packets is being outside and going to the
park with my dog Sammy.
How did you hear about the Hamline MFAC Program?
When I was an undergrad at Canisius College, I enjoyed writing young adult
stories the most. After telling my advisor this, who is the chairman of the English
and Creative Writing department, he recommended the Hamline MFAC Program
to me and after looking into the program, it seemed like it was going to be a
perfect fit for me—and that definitely proves to be true today.
What do you especially remember about your first residency?
I remember being so happy to be part of such an amazing community. I was
excited to be learning from such incredible, talented faculty members along the
side of such talented peers. Everyone was so kind and funny, and were so fun to
be around. There was no competition among my peers, only genuine support for
each other. It felt like I finally found the community I’d been looking for.
Have you focused on any one form (PB, novel, nonfiction, graphic novel) or age
group in your writing? Tried a form you never thought you’d try?
My main focus was on young adult novels, but I also had the opportunity work on
middle grade, and I wrote my first picture book, too.
Tell us about your Creative Thesis.
My Creative Thesis is the first seven chapters of a contemporary young adult
manuscript titled WIN OR LOSE. It is told through alternating first-person points
of view between the two main characters, Kit and Maddie, who are running in the
school election together for student council president and vice president. They
become very close friends along the way and maybe even something more. Kit
has cerebral palsy like me—it’s very important to me to include authentic and
positive representation for the disabled community in my work.