February 2015 English Major of the Month
Can you explain a little bit about Girls Write Now? What have you gained from your experience interning for Girls Write Now?|
Girls Write Now is a nonprofit organization that focuses on creative writing and mentoring programs for high school girls. As their communications intern, I get to focus on two of the things I love the most, creative brainstorming and writing, to help expand the organization’s public profile. This has really helped me connect the dots between my English major, my personal love of writing, and the ways I can use writing in a professional setting. The internship seminar within the English department has been great as well, allowing me to meet other NYU students with writing-based internships and providing key resources like resume and interview workshops.
Can you tell me about your fiction writing? What is something exciting that you’re working on?
I’m a creative writing minor, and though I’ve taken some poetry courses, short stories are definitely my favorite style. This semester I’m taking a fiction workshop with Rick Moody, and his writing prompts have been very fun but difficult – for our last assignment, we wrote a story without any adjectives or adverbs. Mine was about a boy who shoves a crayon up his nose to get the attention of a girl, but the crayon gets stuck… unfortunately based on a true story.
Is there an author who has particularly influenced you?
Last semester, I studied abroad at Trinity College in Dublin through NYU’s international exchange program – an amazing experience – and ever since then I’ve been especially drawn to Irish and Northern Irish writers. There will always be a soft spot in my heart for Seamus Heaney, who understands ghosts better than most of us ever will.
Do you have a favorite spot for reading/writing?
I love writing on trains, but only if no one’s sitting next to me. I get very shy and can’t write if someone else can see the page.
What was your experience like studying abroad in London over the summer? How has it enriched your study of English?
Studying in London helped me contextualize so much of what I’d read for English classes – just walking near the campus in Bloomsbury, you quickly find yourself in places written about by Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginia Woolf, Charles Dickens… A highlight of the summer was Michael Hattaway’s class on Shakespeare and the Elizabethan Stage, in which we’d read and study a different play each week, then see it performed at the Globe. I couldn’t have asked for a better Shakespeare experience.
What has been your favorite English class so far?
Mary Poovey’s senior seminar on Narrative Strategies was one of the most challenging classes I’ve taken at NYU, as well as one of the most rewarding. She’s an incredible teacher who will push you to think about the ways narrative functions in different genres of writing, as well as in your everyday life.
Do you have a book that you’ve read multiple times? If so, what intrigues you about it?
To Kill a Mockingbird has been my favorite book for years. Because my family is from the same area in Alabama depicted in the book, the setting and many of the characters feel so familiar. I’m so curious and excited to read Go Set a Watchman – I could not believe it when I heard the news about it.
What was the last book that you read and what is your opinion of it?
I just finished Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel and couldn’t put it down.
What do you hope to be doing after graduation?
Having had such a great experience at Girls Write Now, I’d love to continue down that road and find a role in communications or marketing that allows me to combine creative thinking with writing. Ideally, that opportunity would also incorporate female empowerment, travel, literature, the food industry, and California Wine Country into one role, if that’s not asking too much…
If you could create your own topic for an English course at NYU, what would it be about?
I’d create a course where we’d pair different wines with contemporary stories and poems, then analyze the effects each had on the other.