Award-winning author Jan Ellison returned to her former preparatory school, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy on Feb. 4 to discuss her writing methods, experience and inspirations with students and staff.
Since graduating in ’83, Ellison has published the novel “A Small Indiscretion,” along with many short stories for literary magazines, including the New England Review, Narrative Magazine and The Hudson Review.
“It was inspiring to hear her story of coming into her own as a writer,” said Sarah Burrol, class of 2016 and president of the school’s Young Writers’ Society. “It made me feel better about my journey as a writer.”
Ellison told students that she submitted her story “The Company of Men” to 27 literary journals before it was accepted. The story later won her the O. Henry Award, an American honor for exceptional short stories.
Cailynn Knabenshue, class of ‘16 and president of the school’s Book Club, said that she learned from meeting Ellison that writing is hard work. “I also know that your first draft is not likely to be published without revision.”
During her stay, Ellison was able to speak with her former teachers, Katy Sadler and Sister Katherine Jean Cowan. She also signed copies of her novel for students.