posted September 18, 2006

Journals Publish Writing Students’ Interviews

An interview co-authored by a pair of Hope College students has been accepted by the premiere professional journal in creative writing - an honor that even their faculty mentor has not yet been able to achieve.

And she couldn't be prouder.

Juniors Bradley Haveman of Jenison and Elena Valle of Marshall conducted an interview with National Book Award-winning author Carlos Eire that will be published in a forthcoming issue of "The Writer's Chronicle," the journal of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), the primary professional organization in creative writing. The specific issue is still being determined.

"I would be thrilled to be in this publication," said Dr. Heather Sellers, who taught the class through which Haveman and Valle did their work. "I've never gotten in. It's the premiere creative writing journal."

"I am so proud of them," said Sellers, herself an award-winning writer whose publications include two volumes of poetry, a children's book, a guide for writers, and placement in numerous journals, anthologies and magazines. "It's like it happened to me, except even more so."

Published six times a year, "The Writer's Chronicle" presents essays, articles, news and information designed to enlighten, inform and entertain writers, editors, students and teachers of writing. The AWP's mission is to foster literary talent and achievement, to advance the art of writing as essential to a good education, and to serve the makers, teachers, students and readers of contemporary writing. The AWP's membership includes 400 colleges and universities, including Hope; 80 writers' conferences and centers; and thousands of individual writers.

Haveman and Valle were among the students enrolled in an internship course taught by Sellers that included responsibility for working with the college's Visiting Writers Series. Through the series, authors visit the Hope campus and read from their work in addition to interacting with Hope students, and the students individually or in pairs interviewed them while on campus. Eire, who won the 2003 National Book Award for Non-Fiction for his memoir "Waiting for Snow in Havana," read through the series on Tuesday, March 15, 2005.

The article's selection for the "AWP Chronicle" is a second recent major publication success for students enrolled in the internship course. The Fall/Winter 2005 edition of "Meridian," the semi-annual literary magazine published by the University of Virginia, featured an interview by Hope senior Kristin Olson with Kellie Wells, who read through the Visiting Writers Series on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2003. Wells's honors as a writer include the 2003 Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award and the Rona Jaffe Award for Emerging Women Writers.

Haveman is an English major whose activities have also included Student Congress, the "Opus" literary magazine, the student-organized Dance Marathon fundraiser for DeVos Children's Hospital and the Independent Music Club. He is the son of Douglas and Sheryl Haveman of Jenison, and a 2004 graduate of Unity Christian High School.

Olson is an English and Spanish major who is spending the fall semester studying in Siena, Italy. Her campus activities have also included the Gospel Choir. She is the daughter of Karen Olson of Ada and a 2003 graduate of Forest Hills Central High School.

Valle is an English and classical languages major. She is the daughter of Jose and Natalie Valle of Marshall, and was home schooled.