With two teachers for parents, I trace my experiences as a writer and a private writing instructor back to my childhood dinner table, where my parents both patiently worked with me and taught me everything I know. More formally, I began tutoring one-on-one in high school and did so throughout college and graduate school (where I received my MFA in Fiction Writing), after which I launched my tutoring business. Throughout that time, I developed individualized worksheets and curriculum for students of many different ages, from a wide range of backgrounds, and who were struggling with diverse writing and reading-related issues. All the while, I let one belief guide me: that every student’s unique strengths are actually the key through which a good teacher can patch the weaknesses. As such, I now have a wide body of worksheets and exercises that employ a diversity of approaches to help just about every kind of student out there. Now, I run a college and graduate school application consultancy called, Just Start Applications, for which I focus exclusively on helping students master the personal essay and short answer format to effectively tell their stories. Often, at the end of our time together students have significantly improved their writing skills and their confidence levels have risen to boot. All the while, I have launched and maintained a successful freelance writing business and continue to work on my own fiction, all of which keeps me in and around the craft of writing, aware of the many nuances and struggles that go into writing a great essay, story and more. I am as passionate about writing as I am about education and sharing my knowledge and experiences. I can’t wait to do so here!
As a private tutor, I have the luxury of tweaking my teaching style for each student’s personality. That said, I would say I approach my students with a belief in their abilities, with humor and with patience. I am a big goofball, and like making worksheets that are filled with the kind of tongue and cheek, self-deprecating humor that kids love. Creativity is the name of my game.
Writing Awards: Texas Observer: Honorable Mention in 2012 Fiction Contest Lorian Hemingway: Honorable Mention in 2012 Fiction Contest Glimmerrain: Top 25 placement in Fall 2011 & Winter 2010 Very Short Fiction Contest and 2009 Short Story Contest In the Snake Magazine: Finalist for the Summer 2011 Elephant Prize for Short Fiction contest Best New American Voices Anthology: Nominated for inclusion 2008 University of Washington: Recognition: Joyce Waddell Scholarship for Talented Writers, Appreciated tutor at Student Athlete Academic Services University of Rochester: Honors & High Distinction in English Phi Beta Kappa Dean’s List Golden Key National Honor Society 1st & 2nd Dean’s Places for Creative Writing Hollister Prize for Contributions to English Department
Seattle University and Laura Rogan’s Wired for Reading Program, 2010: Introductory through advanced courses in reading instruction. MFA in Fiction Writing, University of Washington, 2009 Dual BA in English (Creative Writing) and Brain & Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester, 2006
I love Roald Dahl, and seek to emulate his career. Also, I am a big fan of Swiss cheese. Ask me about it sometime.