Monday, March 01, 2010
Many students come to Washington College hoping the writing program will help them achieve their dreams of becoming published authors. For Jenna Moore '12, that dream became a reality during her first year of college, when Dorrance Publishing Co. printed The Creators: Book 1, The Universal Wars. It's the first book in a series she began writing in 7th grade.
"I've been writing since I was really little. I actually wrote the second and third books first, and then went back and wrote the first to fill in some of the basics you need to know about the characters going forward."
She started the series while daydreaming during class; her 7th grade English teacher encouraged her to keep writing and offered feedback on Jenna's work. When the drafts were finished, Jenna's parents urged her to get them published.
"I'm kind of shy about promoting my work like that," she said, but her dad found a list of publishers to approach and the first, Dorrance, wanted Jenna's story.
"It was really surprising, actually. I was so overwhelmed that they said yes!" Jenna said. "I'm hoping this one will do well so they want the others."
Her fantasy series isn't the only thing the creative writing student has in print. As a finalist in a 2006 International Poetry Society contest, two of Jenna's poems were published in an anthology, "Forever Spoken: Centers of Expression."
Jenna chose to attend Washington College because of the opportunities to develop both her fiction and poetry.
"My parents and I were always thinking academics first, and there's really no better place to go for writing," she said. "The teachers are really helpful. I think my poetry's better already."
Another important factor in her decision was Washington College's Division III athletic program. Jenna wanted to attend a school with a strong swimming program that would still allow her to pursue her other interests. "If I really wanted to write," she reasoned, "I needed the flexibility of a D-III school."
Given that flexibility, Jenna also joined the varsity rowing team. If that sounds like a lot to juggle, it is. In college, "It's tougher to find time for writing, especially with two sports," Jenna admitted, but that hasn't deterred her from working on the next books in her series.
"Writing is a good release for me, to get away and relax and not think about studying or races or anything else," she said. And if she doesn't get to write as often as she'd like, it's because she's taking advantage of so many other opportunities at the college.
"I can't imagine fitting anywhere else."