Hillary Transue: Grad Assistant

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As the newly instated Graduate Assistant for the Creative Writing department here at Wilkes University, the task of maintaining The Write Life blog has been delegated to me.

That being said, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to my fellow Wilkes University students, faculty, alum, current members of the Creative Writing M.F.A. program, and The Write Life readership:

I am a local resident of the Wilkes-Barre/Northeast-PA area, I am 22-years-old, and I have just recently graduated from Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, NH with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature Studies.

Also, because of the huge contributions that Wilkes University (more specifically our beloved Creative Writing department) has made to the upcoming documentary produced by SenArt films, which premieres this week, I feel it would be impertinent not to mention my personal involvement in the film.

When I was fifteen-years-old I was unjustly imprisoned and sent to a girls camp for juvenile delinquents in Jim Thorpe, PA. My case was responsible for alerting the Juvenile Law Center, a child advocacy group located in Philadelphia, PA, to the questionable actions of former Judge Ciavarella and his heinous mistreatment of juveniles who appeared in his court room. Because of the Juvenile Law Center’s involvement and their resulting investigation into the former judge’s court proceedings one of the biggest juvenile justice scandals in our nation’s history was unveiled.

I am featured in the upcoming film Kids for Cash by SenArt Films (alongside several other juveniles affected by former Judge Ciavarella). And while it may seem as though my decision to enroll in the Creative Writing M.F.A. here at Wilkes was a calculated career move, I assure you that it was more of a cosmic coincidence, divine intervention, or some sort of profound indication of the synergistic qualities of the universe.

I have been a voracious reader from a very young age and have experimented with writing for an equally long amount of time. However, as many of us writers must feel at some point during our lives, I have never had the self-confidence in my own writing to pursue creative writing beyond writing mediocre, mopey poetry in my diary (“…it’s a journal, mom!”), and a personal blog for the entertainment of friends and family.

In fact, it was my intention to apply to Wilkes in order to enroll in graduate education classes. However, Wilkes does not currently offer graduate Education courses for students who do not already have their teaching certification. As I continued to investigate some of the programs Wilkes does offer for graduate students, I happened upon the creative writing program and something inside me—perhaps my inner authoress—demanded that I apply.

Having just trudged through the 501 residency, or “boot camp for writers” as many of the students so affectionately refer to it, I am much more optimistic about my potential to grow as a writer and I am beginning to put the title on, one sleeve at a time.

From here on I hope to fade into the background and let my writing speak for itself, but I just wanted to make note of the transition currently taking place as I become the new Editor for The Write Life blog. I look forward to generating new ideas for blog posts and interviewing the talented writers made available through the creative writing program. I can only hope to be as successful an editor as the lovely Lori A. May, whose previous contributions as editor proved to be invaluable resources for fellow aspiring writers and members of the Wilkes community.

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