In the Spotlight
Shauna Hambrick Jones
WV Wesleyan College, Academic Advisor
West Virginia Member Since: 2011
About: Shauna Hambrick Jones is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College’s low-residency MFA program. She lives in Buckhannon, WV and respectfully reminds people that WV is its own state, not part of VA any longer. Her favorite spots to read are in or near bodies of water: baths, rivers, lakes, oceans.
What do your books look like once you’ve finished reading them?
My books get “wallered”—dog-eared pages, highlights, underlines, comments, smiley faces. You KNOW I’ve read a book when I’m done. I hesitate to borrow other people’s books for this reason.
When do you find time to write?
Sometimes I go days without writing, although I love what Sara Pritchard said: “I’m always writing in my head.” Sunday mornings are my favorite times to research and write.
What do you do when you should be writing, but just can’t find the motivation?
I read. I listen to music. I try not to be too hard on myself because ideas sometimes need time to grow and mingle with other ideas. One practice that holds me accountable is monthly workshopping with two of my friends from our MFA program. We exchange work on a Friday, then workshop over dinner the following Tuesday before the Beer & Bards Reading Series in Buckhannon.
Would you like to share a project you are currently working on?
I’m revising my memoir manuscript, a collection of longer narrative pieces interspersed with vignettes.
I also co-taught creative writing for the West Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts on WV Wesleyan’s campus this past summer (and will teach it the next two summers). The West Virginia Legislature advocates for and provides funding for this program, which rotates colleges every three years. Working with twelve passionate high school juniors from around the state was a blast! They created individual chapbooks after some intense workshopping sessions. I’m proud of their courage and the feedback they provided each other. Even though it’s only autumn, I’m tweaking plans for next summer.
What is your favorite line from a book?
Poetry: “And I sang you a song that came through a trail of nerves down the generations through all we have read together and all we have remembered.” From Irene McKinney’s “To My Reader.”
Prose: “Her intellect and heart had their home, as it were, in desert places…” from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.
How has AWP helped you in your career and/or creative endeavors?
There is something in every issue of the Writer’s Chronicle that applies to my craft. The AWP conference provides a rich exposure to writers, new books, and craft talks. I leave with quality book recommendations (and many books), an iPad full of session notes, and an affirmation to continue writing.