I was in the Creative Nonfiction 101 online course earlier this year, with Ashley Shelby as the teacher. This was the first writing class I have taken in over 20 years. Ashley provided me with both encouragement and valuable feedback that I used after ending her class. I took Ashley’s advice and reworked a piece that I had written in the class originally and expanded upon it.
I knew it was a long-shot, but I submitted it to the Modern Love column in the New York Times on December 4th. Last week I was contacted by Daniel Jones, the editor of the Modern Love column, in regards to publishing my piece. My piece was published in the column in the NY Times online December 27th, and the hard copy newspaper on the 29th. This is my very first publication and I am beyond excited and thankful for it. I would never even have read the Modern Love Column had it not been for one of the writing assignments Ashley gave us, which was an essay from the column. That started me reading the column and listening to the podcast weekly, as well as watching the Modern Love short films that are now on television.
Thank you to Ashley Shelby—her encouragement and feedback propelled me forward and I greatly appreciate that. Thank you also to Gotham Writers for providing classes online that are well done, easy to access from across the globe, and at an affordable cost to those of us who may otherwise not be able to afford to take such classes.
Happy New Year!