"Like the lion from The Wizard of Oz, I needed courage. I've always loved writing but never considered it as a career because I didn't think I could 'make it.' I realized that writing was the only thing I was passionate about, and so I took the plunge and came to Champlain declared as a Professional Writing major. The program has made me confident. I've now decided I want to work on scripts for the film industry and write cookbooks. I once wasn't brave enough to consider myself a writer, and now I'm secure enough with my ability to consider pursuing multiple fields.
"When I studied abroad in London during the fall semester of my junior year, I took a travel writing class that opened my eyes to my transformation as a writer. We were reading famous pieces about traveling, and then had to pen our own pieces attempting to emulate the style of the original. I tried my hand at writing like Jack Kerouac, using On The Road as inspiration, and got phenomenal feedback about the final piece. When I started at Champlain I barely thought of myself as a writer, and by the time I was studying in London, I was comfortable enough to try writing like Kerouac! I was always a writer--I just needed the confidence to act on it."Lauren, Professional Writing majorPortland, ORDIVISON OF COMMUNICATION & CREATIVE MEDIA
I have spent the most exciting three years of my life joking with authors, traveling to Ireland, building my website, founding a company and speaking to a crowd about my experiences as a writer. Champlain doesn't tell you how to write, nobody can. Anyone who claims to know all the answers, hold all the secrets, guarantee a quick trip to the top of the New York Times lists, anyone who makes those claims, is a liar.
There's a saying in the writing world, both famous and infamous "Show, don't tell." The writing program at Champlain shows you how to write; it never tells you. Because of what I've been shown, I have an online following, my own media company, and a job as a media consultant. I led a workshop at the Burlington Book Festival the same event I cavorted with authors at during my first year. Within my first few weeks in Dublin, I was stopped on the street by two people who recognized me from my website. I signed an autograph for them, and I haven't even graduated yet. The kicker? The impetus for the site came from the very first class I took at Champlain. Even from the very beginning, the college sets you up for success.
After I graduate, I plan on working in publishing. Because of my time at Champlain, I feel incredibly optimistic about my future. Hey if people across an ocean recognize me, I must be doing something right.
Jeremy, Professional Writing majorPeaks Island, MEDIVISON OF COMMUNICATION & CREATIVE MEDIA
I chose the Professional Writing program because writing was the only thing that I really felt confident doing. I hadn't thought about what I liked to write or what I could potentially do with it. After running the gauntlet of Professional Writing courses I don't think a traditional English program would have helped me the way this one did. It forced me to see beyond the romantic vision of a life-worn hermit pumping out novels and understand the many different ways that I could make a living with the written word.
This program helped me to envision what my interests and passions could amount to when combined with the unique skill-set that I have as a writer. I took my love of poetry and compiled my first chapbook, submitted to magazines, read my creative work in public, and now I'm actually editing a literary magazine. Snowboarding is a huge part of my life, so I decided to create the kind of snowboard magazine that I want to read. The first issue goes to print this spring! I now understand that, with my writing skills, I can design my own career, break rules, push boundaries, and surround myself with the things I love. With that knowledge and the same confidence in writing that I had at the start, doors keep opening, and I keep finding new ways to cultivate my good life with good work.
Evan, Professional Writing majorStrafford, NHDIVISION OF COMMUNICATION & CREATIVE MEDIA
When I entered Champlain, I wanted something that would combine my love for writing, photography, and travel. Over the last four years, I've not only found my voice as a travel writer, but I feel ready to finally enter the real-world. Champlain's only student-run news source was in print. Most students access their news via the web; so in 2011, one other student and I set out to fill this void. By October, The Current Beat launched. In December 2012, the College's newspaper, The Champlain Current, printed its last issue, and I became an Editor-in-Chief of Champlain's only news source.
The same year I co-founded The Beat, I started Chasing Dream Balloons, a goal-setting and travel writing blog that follows my journey to inner-happiness, while encouraging others to set goals and complete their bucket lists. Champlain gave me the tools to make my blog successful. I've learned how to navigate through different blogging platforms and how to properly use social media to my advantage. I now have close to 200 followers!
My blog would also be nothing without my traveling experiences. Champlain really pushes studying abroad, and the College has made it possible for me to travel to seven countries, including Jordan and China, while knocking some items off my bucket list along the way. The travel opportunities and the ability to create Champlain's online zine and a blog of my own have prepared me for my future in a way I never expected, and it's something I'd do all over again if I could.
Abigail, Professional Writing MajorBangor, MEDIVISION OF COMMUNICATION & CREATIVE MEDIA