Erin Young Personal Essay

My love for the written word began the summer my aunt enrolled my cousins and me in the children’s reading program at our local library. The coordinators gave out gifts for every five books read. Being a very competitive person, I read so many books that I had to continue listing them on the back of the recording sheet, and they regretfully had to tell me that they could only give me ten prizes.  I didn’t mind. I had gained something far more valuable that summer: a love for books.

Since then, my passion has only grown. Even when I decided to get a B.S. in Zoology, my favorite classes involved literature, and I read and wrote during every spare moment I could find. But I didn’t actually consider a career in publishing until I was in the middle of the Peruvian Amazon reading IQ84 by Haruki Murakami in my cabin instead of exploring the rainforest. I was supposed to be taking data on capuchin monkeys, but all I wanted to do was write stories about the similarities between these creatures and hyperactive children. I decided then and there, amongst the monkeys, to change course.

When I got back from my research trip, I immediately applied to an M.F.A. in Creative Writing program where I immersed myself in the world of writing, editing, and publishing the written word. I learned that I could make a career out of my passion for reading and writing books. Now, working for DGLM, I feel I have finally stepped into my perfect role.