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Hi there, I’m Heather

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Bio

Personal narrative is dear to my heart. I am the author of two-award winning memoirs and numerous creative nonfiction pieces featured in literary and commercial magazines, such as Salon.com and Huff Post Personal. I began my career as a freelance writing coach in 2016, mentoring novelists and essayists. I worked for three years as a Writing Consultant for SUNY Old Westbury, helping undergraduate and graduate students across all disciplines of academic writing, and as a Creative Writing Instructor for various colleges and high schools. 

A few years ago, when a local college asked me to run a College Admissions Essay Workshop for their admissions program, a new avenue opened to share my passion for narrative writing. To prepare for the course, I did a deep dive  into the genre, researching the various ways to help writers succeed. What I didn’t prepare for was how connective the experience would be.

Not only did I find myself surprised by the immense enjoyment I experienced helping college bound writers create what I see as "mini-memoirs," I found my help was invaluable to them. Many came to the course feeling clueless, or worse, with the sense that they had little to say: that they were boring— like the student who insisted he had no aha moments, had never overcome obstacles, had never been influenced by a person or idea, had zero interests or hobbies, and did “absolutely nothing” with his free time but hang with his friends and watch anime.

“Tell me about anime,” I suggested.  

And so he did.

Four drafts later, following my mentorial and editorial program, he held in his hands a moving and anything-but-boring essay that spoke of his passion and knowledge of the fascinating storytelling form, replete with his own anime storyline depicting his move from Korea to the US, and the “outsider” feelings he overcame that drew tears from my eyes—and helped get him into his college of choice.

 

Since then, I have helped many more writers identify their personal stories and have guided them to draft essays that are meaningful, authentic, and successful, gaining them entry into the schools of their choice. I am grateful for the trust these writers have placed in me, and for sharing their sometimes heartfelt, sometimes transformative, sometimes funny, sometimes insightful, and always uniquely genuine essays.

I look forward to helping you with yours.

An Excerpt from a Happy Mentee:

If right now I had to write my life in anime, this would be my story line: A young boy moves from Korea to America and feels like an outcast. When he is nine, he discovers anime which gives him the courage to overcome social fears. This breakthrough soon changes his whole view of the world. He begins to understand that he does not need to change to meet others’ expectations of himself, only his own. He begins not to care what people think of him. Ultimately he begins to teach people not to be afraid to express who they are.

Education

CUNY Queens College

Bachelor of Arts, English Language and Literature

The New School

Master of Fine Arts, Non-Fiction Writing

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