"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
When it came to deciding which college I wanted to attend, I was terrified. I applied to Champlain because I wanted to expand my writing skills and the Professional Writing major offered just that. Writing wasn't the only thing I wanted to do. In high school, I was blessed with teachers who really cared about me as an individual and they helped me follow my heart; I wanted to pay it forward and make a difference. I decided to do two things: follow my dreams by pursuing writing and become the best teacher I could.On Accepted Students Day, I found my niche. I was coaxed out of my anxious shell in front of a room of strangers and asked to rattle off a poem I had just written. That action alone, the ability to make me be open, made it clear there was one place I needed to be: Champlain College.The most important thing the Professional Writing program has taught me is not to pigeonhole myself. Veins of opportunity are opening up in front of us every day, and all we need to do is recognize and act on them. If there is something I want to do, there is nothing stopping me except myself and my own self-doubt. Once you dispel all that, the possibilities for what you can do are limitless. Hayley, Professional Writing & Secondary Education Double MajorWest Hartford, CTDIVISION OF COMMUNICATION & CREATIVE MEDIA
I've always known I wanted to major in journalism, if not professional writing. When I looked at colleges, my high school had a program where I could search for my requirements for colleges. Champlain was one of the first ones that came up with a writing program, so I applied. I've really liked that the Professional Writing program at Champlain is not a literature program. I'm not studying Creative Writing through an English Department; most of those emphasize literature instead of the writing aspect of the degree. With the Upside-down curriculum, I even got to take writing classes starting in my first semester.My professors here have been so close-knit and student-oriented. They're always checking in on me and sending words of encouragement. Warren Baker, in particular, has had a lot of confidence in me and helped me grow as an editor of Champlain's online zine, The Crossover, and next year, I'm going to be one of the head editors.Champlain's connections in Burlington have also made a huge difference for me. I met my boss at True Tone Studios though Career Services' internship fair. I definitely wouldn't have met him, or gained the internship experience I've had, without that opportunity. Eventually, I want to open my own publishing house and I am so grateful for all the opportunities True Tone Studios and Champlain have given me.Tori, Professional Writing MajorPleasantville, NYDIVISION 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
There aren't a lot of schools that have writing as a major, and when I first got a brochure from Champlain, I was really interested. I wound up visiting the school twice and I fell in love with it.When I first came to Champlain, I just had my self-taught knowledge of writing, specializing in young adult fiction. The writing program here offered a variety of classes in several different kinds of writing which I thought would be helpful in building up my writing in different areas so I could have a writing career when I graduated. They have technical writing, journalism, food writing, publishing and all sorts of other classes.Coming here has really taught me how to hone my skills and how to write better, like editing my own work and the feedback I've gained from my classes has really helped me accept constructive criticism better, so I'm learning skills that I can apply to the workplace.Champlain has a place for everyone and you'll be welcomed with open arms no matter where you are on campus. It's just a really positive place to be and helps you grow as a person, educationally, emotionally, and I knew that once I came here, I wouldn't want to leave. It was true.Daphne, Professional Writing MajorClinton, CTDIVISION OF COMMUNICATION & CREATIVE MEDIA
I always knew I wanted to be a writer. Even when I was a little kid, I filled journals with poems and stories. When I started looking for schools with majors in that field, all I could find were Journalism or English, occasionally Creative Writing. That's not what I wanted, though. I didn't want to confine myself to just one type of writing or even one type of study. That's when I found Champlain's Professional Writing program. I knew right away that this was what I was looking for: a program that helped you expand your horizons and try different kinds of writing, not just one.I came to Champlain in 2011 primarily a fiction writer, but three years later I would say I'm a poet, a screenwriter, a copyeditor and many things in between. I've even started my own blog, Udderly Bovine, about dairy-free living and humorously celebrating cows, as well as helping to build two other blogs for clients. The program pushed me to try all kinds of writing, even when I was sure it wasn't for me. I dreaded having to take Journalism my sophomore year, but looking back I realize that even though I'm still confident I will never be a journalist, I learned so much in that class that is applicable not only to writing but to my life as well.Because of Champlain, I know more of who I am and all I am capable of.Annie, Professional Writing MajorDanbury, CTDIVISION OF COMMUNICATION & CREATIVE MEDIA
I've known I wanted to be a writer for a long time. In high school, I became really involved in journalism and thought I would pursue that field in college.When I got an email from Champlain about the Professional Writing program, I really liked that I could take courses in a wide range of other writing genres, not just journalism. The fact that the program was both flexible and focused at the same time was incredibly appealing. Plus, a lot of students had been published before they even graduated, which I thought was amazing. I applied Early Decision without even visiting the school. I felt like Champlain was where I belonged.Since I started college, I've found new passions. I'm focused on copyediting and publishing, and Champlain has allowed me to really tailor my education towards those interests. By the time I graduate, I'll have a Publishing specialization and will have taken courses outside my program in graphic design, art and web development to make me a more valuable asset to a publishing company. I'll also have four years of experience as a writing intern; one year as a proofing/copyediting intern; and one year as an Editor-in-Chief of the College's student-run literary magazine, Willard & Maple.I've done so much more than I thought was possible because of Champlain. I can't wait to see what I'll accomplish in the future. Shea, Professional Writing MajorSanta Fe, NMDIVISION OF COMMUNICATION & CREATIVE MEDIA
I knew I wanted to go to school in Vermont. The Professional Writing program definitely drew me in because it was focused on a general sense of writing versus going into a journalism major, which sort of freaked me out because it locked me into one specific kind of writing. The writing program at Champlain seemed way more open. I could go into journalism if I wanted to, or I could do something else.In high school, I liked writing a lot of comparative analytical essays. When I came to college, I thought I was going to do that and it was going to be great, but then started to do way more creative things. I just love to read poetry, which is one of the reasons I got my internship as Editor-in-Chief of Willard & Maple, Champlain's literary magazine. My co-editor and I would help manage and facilitate the literary magazine class. We also put up a new website, got a New Pages listing for the magazine and got last year's magazine ready to publish. I also saw a lot of different kinds of poetry, and sometimes I'd use that as inspiration to write my own.Josh graduated in May 2014 having been published in at least six different magazines. He will be teaching abroad through the Japanese Exchange & Teaching Program starting in August 2014.
Josh, Professional Writing MajorShrewsbury, MADIVISION OF COMMUNICATION & CREATIVE MEDIA