Erin Calligan Mooney

Class of 2005, B.F.A Creative Writing

Erin Calligan Mooney

What was your favorite part of studying Creative Writing at UE?

The faculty. When I came to UE I was more than 1,500 miles away from home and didn’t know a soul on my first day of class. Every one of the professors in the writing department was warm, welcoming, and completely accessible. They created a safe and supportive space for creativity, dialogue, and growth that, I believe, stems from the genuine respect and admiration that they all have for each other—it’s totally a family atmosphere.

What did you experience in UE’s CRW department that feels special/unique to our program?

I was really surprised by the number of opportunities there were for me to put practical application to the skills I was gaining in the classroom. While still a student, I was fortunate enough to have had writing-related internships both on and off campus, as well as a work study helping other students with papers in the school’s Writing Center. There were also many ways to use writing to get out and explore Evansville—I volunteered in community focused programs like Writers In The Schools, and wrote a column as a local restaurant critic for the student newspaper, The Crescent.

What was your favorite Creative Writing class and why?

Short Story was my favorite writing class. It was a small class, maybe 5-6 of us; the feedback and ideation on everyone’s work was incredible. It was a class that made me really love writing, but I think it also made really understand the value in development and editing. Collaboration is such an important part of true creativity.

What are you up to now?

I’m a nonfiction editor for Little A, the literary imprint of Amazon Publishing based in New York, NY. I don’t write as much as I would like—but that’s because most of my time is spent helping other writers get published! Being a book editor is extremely rewarding and feels just as creative and personal. I’ve published every kind of nonfiction you can think of; memoirs, self-help, business, cooking, etc.. There’s no better feeling than helping an author bring their story, ideas, and passion into the world. I’ve been the editor for more than 120 books including A Beautiful Work In Progress by Mirna Valerio, Chancer: How One Good Boy Saved Another by Donnie Kantar Winokur, J’s Everyday Fashion & Faith: Personal Style with Purpose by Jeanette Johnson, Dryland by Nancy Stearns Bercaw, The Honor Was Mine by Elizabeth Heaney and three books with legendary sex-expert Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

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