Hi there, I’m Heather
Personal narrative is dear to my heart. I am the author of two-award winning memoirs and creative nonfiction featured in literary and commercial magazines. I teach academic and creative writing for local colleges and continuing education programs and hold an MFA in nonfiction writing.
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 dove deep 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 of sorts, 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 schools such as Cornell, Columbia, The University of Pennsylvania, and many other top schools. 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.
CUNY Queens College
Bachelor of Arts, English Language and Literature
The New School
Master of Fine Arts, Non-Fiction Writing