My terminal degree is an MFA in creative writing, with an emphasis in creative nonfiction. Previously, I earned an MA in creative writing, during which time I took courses in nonfiction, fiction, and poetry; my Master’s thesis was selected as Ball State University’s Outstanding Creative Project, which recognizes one graduate student per year (from all schools and colleges) for excellence in the creation of knowledge.
I have over six years of experience in teaching writing and literature courses—first as an adjunct instructor at various universities and then as a full-time faculty member at Ivy Tech. (View letter of recommendation from the English Department Chair at Anderson University, where I began my teaching career.) I have successfully worked with students from diverse backgrounds and with a variety of educational needs, including international students and English language learners, honors students, students with physical and intellectual disabilities, and first-generation and nontraditional students. Course evaluations consistently show that I connect well with students and empower them to discover their own potential. I am devoted to their success and energized by the process.
Before making a career change into teaching, I was a professional book editor, doing high-level development editing and acquisitions. My task, in-house, was to manage an entire line of books, which included drawing new and established authors to our house, pitching ideas to my publishing board, managing the budget for each project, and overseeing the process of transforming manuscripts into books—all the while working closely with the design, marketing, and sales teams. During that time, I offered my expertise at more than twenty-five writing conferences around the United States and Canada, teaching aspiring and published authors the basics of writing and publishing. When I advanced to freelancing, my focus was substantive editing and collaborative writing. I also founded and directed a successful writing conference in partnership with a private university, and the conference is still active.
Heather Gemmen Wilson is an award-winning author, having published over 20 books,
most notably her memoir, Startling Beauty. She enjoyed an exciting career as a book editor
before returning to school, where she discovered that education brings not just new knowledge
but a sense of exhilaration. Heather is now teaching writing at the college level, fulfilling her passion
to help the next generation of writers to find their voices and impact the world.