Hello there! I’m Jesse. Your new American best friend.
I founded Fluent the Write Way in late 2018 to encourage learners to focus on this commonly overlooked or intimidating part of language learning. Writing doesn’t have to be formal; in our digitally connected world, writing can be a blog, a post on social media, or an email to a friend or colleague. Being an English learner shouldn’t hold you back from sending that text or starting a #studygram, and I want to help you write more confidently. I work with professional learners as well, but the heart of my work is encouraging creativity in both formal and informal writing.
My career as an English teacher started long before I even realized it. When I was a teen, my aunt taught ESL and asked me if I’d like to be a pen pal to her students in Spain. I remember when my first package arrived—stuffed to the brim with letters from English learners on the other side of the world. I spent so much time reading each of them; opening the little gifts they sent me like stickers and Spanish candy. It’s one of my fondest memories of childhood, and I wrote each student back with a piece of American culture every time I received a letter throughout the school year.
Fast forward to adulthood and university classes. I studied and majored in English Language and Literature because I love reading and writing. I eventually started sending my own creative writing out into the world and have since published poems and short stories in various North American literary magazines (and have been nominated or a runner up in a few notable places—more on that below). These days, I spend most of my time working with students, burying my nose in a book or dabbling in a variety of other languages.
Speaking of languages, I didn’t find my way back to ESL until my late twenties when I started learning Japanese (and French, Russian and German at various lower levels). Japanese is my focus these days. Even with a busy husband and five kids (not a typo!) languages are a part of my everyday life now. I love to connect with others across the world and can’t believe that I waited so long to make languages a priority in my life. As a late in life adult learner (I did not grow up bilingual!), I understand the unique challenges that come with balancing life, work and learning.
…Annnnd I may be trying to save snail-mail letter writing at the same time!
Aside from languages, writing and learning, I love old things. Old houses, old books, old stuff. I live with my husband, (5) children and (6) pets in a 1925 National Folk home with French Quarter balcony vibes in the sunny southern United States. I am also known to wander around antique shops for unique old things that I can give a second life to!
Publications & Press:
- Strawberry Fields, selected by prize winning poet Terri Kirby Erickson, published in Issue 137 of Press 53’s Prime Number Magazine.
- Two poems, Birth Control & Father’s Work, published in the Summer 2018 issue of Mothers Always Write.
- Malady, a poem, published in the Summer 2018 issue of Streetlight Magazine.
- Four poems, Mothers Intuition, Writer Secrets, The Quickening & When I Climbed Trees, published in the Summer 2018 issue of Feminine Collective.
- Best, Pet Bird, a poem, published in the June 2018 issue of The Esthetic Apostle.
- A reading of Best, Pet Bird available on The Esthetic Apostle SoundCloud Channel.
- Winterhaven Park, a poem, published in the Winter 2018 issue of Apeiron Review.
- Night Stalker, a poem, published on January 1st, 2019 in The American Journal of Poetry. This piece was inspired by Richard Ramirez, American serial killer.
- Two poems, Women & Childhood, published in the Fall 2018 issue of Sky Island Journal. Sky Island’s platform is unique. Each author’s piece opens in single, read only document. To view, scroll down to find my bio, then click on each poem.
- Three poems, I am Not a Midwife, The Soothsayer & The Nap, published in the Spring 2019 issue of THAT Literary Review.
- Seashells published in the Summer 2018, Issue 18 of Black Fox Literary Magazine. Available to read online or for purchase here.
Prizes & Nominations
- Runner up in the 2017 Writer’s Atelier contest for my short fiction piece Seashells.
- Pushcart Prize Nominee for 2018 for my short fiction piece Seashells.
- Semifinalist in the 2018 Button Poetry Chapbook Contest for my short collection Junctures.
Education & Experience:
- Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature. Graduated with high honors.
- Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society Member.
- Completion and passing with excellence of 120-hour accredited TEFL course.
- Teaching experience in various fields for county health department and in private practice from 2009-2014.
- Italki tutor from March 2019 – September 2020.
- Personal experience learning foreign languages.
- Experience teaching adults and, as a mother to five children, I work well with children of all ages and abilities.