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Five Questions with New Instructor, Kate Senecal


1.) When did you know you wanted to be a writer?


I started writing stories when I was very young, maybe seven or eight, and when I was ten I wrote a play that I performed for my neighborhood with my friends. I gave up writing for a while afterward, but remained an avid reader, thinking instead I would pursue drawing as a career. I wanted to be an illustrator. But in high school, I had a wonderful English teacher who reignited my love of writing and I never looked back.


2.) What do you love most about the writing process?


I love how surprising it can be. I always come into a story with some arrogance, thinking I know what it wants to be or that I can it clearly before I have any words on the page; but the process always takes my imagination places I don't plan to go. I also love the puzzle of it. I have to write things a few ways before it feels the way I want, and often this work feels REALLY hard. So when I get there, the emotional reward is huge. I feel writing offer the full spectrum of experience: it's joyful sometimes, sometimes it's really fun, but it's also intellectually challenging and satisfying and therefore the most gratifying thing I do in my life.


3.) What do you love most about teaching writing?


I find the creative process so fascinating, and in my experience everyone's process is different. It's exhilarating to me to see how other people's imaginations work, to witness what stories matter to them, and to really get inside the inner workings of a narrative, thinking alongside other writers. I learn so much from teaching, and because of this work I am always reading original, super compelling and incredible work by other writers! I feel so lucky.


4.) What are you reading right now?


I just finished "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow" by Gabrielle Zevins and loved it. I blew through it in three days, and then wanted to immediately start over again.


5.) What's your favorite writing quote?


“I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” Joan Dideon


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