Kristen Millares Young is the author of Subduction, forthcoming on Red Hen Press in spring 2020. She is Prose Writer-in-Residence at Hugo House, a nonprofit hub for writers. An essayist and journalist, her work has been featured by the Washington Post, the Guardian, the New York Times, Crosscut, Hobart, Moss, City Arts Magazine, Pacifica Literary Review, KUOW 94.9-FM, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Miami Herald, the Buenos Aires Herald and TIME Magazine. Her personal essays are anthologized in Pie & Whiskey: Writers Under the Influence of Butter & Booze (Sasquatch Books), a New York Times New & Notable Book, and Latina Outsiders: Remaking Latina Identity (forthcoming on Routledge).
Kristen was the researcher for the New York Times team that produced “Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek,” which won a Pulitzer and a Peabody. Her reporting has been recognized by the Society for Features Journalism, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Kristen has been a fellow at the University of California at Berkeley’s Knight Digital Media Center, the Jack Straw Writing Program, and the University of Washington Graduate School.
Hailed by the Stranger as one of the “fresh new faces in Seattle fiction,” she graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in History and Literature, later earning her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Washington. She teaches at Hugo House, the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference and the Seattle Public Library. Kristen serves as board chair of InvestigateWest, a nonprofit news studio she co-founded in the Pacific Northwest. InvestigateWest’s reporting has led to the passage of fifteen new laws to improve the environment and the lives of foster families, people of color caught in the criminal justice system, health care workers, and advocates for government transparency.
Teaching philosophy: What do powerful writers know? They know that personal experience – each human being’s subjective perception of the world – is the single largest factor for determining how that person views the world. What do powerful writers do? They take their lived experience and, using both recollection and imagination, transform it into words that compel others to feel what the author has found and portrayed. What do powerful writers discover through careful examination of their work? They learn that their characters and plots often reach for epiphanies unfounded by the scenes provided in their narratives. That recognition compels writers to seek revelations from other sources, whether readings or workshop commentary, and to revise their work, again and again. In revision awaits transformation. Why does writing matter? Writing teaches us to understand the world around us. In turn, it helps us to be understood by others. There can be no greater hope.
Writers I return to: Come to my class. We’ll get into all of that and more. Or you can take the easy way out and check out my instagram @theyoungbolt, but I’ve only been posting book covers for a few months now.
Favorite writing advice: Ass in chair.
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