Thursday, September 22, 2016

Meet the Instructor: Jenny Chen

The ‘Meet the Instructor Series’ offers insight into the teaching styles and personalities of our instructors. This time around, we spoke with Jenny Chen, the leader of How to Pitch Magazines and Sell Your Work, an online beginner-level class that will run from October 15 through November 5, 2016.

The Writer’s Center: What brought you to The Writer’s Center?

Jenny Chen: I took my first class at The Writer's Center many, many years ago. It was a class for high school students on fiction, taught by Barbara Esstman. Since then, I've attending Writer's Center events and have always felt grateful for its presence in the D.C. community.

TWC: How would you describe your teaching style?

JC: Encouraging and specific. I like to help people enjoy the process of writing and to give specific, actionable feedback.

TWC: What are you reading right now?

JC: A lot of Junot Diaz.

TWC: What are you writing right now?

JC: Poetry and essays.

TWC: What does your writing space look like?

JC: I write all over the place and I travel a lot, so my writing space is generally a coffee shop with a notepad. I'm happiest when I'm minimalistic.

TWC: What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given and by whom?

JC: Oh dear . . . so many good pieces of writing advice and I can't even remember them when asked. My brother, who is a visual artist, always challenges me to be more concrete and specific in my writing, and has absolutely transformed my writing in a way that no writing teacher has ever done.

Jenny Chen is an award-winning science and health journalist. Her writing has appeared in publications such as The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Shape, and Marie Claire.

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