Meet Our Incredible 2018 Staff

Incredible things are happening in Manhattan this summer. Besides the release of Incredibles 2, as heat and humidity descend on K-State’s campus, there is a single beacon of hope that shines on the horizon. Yep, you guessed
it: the 2018 Young Writer’s Workshop begins this coming Monday!  

The directors, instructors, and I have been hard at work preparing for the fifth annual Workshop, and we are stoked to meet all this year’s participants! While you won’t see any of them sporting capes – we take Edna Mode’s advice seriously – this year’s staff is full of super people. Don’t believe me? Scroll on to find out about their incredible lives and interests.

Zian Butler, Instructor   

               Zian Butler graduated from Kansas State University with a
BA in English (Creative Writing) in 2013 and an MA in 2015. She is a current instructor for the ENGL 415 “Written Communication for Engineers” course at K-State and a Digital Humanities Activist with the University. In the future, Z hopes to have her original poetry published along with owning more geckos, traveling the states in 2019, and eventually settling down in Australia to work with endangered species.

What is your favorite quote about writing?

“A poet can survive everything but a misprint.” – Oscar Wilde

What fictional place would you most like to visit and why?

Nnedi Okorafor’s fictional lands [Kabu-Kabu] because anything can happen!

What is one quirk you have?

I like to change up my appearance / hair color every few months! 

Gavin Colton, Instructor

            Gavin Colton is a second-year grad student entering his
final semester at K-State  this fall. He enjoys writing fiction set within the parameters of what is known as reality. Last semester, Gavin was the editor of K-State’s literary magazine, Touchstone.

What is your favorite quote about writing?

“Genius gives birth, talent delivers. What Rembrandt or Van Gogh saw in the night can never be seen again. Born writers of the future are amazed already at what they’re seeing now, what we’ll all see in time for the first time, and then see imitated many times by made writers.” – Jack Kerouac

What fictional place would you most like to visit and why?

JRR Tolkien’s “Helm’sDeep”

What is one quirk you have?

I learned to play guitar backwards at first, Hendrix-style. Years on, I still pick up right-handed guitars and confuse people.

Kenan Orhan, Instructor

           Kenan Orhan graduated from Kansas State University in 2015 with a BA in history and English. He then moved to Boston to pursue a Masters in Fine Arts (Fiction) at Emerson College. After receiving his MFA, Kenan moved to Colorado for a year to finish a story collection and start a novel. Pieces of his fiction appear in the Massachusetts Review and The Common. This week he moved to Kansas City; fingers crossed it’s his last move for a while!

What is your favorite quote about writing?

“As a writer, one is busy with archaeology.” – Michael Ondaatje

What fictional place would you most like to visit and why?

Octavia, the city described by Polo in Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, is suspended by chains and ropes over a deep void between two peaks. The homes, the buildings, the pools, the terraces, the markets, the entire city hangs over this ineffable depth with great lightness like a cloud snagged by mountaintops. I’m terrified of heights, but what a joy to live in the opposite direction of gravity!

What is one quirk you have? (Being the overachiever that he is, Kenan gave two answers instead of one).

1. I don’t like music with lyrics.

2. I talk to my dad’s dogs in different voices for different occasions.

Katy Karlin, Director

           This is Katy’s fifth year directing the Young Writers’ Workshop, and she is very excited to return to the position. She is an associate professor of English at Kansas State University and teaches courses on fiction writing and film. After the workshop, Katy will visit New York City for a few weeks to conduct research. When she isn’t teaching or researching, Katy can be found spending time with her dog and five chickens and biking around Manhattan.

What is your favorite quote about writing?

“Writing is a form of mischief.” – Stephen Sondheim

What fictional place would you most like to visit and why?

The fictional place I’d most like to visit is West Egg from The Great Gatsby because it’s close to where I’m from!

What is one quirk you have?

My quirk is that I love Broadway musicals!

Adrianna Gordey, Program Assistant

           Adrianna Gordey will graduate from K-State with a BA in
English (Creative Writing) and a minor in Leadership Studies in Spring 2019. After graduation, Adrianna is going to graduate school to pursue a MFA in Fiction; only time will tell where. When she isn’t being a student, Adrianna can be found planning programs as a Resident Assistant for K-State’s department of Housing and Dining, creating lesson plans as a Class Leader for the Staley School of Leadership Studies, or spending time with other people’s dogs.  

What is your favorite quote about writing? 

“Writers aren’t exactly people…They’re a whole bunch of people trying to be one person.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald 

What fictional place would you most like to visit and why? 

If I could visit Asgard from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and walk across the rainbow bridge, my life would be pretty complete.  

What is one quirk you have? 

I randomly sing-narrate what’s happening around me or what I am doing. Usually, I’m not aware I am doing it so feel free to ask me to stop. Because you will want me to stop. 

           In the spirit of Edna Mode, remember to never look back,
darling, so you can keep up with what’s going on with the Young Writer’s
Workshop! Follow us on Twitter (@YoungWritersKSU) and like our Facebook page: Young Writers’ Workshop at Kansas State University!

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