Story No-Problems: August’s Volunteers of the Month are Julie Judkins and Audie Shushan!
Every Wednesday, a secret society meets in the 826michigan basement.
A cabal of highly-advanced writers, led by an elite team of three.
It’s called. . .Story Problems.
And, okay, it’s not secret. In fact, we’re recruiting new members for the fall! But it IS pretty illustrious: Story Problems gathers a group of teen writers for weekly discussion, free writing in the form of “open swim”, and writerly critique. These young writers are motivated, prolific, and led by a team of impressive-in-their-own-right adult writers who provide support, great ideas, and a zany sense of humor.
Julie Judkins (l) and Audie Shushan (r) are two of these three leaders. (The third is jack-of-all-trades Elissa Zimmer [VotM June 2012]. Is there anything she CAN’T do??)
Both Julie and Audie are writerly types with accomplishments under their (stylish, from ModCloth) belts. Julie Judkins is a digital librarian at the University of Michigan; she was named the American Library Association’s 2013 Association of College & Research Libraries, Literature in English & the Arts Emerging Leader. She blogs about books, libraries, and related subjects at That Klickitat. Audie Shushan is a writer and editor who will be pursuing an MFA in Fiction at the University of Washington this fall.
What’s more, Julie and Audie have lent hands to 826michigan beyond their participation as leaders of the Story Problems group. Audie is an EXCELLENT copyeditor who has earned the undying esteem of our Program Manager, Frances Martin, while Julie is an outreach-er extraordinaire who has helped us promote our How To Write Like I Do series of adult writing seminars as well as many other literary events.
It’s clear to all of us that Julie and Audie are accomplished ladies and huge assets to the 826michigan team. Perhaps most importantly, though, Julie and Audie are living examples of real people who love reading and writing and have dedicated their lives to pursuing those things in a meaningful way — in other words, the best possible role models for the young readers and writers who participate in Story Problems.
Dear Julie and Audie (and Elissa!), thank you so much for all you’ve done for 826michigan! We are a more creative, more prolific, more supportive, more stylish place with you around.
(Those interested in learning more about joining our Story Problems writing group for youth aged 13-18 should contact Program Manager Catherine Calabro at Catherine@826michigan.org. Write on!)