As 2022 draws to a close, I have become immersed in those organizational tasks that signal the end of a year and the beginning of a new one. I hate cleaning out old files, physical and digital— but that last one has given me a reason to leave that dreaded task and write to you.
I rediscovered my Gotham files, my assignments and all the critiques. I am reminded of the expert guidance I received from your talented teachers. I am encouraged again by the positive atmosphere created in your classes, expressed through honest, but not unkind, comments. And I am woefully late in expressing my deep gratitude for those experiences.
My debut novel Hey, White Girl was published in November 2021. Not only were its first chapters crafted under Gotham’s watchful care in 2014/2015, but with every draft I went back and reread my Gotham lectures and worked to implement what I continued to learn from them. Thank you, Katherine Taylor and Season Harper-Fox.
My novel is a racial one. I realized I was writing about white privilege before I knew there was a term for it. The timing of when I began seeking publication coincided with the murder of George Floyd. I was told more than once that a novel like mine, no matter how good it was, couldn’t be published at that point in time, at least not by a white person.
Atmosphere Press thought differently. And as I have celebrated the first birthday of Hey, White Girl with many positive reviews and a few awards, I have also celebrated the novel’s acceptance in Black and white communities, meaningful conversations in diverse groups, and the deepening of my own interracial relationships.
So Gotham, not only have you spurred on a writer, you have fostered the beginnings of racial healing in my world.
With immense respect and gratitude,
You can learn more about Judith and her writing here.