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Career

Life in UMD’s Writers’ House with Christy Littrell

“I want to taste and glory in each day, and never be afraid to experience pain; and never shut myself up in a numb core of non-feeling, or stop questioning and criticizing life and take the easy way out.” -Sylvia Plath

Name: Christiana Littrell

Year: Junior

Hometown: Gaithersburg, Maryland

Major: English with a minor in Spanish

Favorite Writing Tool: Pencil, because its raw and personal

Favorite Go-To Drink: A plain latte with a good espresso, not starbucks

Q: How did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I can’t remember a time I didn’t like writing. I am also not sure if I write because it was something people said I was good at or because I genuinely enjoyed it. Nevertheless, I am a writer today. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy to write, or more natural.

Q: What does your early writing career look like?

When I was little I would write creative stories. In the 5th grade, I had an assignment to write a historical fiction. I ended up with a 30-page story. I just couldn’t stop writing. I also started journaling when I was 13 years old. Writing has always been a way for me to explore ideas, or work through thoughts that didn’t make sense. It has always been a way to express myself. At the end of the day, good writing always makes me feel fulfilled.

Q: Any favorite books growing up?

Nancy Drew, The Boxcar Children books, basically anything mystery.

Q: How did you find out about the Writers’ House Living and Learning Program at UMD?

A friend told me she was applying to this program two days before the application was due. On a whim, I applied. It was a spontaneous and last minute decision that was worth it.

Q: What’s been your favorite part of the program?

The people and community is the biggest thing I love so much about being in the Writers’ House. It is a hub of the most intellectual, interesting, diverse and smart people on our campus. I’ve met so many people who write all the time, and they are so insightful. It can be a little intimidating sometimes, but everyone is accepting.

Q: What is the earliest memory you have in the Writers’ House?

I remember at the first few events, I already felt that I was part of the community. I didn’t feel like an outsider. Even though I may not be your typical “writer” who writes every day like some students in the program, I’ve learnt a lot from them by reading their work and through workshop. There was also the open mic at the retreat, where I was blown away by the talent of the people in the program.

Q: What are the courses like?

Its mostly workshop. We would read one or two short published stories and two people would get workshopped. We would usually write what the main point in their piece is and the strengths and weaknesses.

Q: How did you feel during your first workshop?

I felt nervous and terrified when people started reading my work, because I was new to the creative writing class environment. But overall, it was cool to hear positive and negative feedback. You always come out of workshop feeling enlightened and encouraged to make the improvements people suggested.

Q: What is the English class you TA for?

ENGL292: Writing for Change. It’s a unique class because we work with freshmen students at Northwestern High School on a creative social change project that they present at the end of the year. For the class each week, we meet with the high school students and present our lesson plans to help them. We are seen as their college buddies that mentor them. It’s a mutual learning experience. The class is worth it and a cool opportunity for anyone interested in writing and working as a mentor.

Q: Any idea of what you’re going to do after graduation?

I am interested in doing communications work for a non-profit. I want to use my writing to help people, but i haven’t yet found how to do that.

Q: What’s your favorite quote?

“Let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences.”

AND

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” – Sylvia Plath

 

Audrey graduated from the University of Maryland College Park with a major in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Information Sciences. She was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. She loves to travel around the world and always has her camera ready to capture everything so follow her on Instagram @audreynwid. Her life motto is 'Don't be afraid to defy the auds, pun intended.' Her furry partner in crime is a Shiba Inu named Hibiki who is quite the model and loves to go hiking. Check him out on Instagram @hibibblekiki
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