Q: When did you first think that you wanted to write professionally and it was not just something you enjoyed doing?
A: When I was in 5th grade students were asked to write down their dream professions. Under my yearbook photo it says ‘author.’
Q: Why did you choose to study Creative Writing? Did you consider other possibilities?
A: To be completely honest, I didn’t have a backup plan. Writing has always been one of the only things I’ve felt confident in. I attended the UArts Pre-College program and fell in love with the school.
Q: What were you looking for when researching different schools/colleges? Where did you look? What made you choose UArts?
A: The Pre-College program made my decision for me. Throughout high school I took many visual arts classes, so when I found an art school that had a creative writing degree I knew it was the place for me. I wanted to be surrounded by an artistic community and I wanted to write.
Q: Did you have an opinion about Philly at all before? How did the school’s location in Center City affect your decision to attend?
A: I fell in love with Philadelphia when I was on a field trip in 4th grade. The cobblestone streets, Isaiah Zagar’s murals, cherry blossoms covering historic alleyways… The city charmed my 9-year-old self and that day I knew I’d end up in Philly. When I found the UArts table at a college fair my junior year of high school (a fair I only attended to get out of class) I signed up for the next open house.
Q: What was the first writing piece you made at UArts? Describe the piece you've written that you're most proud of?
A: Many of my first pieces were poems I will never look at again. My short story “Dark Water” was the first piece I wrote and was truly proud of. It was the spring semester of my freshman year and the first time I felt like I was finding my voice. I think I have evolved as a writer since then, but this piece was a crucial moment in my development. I am still happy with it almost two years later.
Q: What is one of the most valuable experiences you have had at UArts so far?
A: The fiction workshops have been the most beneficial experience I’ve had at UArts so far. These few hours of talking only about students’ writing is where I’ve learned the most. You learn what you like, what you don’t like, what works, what doesn’t. Having a safe space to work through writing challenges is my favorite thing about the UArts Creative Writing program.
Q: Can you talk about the community of peers and/or instructors that you encountered at UArts and if they were notable in any way?
A: The reason this program is so great is all due to its professors. I’ve never encountered such caring and involved instructors before my time at UArts. They truly want you to succeed and will help you get to where you’re trying to go. I’ve also made great writing friends through the program. Having a few writers whose work I respect in my life has been so beneficial to my writing process.
Q: Where would you like to take your Creative Writing skills/degree in the future?
A: The dream is a published collection of short stories. I’m also hoping to attend grad school after my time at UArts. If in 10 years my day job relates to writing in any way I would like to think I’d be happy.