I started writing stories and poems (most of them about dogs and horses) when I was 7, the year my 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Frick, gave me a blank notebook and told me I was a writer. That simple gift continues to shape my creative and professional work: I am inspired by the sense of possibility I felt when I opened that notebook and by my gratitude for my teacher’s belief in me.
Though I enjoy writing poetry and personal essays, I consider myself primarily a fiction writer. My concentration in graduate school was on fiction writing, and much of my work is sparked by character. My stories usually start with the voice of a character, and I love to explore and develop their internal worlds and relationships. I am particularly inspired by the complexity and confusion of adolescent characters. Lately, I am channeling that interest into work on a middle-grades novel. My passion for reading and writing grew from the books I read as a child, so children’s literature is where I find my magic. I am also interested in reading and writing about parenthood, popular culture, and feminism.
My goal as an educator is to help students discover the source of their own magic and grow more confident in their own voices. To that end, my courses are designed to guide students in the development of an effective writing process, including prewriting, drafting, review, and revision. In that way, I hope to empower students the way my teachers empowered me.
I am proud to have spent most of my career teaching in Meredith’s English department. You can learn more about my courses and the English department on our webpage or our Facebook page. If you are interested in creative writing, please also check out our professional writing minor and our scholarship for creative writing, the Louise Shingleton Shivers Scholarship.
M.A., literature with a concentration in creative writing, North Carolina State University, 2000.
B.A., English and Spanish, Appalachian State University, 1997
Director of Summer Writing Camps
Administrator of Louise Shingleton Shivers Scholarship
Faculty advisor, POETS club
“The Power of Magical Forests through the Photography of Ellie Davies and into 20th-Century Middle Grade Fiction,” SAMLA Conference, November 2015
First Place, John Foster West Creative Writing Contest, Appalachian State University
First Place, Women’s Concerns Writing Contest, Appalachian State University
Alpha Phi Honors Fraternity
Cold Mountain Review, “Out of the Woods” (short story)
Brightleaf Review, staff writer
Imperfect Parent, “Pieces” (personal essay)
Momformation, weekly contributor (blog)