Meet Our 2016 Staff

Goodness gracious, this is one toasty Kansas summer. But I’ve heard the Beach is perfect this time of the year. And guess what, starting Monday, our young writers will be setting up shop in the always temperate Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art! Our instructors, the program director, and I are seriously looking forward to joining them, to say the least. But before we kick off our third year of the Young Writers’ Workshop at Kansas State, let’s take a moment to formally introduce everyone.

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Zian Butler, Instructor

Zian graduated with her Master of Arts in English (British and American Literature) in the Spring of 2015 at K-State. She was born in Texas, but raised in Puerto Rico for 13 years, before moving to Manhattan, Kansas on July 3rd, 2002. She has a 5-year-old son named Ethan who loves bedtime stories. She is currently working with poetry and digital humanities project as a part of her instructor position at Kansas State, and is looking forward to being a YWW instructor!

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?

Just sit down and write; don’t wait for inspiration and always be willing to revise your work!

What book did you love when you were 13?

The Teddy Bear Tree by Barbara Dillon

What is your favorite summertime activity?

I really enjoy sleeping in a cozy room in the summertime!

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Kirsten Hermreck, Instructor

Kirsten is a former 8th grade Language Arts teacher and is currently working on her M.A. in Children’s Literature at K-State.  Though she loves all types of Children’s and Adolescent Literature, her favorite book series of all time is Harry Potter.  In her free time, she enjoys hiking, binge-watching Netflix shows, and playing with her dog, Rowdy.  She is very excited to be an instructor this summer at the Young Writers’ Workshop!

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?

Writing is messy.  Work through the mess and keep writing!

What book did you love when you were 13?

The Redwall series by Brian Jacques

What is your favorite summertime activity?

Traveling to new and interesting places 

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Brian McCarty, Instructor

Brian McCarty is an instructor for K-State’s English Department, and he is also a returning instructor for the Young Writers’ Workshop. When he’s not writing poetry, he enjoys hiking, hiking, and hiking some more. He really enjoys hiking. He looks forward to a second year of being wowed by the talents of unbelievably creative young writers.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?

The best piece of writing advice I ever received was to avoid clichés and abstractions. The universal can be found within the particular. Expressing your own insights and experiences will resonate with others in ways that abstractions never will.

What book did you love when you were 13?

I wasn’t much of a reader during my early teenage years; instead, I sat for hours in front of the TV. As much as I hate to admit it, my favorite show was Saved by the Bell.

What is your favorite summertime activity?

See above reference to hiking. My recent hiking trek in Yellowstone and the Tetons was a real high point.

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Katy Karlin, Director

Katy Karlin is an Associate Professor of English at Kansas State, and she writes fiction. This is her third year directing the Young Writers’ Workshop and she is excited about working with the young writers!

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?

Keep a notebook!

What book did you love when you were 13?

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

What is your favorite summertime activity?

Participating in the Young Writers’ Workshop! And swimming.

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Hunter Gilson,Program Assistant

Hunter Gilson is a recent graduate of the Master’s program at Kansas State, and he worked as an instructor during the Young Writers’ Workshop’s inaugural year. He’s pleased beyond belief to be returning!

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?

Ideally, every sentence will serve a story in multiple ways.

What book did you love when you were 13?

Although I never made it past Eldest, I really loved Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle.

What is your favorite summertime activity?

This summer, sitting in front of an A/C vent.

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Keep checking back as the week progresses, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

-Hunter Gilson, Program Assistant

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