The year was 1993-ish. I was 13 and in the 7th grade. Ms. Brice, my Science teacher, was making us all enter a state-wide “Drugs are a Drag” contest, and we could choose to make a poster or write a poem. I hated drawing, so I wrote the poem.
And the poem won.
I was hooked. I joined my high school student newspaper, provided commentary for the local city paper, wrote for and took over my university’s paper, and even landed a byline in the Washington Post.
September 11, 2001 changed journalism (ask me how sometime), and I transitioned to radio. There are three types of people in radio: the first type is the consummate pro who has found his or her true calling; the second type is the college kid interning or there for the experience; the third type is the second type who thinks they’re the first type but just got old. I did not want to become a Type Three, so back to college for a new path.
I have my MA with a Gifted and Talented license endorsement. I have been a teacher for 13 years and currently teach middle school. Among other things, I created a Journalism elective, publishing the first and only student-run news source for our school district. I also sponsor the after-school Creative Writing Club. I don’t use a bullhorn or cattle prod, and the kids actually like me. Most of the time.
Praise for Kate
“Great voice throughout—we really get a feel for the main character and his attitude. The Ordinary World section really draws me into the story from the first words. Amazingly powerful story.”
– Judge 1899
“This story evokes much emotion. The staccato prose style is effective. The curt ending has a strong sense of resolution and is memorable.”
– Judge 1504
“The methodical nature of this narrative lent itself nicely to how the main character is connected yet disconnected to the life he’s living.”
– Judge 1739
“Wow! What an amazing story. You have an incredible voice, and the story is crafted masterfully. Your word choices are precise, and your sentences beautifully balanced. I was enthralled from start to finish.”
– Judge 1943
“You’ve created a very compelling story of love, shame and desire. This dripped of the tragic nature of some fairy tales. It was moving and made the reader really feel for Yerazu.”
– Judge 1774
“You write like fireworks, and I want to clone you.”
– My university newspaper editor
“Your work is like a literary version of The Oatmeal.”
– The poor guy who teaches next door to me
“Will you edit my doctoral thesis?”
– My principal
“Yeah, it’s fine.”
– My best friend