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My life as a writer began at age two and a half. I remember my dad picking me up from nursery school and explaining, as we walked hand in hand across the parking lot, that I really should consider playing with the toys there, not just watching the other children.

For four decades (including my time at the University of Pennsylvania and as an AmeriCorps service member), watching and listening played a big role in my development as a writer: I learned how to notice stories and channel them into the world. But in any good story, the characters must change, and the same is true for writers. Now I believe we must be more active in determining whose stories are heard—as well as how those stories are told and who has access to hear them.

I am honored to be represented by Carrie Howland of Empire Literary and grateful to SCBWI for bringing us together.  And, always, hopeful for the future ahead. Watching and listening will always be important to who I am as a writer--but you’ll no longer find me passively by the sidelines. I encourage you to join me in shaping our shared future together.