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lafayette writers' studio in Lafayette
I foundedthe Lafayette Writers’ Studio because I wanted to create a comfortable, nurturing environment in our community where writers of all levels could go to hone their craft, find support, and improve their
work. I am thrilled by the privilege of working with writers. I truly want
to help each of you become the writers you want to be.
During my first job out of college I taught high school English in the small working-class town of Streator, Illinois. I loved discussing Night with ninth graders and reading Romeo and Juliet, but somewhere during that year I realized it wasn’t enough to discuss other people’s fiction—I wanted to give life to my own. And so I began to
write in earnest. I took classes and went on to earn an MFA, even
publishing my first collection of short stories, The Longest Pregnancy in 2006. Yet short stories by themselves have never been as compelling to me as the project I recently completed--a novel
titled Glory Days that is forthcoming in fall 2017 from the University of Nebraska Press.
Throughout the composition of this book, I have had a strong sense about these characters and the way their lives intersect. This is very different from my previous process, and I believe part of the success of this project is the result of the students I have had the good fortunate to work with. Teaching writing while actively writing is terribly exciting.