Finding Your Voice: 5 Questions for Charlotte Gullick

“Cultivate gratitude and embrace process – if we can see the positive in our writing lives, we’re so much likely to feel empowered to begin or return to the page..” -Charlotte Gullick

Charlotte Gullick is Chair of the Creative Writing Department at Austin Community College. She holds BA in Literature/Creative Writing from UC Santa Cruz and a MA in English/Creative Writing from UC Davis as well as a MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her awards include a Christopher Isherwood Fellowship for Fiction, a Colorado Council on the Arts Fellowship for Poetry, and residencies at MacDowell and Ragdale. She is the author of the novel By Way of Water. For more information about Charlotte, check out her website: http://www.charlottegullick.com/.

On Saturday, November 5th, Charlotte Gullick is teaching a class for the WLT called “Finding Your Voice in Nonfiction. In this class you’ll learn how to develop a distinct voice and tone in nonfiction writing.

Here’s what Charlotte had to share with us:


Scribe: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you write? How did you come to writing?

Charlotte Gullick: I write because its grounds me and it also allows me to stay anchored to the place and people I come from: a town of 200 people in Northern California, where the natural world is as much a character as any person. I started writing because when I was at community college, missing my family, I slowly came to realize that stories could be how I integrated my past with my future. And for this upcoming class, we’ll do some exercises on thinking how WHERE we come from is part of our writing voice.

Scribe: In your own work, how do you approach overcoming the challenges that come with writing, be it writer’s block or craft or business-related challenges?

CG: The whole writing experience is fraught with challenges, I think, so cultivating gratitude for the assets already in my life is essential. I am grateful for words, narrative, experiences, people, community, revision, metaphor, a well-paced line.

Scribe: Has there been a moment of epiphany in terms of your work, when you thought, “This is it! Now I know what I’m doing?” How long did that feeling last?

CG: I have had a few moments where I surprised myself with my own phrasing—but those moments are so fleeting, that I try, instead, to focus on the other things writing gives me: people, language, connection.

Scribe: What piece of advice do you find yourself giving to writers again and again?

CG: Cultivate gratitude and embrace process – if we can see the positive in our writing lives, we’re so much likely to feel empowered to begin or return to the page. Additionally, being grateful for drafts has taken me so long to accept – but since we get the opportunity to explore, revise, hone, over and over, let’s embrace that process!

Scribe: What is one thing that people will take away from this class?

CGI think folks will have a more practical understanding of voice, and how their unique experiences can help them express themselves on the page. Plus, we’ll go over some simple but powerful strategies for increasing the precision of voice.

Thanks, Charlotte!

Click here to learn more about Charlotte Gullick’s upcoming class.



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