November 27, 2015
Writer Amber E. Box ‘15 is a recent graduate of SNHU’s online bachelor’s in English Language & Literature. She’s already found significant success in her field, much of which she credits to creative writing courses online in her degree program. Her SNHU experience — and her desire to further strengthen her skills — led Box to enroll in the master’s in English & creative writing program. Read on to learn about her academic and professional journey.
Wow. Yes! The last year has definitely been a whirlwind. I graduated with my BA in English Language & Literature, with honors, in July. I’ve had a few publications in journals, including 1:1000, The Penmen Review and Poetry WTF. I was also picked up by KCL Publishing for two of my children’s books, and my third one came out (self-published) September 28th.
In addition, I’ve been spearheading the Scribes Anthology Series, and our second edition, “Trick or Treat,” came out October 1st. The proceeds from this book go to the Salvation Army-Phoenix, so I am really excited to be a part of the project. I’ve also been sitting on the editorial board of Vimfire Magazine, a literary journal created by SNHU student Danielle Kellar in 2013.
Recently, I developed and co-taught a creative writing workshop for my local homeless shelter, and I also just landed my very first teaching position. I’ve been doing editing for a global human rights firm and professional blogging for a high-end real-estate marketing firm. To top it off, one of the academic papers I wrote during my program was picked up for presentation at a national conference in April. I am beyond excited to get to represent SNHU in Virginia next year!
In so many ways! For one, it gave me the confidence to pursue a path that, while very close to my heart, seemed to be put on the back burner for so many years. The solid background in writing helped me to hone my skills in a way that gave me the freedom to make this a career path and not just a hobby. I loved my undergraduate program so much, that I am starting my master’s in English and creative writing at SNHU as well.
I have three children’s books out: “Bees and My Sleeves,” “Missy Moo and the Big Visit” and “Missy Moo and the Big Boo.” I worked on the Missy Moo series with a super talented SNHU alum, Christine Tribou. She did all of the beautiful illustrations and really helped bring Missy Moo to life.
I also have contributed to and produced two anthologies: “Around the Fire” and “Trick or Treat.” I have several short stories and poems that have been published in anthologies, on websites and in literary journals. I do have a couple of novels in the works, but I have found that I much more enjoy writing shorts. I like the challenge of packing a lot of emotional punch in a short space, so I’m working on a collection of short stories that really pull at the darker emotions that we tend to bury away — fear, anger, lust, etc.
I started writing as a child, but it wasn’t until I struggled with severe nightmares that I really thought of it as anything serious. I used a journal to chronicle these nightmares, hoping to better understand them or at least why I was having them. From there, I never really did put the pen down.
But life handed me a different career. I spent 14 years in the medical field in various capacities. While I did enjoy it, circumstances drastically changed for my family in 2013 when my mother became very ill. Despite the challenges that entailed, it provided me the perfect opportunity to go back to school and change my life. Caring for her and three small children prevented me from taking the traditional classroom route, and that is how I ended up at SNHU. SNHU provided me with not only the degree plan I wanted, but the capacity and the support to make it happen, no matter what challenges arose in my life.
My creative writing internship was instrumental in helping me build my confidence and leadership skills. It also provided me a platform to further my writing practice and build editing experience.
My undergraduate thesis courses were an incredible foundation to my goals. They not only provided me with the knowledge I needed to succeed in the academic field, but also the ability to think outside the lines and the courage to pursue unusual ideas.
Finally, my advisors, particularly my undergraduate advisor, Brianna Torpey; my career advisor, Charise Wilson; and my graduate advisor, Haley Pickford. Brianna recognized the need I had for intense support, and she never let me down as I continued through my program during some of the most challenging times in my life. Charise picked up as soon as I graduated and was paramount in helping me to perfect my resume and even land my first teaching job. Haley has already been instrumental in helping to tailor my graduate program to meet my specific needs and goals. I definitely could not have traveled this journey without their support, and that is why I am so grateful for my experience at SNHU.
Do it! If writing is your passion, then SNHU has your back. They are affordable and have a great variety of creative writing courses online and programs. I truly believe that no matter your circumstances, SNHU has the support, networking and, most of all, the compassion to help you meet and exceed your goals.
Tujiza Uwituze, a SNHU-Kepler alumna, joined four representatives from the University and Kepler, at Sandbox ColLABorative's first Sandbox Speaker Series: University Innovation in Rwanda.
You're committed to going back to school and know there will be challenges along the way, so what are some things you can do before you start to make you more likely to succeed?
SNHU is proud to be a part of the XQ "Super School" prize, as a partner to RISE High, a new high school that will focus on serving homeless and foster youth in Los Angeles, Calif.