Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has a voice. But not everyone feels empowered to tell their story or emboldened to speak their truths.
In addition to my own writing, I am impassioned to work with writers one-on-one as an editor and creative writing coach as well as teach a diverse array of students in my fields of study, Creative Writing and Literature. Helping others champion the courage and skills needed to tell their stories, be it through fiction or nonfiction, is an immensely fulfilling role that I am honored to fill.
While I primarily grew up alongside the Gulf of Mexico in the American South, I moved often as a child. I switched schools nine times before entering high school. Being the new girl in school meant long bouts of isolation. Solitude fostered my imagination. I savored escapism—reading voraciously, daydreaming recurring storylines in my head, writing poetry and full-length books and screenplays, and directing short films on the family camcorder. Bringing my imagination to life through storytelling created a safe playground for the inner workings of my mind as I often felt like an outsider.
I graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s of Liberal Arts degree from Harvard University in Extension Studies (Concentration: Psychology; Minor Concentration: Creative Writing) and received a Dean’s Award of Achievement. During my undergraduate years, I studied as a Visiting Student at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and spent two terms at Cambridge University (St. Catharine’s College), studying Shakespearean Theatre and Theatricality and English Literature.
I also received my Master’s from Harvard University, graduating summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA and a Dean’s Award of Achievement, with the Master’s of Liberal Arts in the Extension Studies (Fields of Creative Writing and Literature). My Master’s thesis is a novel that follows three characters in search of varying definitions of freedom during the Civil War, Reconstruction and the Jim Crow South. When all three narratives collide, so do issues of racism, sexism and white supremacy, creating violent upheaval in a small southern town. My Master’s thesis has been nominated for the top prize in the field of Creative Writing.
I have had my writing published in the Harvard Summer Review and am currently co-editing an anthology on women’s resilience with Harvard instructor and published author Dr. Elisabeth Sharp McKetta. I have also worked for two years as Dr. McKetta’s faculty aide at Harvard.
I currently spend my time between my home in New York City and my late grandmother’s cabins that I’m restoring in the Southern Appalachians of North Carolina. I have traveled to all seven continents, setting foot on my seventh continent, Antarctica, in December of 2016. Learning new languages, immersing myself in new cultures, and seeing all that our planet has to offer is an endeavor that will never grow old.
My best friends are two rescue mutts, Louis Armstrong Garvin and Ella Fitzgerald Garvin (named after two of my favorite musicians, of course). When not writing, editing or teaching, I can be found walking my pups in parks during the day and taking in live music and theatre in New York City at night.