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  • Annie Marks

Say Hello To Our New Tutors | Part II

Hey there, it’s Annie again! I hope you’re having a great start to this new month. A couple of weeks ago, I promised to continue our “Fast Facts About the Writing Center" series by introducing you to six more of the new tutors here at the Writing Center. These new tutors are so excited to meet you and contribute to your growth as a writer!

Danielle Brown is studying English Writing and hopes to become a lawyer.

Who is your greatest writing influence?

My biggest writing influence would be my first grade teacher, Mrs. Barlow! She showed me how amazing the world of literature is and inspired me so much through the years!

What is your favorite style of writing?

My favorite style of writing is expository writing. I love to be able to learn something while I’m reading for fun!

Matthew Drew is studying History with a minor in English Writing. His dream is to become a history professor, museum curator, or park tour guide.

Who is your greatest writing influence?

S.C. Gwynne is my greatest writing influence alongside other journalists and narrative historians like Alfred Lansing, Nathaniel Philbrick, and David Remnick. Gwynne’s ability to create an engaging narrative around historical events and concepts inspires me to follow his lead, and his book Empire of the Summer Moon is a must read for aspiring narrative historians or anybody interested in westward expansion in American history!

If your writing process could be analogized into a movie, what movie would it be?

If my writing process were a movie, it would be The Prestige. Most of the film confuses the audience with a bunch of different and scattered stories until the final few scenes, and I can relate to that confusion whenever I am writing. During most stages of my writing process, I have almost no clue about the direction of my paper. While writing my first draft, I normally include several different portions of related information without any clear direction. Only at the end of my first draft do I finally understand my thesis. Like The Prestige, my writing process pulls me along a bunch of different points and then reveals its main message at the end.

Ellie Kendall is majoring in English Literature with minors in TESOL and Marketing. She aspires to work in children’s publishing.

What is your favorite word?

My all time favorite word is wonder. It can be a verb, as in "I wonder what life is like there" or it can be a noun, as in "eyes filled with wonder" Both meanings show how the human mind is always grasping for something more.

What is your favorite genre of writing?

Satire has always been a favorite of mine. I love the way a good satire writer can make you laugh and think with the same words.

Isaac Ting is studying Pre-Physical Therapy. His goal is to one day open a gym with a Physical Therapy clinic in it.

Who is your greatest writing influence?

Jason Marz. Yes, I know he’s not a writer (well he is of sorts.) I remember listening to a Jason Mraz interview over the radio (do people even use those anymore?) about 10 years ago and they asked him how he was so good at communicating with his audience, and he said that he treated it like he was having a conversation with them. That stuck with me. I don’t know why it did, but it did. I started writing for fun, firstly in the form of letters and I found myself writing as if I were having a conversation.

What are some of your favorite words?

“Nolus Pralel”

I came up with this phrase. I forgot how I did, but I looked into the etymologies of some words. This phrase captures the essence of realizing that our own fascination with beauty is one that is fleeting; looking upon that particular moment of fascination with nostalgia while being in the present moment.


This is from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, and it describes me to a T. It describes the feeling of being in a social gathering, but not participating in it, yet enjoying being there. As they put it, “feeling blissfully invisible, yet still fully included”.

Sophia Tusant is majoring in English Writing with a minor in Biology. She aspires to be a Supreme Court Justice.

If your writing process could be analogized into a movie, what movie would it be and why?

I think Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel really sums up my process. That movie is like a fever dream- not to say I only write when either dreaming or fevered- but there are so many constantly moving parts that seem chaotic and disconnected (or flat out random), that the viewer can’t always tell if the movie will come together. But it does. Eventually the pieces slide together, and even though your favorite character is dead, you realize that you needed to kill them off to make the whole thing work.

What are some of your favorite words and why?

Yikes. That isn’t one of my favorite words but I use it a lot. My favorite word is probably “yet” because it gives you something to anticipate. The sentence or event or whatever isn’t over. Whether it’s used as an adverb: Nothing has happened yet. Or as a conjunction: She didn’t like his penmanship, yet she loved the words he put down. Yet is like a mini cliffhanger.

As you already know, I’m Annie Marks! I’m studying English Writing and Psychology, and I hope to work as a forensic psychologist.

If your writing process could be analogized into a movie, what movie would it be?

My writing process is similar to The Florida Project. The movie appears to lack a plot and theme for the first forty minutes or so. But, once the plot becomes clear in the second half of the movie, the viewer learns about a major social issue they probably didn’t know existed. Like The Florida Project, my writing begins as a jumble of ideas that completely lack a central theme. I write draft after draft in an attempt to combine those ideas together. By the time I finish my last draft, my writing conveys an insightful message to the viewer.

What is your favorite genre of writing?

Although it may seem cliche, I love writing blogs! When I write blogs, I have total freedom to express myself as a writer. I don’t have to meet the requirements of a writing piece assigned by a professor or write in an academic tone. Instead, I can choose the topics I want to write about and even talk directly to my readers (Hey guys!)

I encourage you to stop by and get to know each of these new tutors a little bit more before the semester ends!

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