Careers in Writing Arts Self Evaluation

1.  List your personal strengths and weaknesses (responsible, procrastinator, creative, etc.).

       Weaknesses: Procrastinator, easily stressed or distracted
       Strengths: Creative, imaginative, open minded, observant, persistent.

2.  List important or related courses you have taken.

       College Composition (I and II)
       Creative Writing (I and II)
       Introduction to Writing Arts
       Fiction Writing
       Writing Children’s Stories
       The Writer’s Mind
       Communication Theory
       Journalistic Writing
       Magazine Article Writing
       Writing, Research, and Technology
       Evaluating Writing (in progress)
       Writing with Style (in progress)
       Special Topic: Careers in Writing Arts (in progress)
       American English Grammar (summer 2012)

3. What is your major and specialization? What is your overall cumulative GPA? In your major? How many credits have you taken in your major?

     Major: Writing Arts with a concentration in Creative Writing
     GPA: 3.444
     Credits: 101 completed, 19 currently in progress for both the spring and summer 2012 semesters.

4. Do you have a minor or coordinate major? Explain.

5. List hobbies, activities, interests, especially those related to your major.

     I am an avid reader and something of a bibliophile.  For every book I finish reading I’ll buy 2 or 3 more.  I will probably never finish reading every book in my collection, as the odds are stacked against me.  Though I am generally interested in any sort of well-crafted, inventive novel (outside of romance and westerns) I have a special place in my heart for fantasy, science fiction, and horror.  I have a soft spot for nature, especially animals, and I try to learn something new about the world every day—did you know that polydactyl cats (or cats with more than 18 toes) were nicknamed ‘Hemingway Cats’ after the author’s fondness for them?  His former home in Florida is now a museum and a refuge for the descendants of his beloved double-pawed cats.  I am awed by the ocean.  The summers of my youth were spent on a 25 foot Bayliner called the C Ottor, on which I learned the wonders of the nautical world and the joys of seafaring.  I am always inventing, and consider myself a literary alchemist.  Though I’m not exactly an artist, I often doodle monsters in class and I’m really not half bad.  I have an unhealthy obsession with all scaly creatures, from milk snakes and leopard geckos to dinosaurs and dragons.

6. List all the offices you have held in clubs or writing associations.

     In high school I was a member of the literary magazine, Lit Mag… inspired, I know.

7. Do you hold any special licenses?

     I hold a boater’s license and can successfully captain small yachts and dinghies without sinking.

8. List special skills. Have you served in the military? Have you ever published? What computer programs are you skilled in?

     Several stories of mine were published in “Lit Mag,” including Normandy, Molly Maiden Name, Deep Subject, and aEYE, the last of which won the Reader’s Choice Award for best prose piece of Lit Mag 2008.  Saturday Night Special was published in the spring 2011 issue of Avant.

9. List the types of writing you do the most.

     Mostly short stories, along with a few flash fiction pieces.  I am currently collecting information for a novel I plan on writing in the near future, though the task is daunting and my time is limited.  My short prose almost always leans toward horror or the grotesque, while the few novels I have rotting on my hard drive are fantasy and scifi for young adults.  I prefer to write about the impossible, the improbable, and the downright bizarre.

10. List awards, honors, academic or otherwise.

     National Honors Society in high school.  Dean’s List through several semesters of college.

11. List special programs in which you have participated.

     From third to tenth grade I was an avid member of the 4-H Small Animal Club, which met at a friend’s house every Tuesday evening.  We would learn and teach each other all that we knew about pets, ranging from small farm animals, to reptiles, to cats and dogs.  Much of what I now know about taking care of animals comes from this club.  Because of 4-H, I can successfully raise (and teach others how to raise) cats, geckos, snakes, frogs, toads, rats, gerbils, bearded dragons, a large variety of fish, some small parrots, finches, chickens, ferrets, cavies, and rabbits.

     In 2007 I was selected to be part of the People to People Student Ambassador program, along with forty-something other outstanding high school students from around southern New Jersey.  Our adventure took us to the eastern coast of Australia, where my fellow delegates and I traveled south from Cairns to Sydney on a three week educational excursion on which we learned about the founding of Australia, the history of the Aborigines, and all about the flora and fauna unique to the country.

12. List charity work.

     My 4-H club would volunteer at the Farm Fair in Lumberton for four days each summer.  We also brought our pets to visit the elderly in nursing homes.  Just this past September I was a foster parent for the Animal Sanctuary Society after dozens of kittens were rescued from a hoarder house.  I had the kittens for about a month—the smelliest most poop-filled month of my life—and I wouldn’t change a thing.  All four kittens were successfully adopted out to loving homes.

13. List any scholarships you have received.

14. List key projects and roles you have played in them.

     4-H involved several community projects, namely helping to set up for the Farm Fair every summer.  From setup to take down, I would normally put in about 50-60 hours of work each Fair.

15. List all jobs you have had (dates, length if employment, promotions, responsibilities, title, etc.) Note: it’s okay to say “Summer 2010” and not list specific dates.

     Worked at a Gamestop from November 2006 to April of 2011.  Currently working at Petsmart in the Pet Care department, where I am responsible for the well-being of all of our animals.

16. Describe the kinds of employment you seek (rank order of your top three job goals)

     a. Fiction writer
             i.  Novelist
             ii.  Freelance writer of short stories
     b. Editor of both fiction and nonfiction for magazines, publication houses, etc.
     c. Reviews for books, movies, or locations

17. List three people who can recommend you and how you have been associated with them.

     a.  Jennifer Pudlo, a close friend and former boss.
     b.  Cheryl Otto; my mother, my biggest fan, my worst critic.
     c.  Lisa Jahn-Clough, professor at Rowan University and author/illustrator of books for children and young adults.

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