Erica Magrin

Erica Magrin

by Maya Shore

Gotham teacher Erica Magrin has always been at Gotham, from taking a teen class, to interning, and now teaching here.

Even before Gotham, Erica has been drawn to storytelling. She says she, “wanted to be a writer before I knew what that meant.” She would spend her time consuming stories, from reading books to seeing plays and musicals. She saw that, “There’s a need within us to tell stories, at least for me.”

Erica reflects on the Dorothy Parker quote: I hate writing, but loved having written. But she disagrees with this statement—Erica loves the writing process. From the development of new characters to putting the puzzle pieces of the plot together, Erica loves the journey. She says, “When I’m in-between manuscripts, I’m antsy and uncomfortable until I find my new thing to work on.”

Then again, she says, “Sometimes the process is a bit frustrating when the pieces aren’t coming together, when I know that they should, but it’s all a part of the process and working towards the greater end project. It’s all just part of it, and you’ll get there eventually.”

Erica writes novels and plays and gets ideas in this way: “Instead of a plot, I start with a character—who they are, and place them into a world based on who they are. I have to force myself to come up with a plot.”

With the vivid characters, her work is based on, the hardest part of writing, she says, is the “breakup when a manuscript is done, putting the character I feel so connected to away and never seeing them again unless I’m editing. I’ll never live with them again in the same way.”

Once she took the Gotham Teen class, she realized that writing is a “real thing that real people can do in real life.” This was no longer a hobby or exercise in class; it was a potential career for her.

She continued to stay with Gotham by interning. Erica looks back on her time as an intern: “I received exposure to genres and styles of writing that I was not familiar with myself, learned practical skills like organization and time management as well. New York City is really Gotham’s ‘campus,’ and I got to explore the neighborhoods while canvassing. Most importantly, I immediately felt a great sense of community at Gotham that I knew I wanted to stay a part of.”

Erica now teaches Teen classes at Gotham, such as the one she took herself. She says, “Personally, I absolutely love teaching teens. They are so eager to learn and grow in their craft, and I am so enjoying helping them to become comfortable and confident with sharing their work and within themselves!”

Besides teaching at Gotham, Erica works in the publishing industry. At Simon and Schuster, she works with independent bookstore sales—being the go-between between the publisher and bookstores across the country. She says, “Publishing is a rewarding job, especially being able to work with independent bookstores and support them.”

Erica has been working in the industry, first inspired by her Gotham teen class. She found a love for writing and now brings it to others in the classroom!