Short story writer, teacher, mentor
Nancy Purcell began her writing career as a six year old, writing poetry. These poems were always written to and about her absentee father. For all the years that followed she continued to write them and hand them to him on their Saturday visitation day. It wasn’t until he died and she found a box containing those poems in his dresser drawer, that Nancy understood the power of writing. However, it was still a number of years before she pursued the craft with serious intent.
At age 50, Nancy became earnest about writing and signed up for Creative Writing classes at Florida Atlantic University. She received positive feedback and the next summer, flew to Iowa to immerse herself in the Iowa Summer Program. Since then she has attended many workshops and conferences, and was selected by the NCWriters’Network to attend a Writer-in-Residence program at Peace College in Raleigh, NC. There she spent a week studying the craft, along with 14 other fiction selectees, under the guidance of Doris Betts. Doris Betts taught for many years at UNC-Chapel Hill and has been inducted into the NC Writers Hall of Fame.
Her short stories have been published in literary magazines, read on the radio, appeared in on-line literary magazines, e-zine, and anthologies. In 2000, a short story, “Sisters” was recommended for inclusion in Best American Mystery Stories by Literary Agent Nat Sobel. Her latest work, “String of Pearls,” is included in Echoes Across the Blue Ridge. More info here.
Nancy moved to westen North Carolina in 1997 and stays busy with her writing and her garden. She is the Transylvania County Representative for the NC Writers’ Network, facilitates a writers’ critique group, and mentors writers one-on-one at the local coffee shop. She teaches Creative Writing in the adult education program at Brevard College. This past year Nancy was selected as a prose judge for the Carl Sandburg Writer-in-Residence Program at FlatRock, NC.
“All my motivation comes from these mountains. I love nothing better than to help retirees put their words to paper and create imaginative stories or the history of their lives or their family’s journey to this country. Writing has helped me to re-invent myself, to realize we live many lives, and, because so many people have helped me in my writer’s journey, I feel compelled to pay it forward.”
As Albert Einstein said: “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” Nancy would add the word “forward” to that sentence.