Gizelle Fletcher, Peer Consultant

Major: MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics

I have considered myself a writer for as long as I can remember. It has always been one of the things in life I felt I was good at. I excelled in English Language and Literature courses in my home town of Kingston, Jamaica; I was one of the best writers in my class. So in my freshman year of college in the U.S., when my Gender Studies professor told me to go to the Writing Center because my writing was awkward, I was embarrassed. I was ashamed to go because I was convinced that I already knew everything there was to know about writing well. Thankfully, the Writing Center eased my embarrassment and helped me identify the major technical and stylistic differences between writing in Jamaica and in the U.S.

My confidence soared. Being a good writer was important to me because I’d wanted to be a journalist since the 6th grade. I came to the U.S. for school because there were more opportunities for developing my journalistic skills here than at home. However, while exploring journalism as a career path, I realized that I could not express what I wanted in the way I wanted. This is how I came to poetry and UW Bothell’s MFA program.

The Writing Center helped me shift from one style of writing to another, and this ultimately taught me that there is more than one way to write effectively. For me, the most important thing was developing the skills and acquiring the necessary tools to help me express my ideas and communicate more proficiently. Whether I am writing journalistic articles, poetry pieces, or academic papers, my favorite parts of the writing process are outlining and revising. Knowing what I want to say helps me decide how best to say it.

I’ve been on both sides of the writing center experience. I know the apprehensions and frustrations associated with asking for help. I also know that there is no shame in getting help. Even the most experienced writers need another eye to look over their work. I can help with that.

Did You Know?

More than 8,000 of UW Bothell's 14,000 alumni live and work in King and Snohomish counties.