About Pam

About Pam

Fellow Writers:

The first story I remember having written was about a horse.

I have this picture in my memory of a tiny, brown, lined notebook. I was in fourth or fifth grade sitting at my desk at school, and I opened the little book (it fit in the palm of my hand) and re-read the two- or three-sentence story that I must have written the night before. I’d drawn a primitive picture of a horse on the top of the tiny page. The story probably had a title, too. But I don’t remember what it was.

The first class I ever taught was made up of imaginary children who sat next to that same school desk. I seemed to always finish an assignment quickly, while much of the rest of the class was still working, so I would turn and teach the lesson to my “students,” until one day the teacher caught me and told me to stop.

Fast forward many, many years, and I received my BA in Journalism from Temple University. I didn’t become a journalist, though. I became an independent writer and editor for education and business publishers. Then I decided I wanted to teach (for real this time).

I returned to school at DePaul University and earned an MA in English, with a concentration in teaching writing. I taught college writing at both Loyola and DePaul universities in Chicago and for the Illinois Writing Project, until I secured a full-time teaching job at DePaul, where I helped develop a new writing program.

A bunch of years later, I earned my MFA in fiction writing from Vermont College (now Vermont College of Fine Arts).

Once graduated, I began developmental editing for a number of publishers and – joy of joys – began teaching fiction workshops in the living room of my Chicago apartment. I also taught workshops for the Ragdale Foundation, an organization that supports the arts with low-cost residencies for writers and other creators.

I continued writing as well. Over the years, I’ve published both short fiction and non-fiction. Much of the non-fiction has been about my relationship with animals, both domestic and wild.  I’m currently completing the second draft of a memoir about my six-year relationship with an extraordinary horse. Oh, I’m also a professional animal communicator. Yep.

Now that I’ve moved to a semi-rural area outside of Chicago where I can be close to my two horses, my workshops are online. While I miss the intimacy of workshops in my Chicago living room – the close circle of chairs, the mugs filled with coffee or herbal tea – Zoom is a wonderful platform that has allowed me to lengthen my reach, to work with people from other parts of the country, other parts of the world – both in workshops and in individual coaching sessions.

Over the past 25 years or so, as a writing instructor, workshop leader, developmental editor, and writing coach, I’ve helped hundreds of writers find and strengthen their voices; more fully understand the writing process; dig more deeply into their craft; and explore, structure, and refine their work.

If you’re wondering “Why Winged Horse?” it’s kind of a long story, beginning with the fact that I was called awake one night, right after graduating with my MFA, called out of a deep sleep, the name Pegasus on my lips.

But the short version is this: Pegasus, the flying horse of Greek mythology, was “owned” by the Muses. The story goes that he was a source of inspiration for them – the Muses’ muse.

It feels right to keep him close.