Jeannie & Antoinëtte are in our Creative Writing division.
Jeannie Lin will be teaching Romance Novel I in our remote format. The class will begin Tuesday January 9th and run from Tuesday-Thursdays 6:00pm-9:00 pm PT (REG# 395183).
Antoinëtte Van Sluytman will be teaching Decolonizing Publishing in our Online Format. The class will begin January 17th and run until March 26th (REG#395715).
Antoinëtte and Jeannie both took some time to catch up with us and tell us a bit about themsleves, their writing, and their teaching styles.
WP: What sparks your creativity?
Jeannie: Connecting the world together through micro-threads that transcend time and space.
Antoinëtte: Creativity is like breathing to me, so I suppose the will to live, or feel alive. I love pulling inspiration from the unknowns hiding in the dark corners of the mind, and wielding the imagination to question the unquestionable and imagine the unimaginable.
WP: What do you rely on for those times it’s difficult to find the time, energy, motivation and/or inspiration to write?
Jeannie: The utter panic of deadlines.
Antoinëtte: I usually read or pivot to a different creative passion, since I happen to be an illustrator as well as a writer. My mind is usually free to wander while I sketch, whether that be rehashing different plot ideas or contemplating the death of a character while my music blasts unreasonably loud in my ears. As a creative that fashions more than enough hats, it’s the art of finding time that I haven’t quite mastered yet.
WP: What’s your favorite book and/or movie?
Jeannie: The Princess Bride. Book and movie.
WP: What’s your favorite quote about writing?
Jeannie: I hate writing. I love having written.
Antoinëtte: This quote inspired me in a lot of ways and is one I stand by to this day: “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” This isn’t specific to writing but I also love: “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”
WP: Who do you wish you could write like (or: Whose writing discipline do you wish you had)?
Jeannie: This might change with the seasons, but right now Madeline Miller.
WP: What excites you most about teaching for the Writers’ Program?
Jeannie: UCLA Extension is a part of my origin story as a writer: I took an extension course on romance writing taught by Barbara Ankrum nearly fifteen years ago. At the time, I was a high school science teacher looking to write as a hobby. That class was the first writing class I ever took and it sparked my interest in fiction writing. One thing led to another and here I am a published author looking to complete the karmic cycle by igniting that same spark in someone else.
Antoinëtte: One thing that often goes unmentioned is the value of a teacher learning from their students. I’m excited to not only have the opportunity to share my knowledge with the Writers’ Program but to also expand my own perspective of the literary world by learning from others. With every class I teach, I learn something new from students that adds to the development of the Decolonizing Publishing initiative. The reciprocation and open exchange of new ideas, perspectives, and experiences, is in some ways, the very essence of storytelling.
WP: What do you hope your students get from your course(s)?
Jeanne: I hope there’s something in there that resonates with them and gives them the confidence to know that they can write, that they want to write, that there’s little they want to do more than write…
Antoinëtte: Through the intricate interplay between history, culture, and literature, my hope is that students will develop a nuanced appreciation for the multifaceted intersectionalities of storytelling. Instead of reinforcing a singular, hegemonic monolith, I aspire to offer a more inclusive curriculum that fosters awareness amongst industry professionals and contributes to the evolution of a literary landscape enriched by a broadened perspective on writing craft. More importantly, I hope that through this course students feel better equipped to champion a new generation of literary talent as catalysts for positive change.
WP: Anything else?
Jeannie: I have no natural talent as a writer. Everything can be taught, anything can be hacked. I truly believe that.
Antoinëtte: I may or may not have a sword mounted beside my work desk (purely for aesthetic purposes I assure you).
Thank you Jeannie & Antoinëtte! Look our for more new Instructor interviews soon!