Member Profile - Tessa Hargreaves
Here at NOWW, we think it's time to get to know each other just a little better!
Each year we're growing and growing! Our membership is well over 100 members
and it can be hard to know who's who! Have you ever wondered who that speaker
was at a recent Reading event? Or were curious about who our members actually are?
Well, Welcome to Member Profiles! Let's get to know each other!
First up! Let's meet Tessa who recently wowed us at the
September Reading at Waverly Library!
How long have you been a member of NOWW? For about one month, but I attended some events before I became a member.
What do you normally write? I write mainly poetry, but would love to one day write a YA and/or Fantasy novel.
And what’s your favourite book? My favorite book is also my guilty pleasure: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Let’s get to know you a bit better. Tell us a bit about yourself!
I decided I wanted to become a writer around grade 6 or 7. This is when I started writing Newsies fan fiction and planning novels about a group of high school students who very much so resembled the Backstreet Boys. I wanted to be the next S.E. Hinton. I still have all these stories I wrote. I was definitely not the next S.E.Hinton. I studied English in University and that was when I started to write a lot more poetry. It was a bit of instant gratification between assignments. Poetry seemed to come more naturally to me than other forms of writing and I would study it whenever I got the chance. Now, three kids later, I still love poetry and plan on one day writing a great Canadian novel … though the Backstreet Boys probably won’t be in it.
What’s your writing like?
When I had my twins, seven years ago, my life became too cluttered and my mind too exhausted to write. It’s only been within the past year that I have started to make an effort to write again. Now I am trying to find my voice and refine my writing skills. I am posting small poems on Instagram. Growing up I was embarrassed of my desire to write and self-conscious of my ability, so putting my stuff out there for the world to see is a big deal. I tend to write a lot about writing. For me, writing is always personal, even if the stuff I am writing is not. I am working on a book of poetry that I think I am going to call “Her.” The title is significant because I had trouble letting go and getting in a headspace where I could be completely free and vulnerable with my words. It was only when I stopped writing in the first person and started writing in the third person that I was able to give myself enough distance from my poetry to put all of “me” into it.
And what are some of your favourite things and inspirations?
I grew up loving Anne of Green Gables, Little Women and anything by Jane Austen. I also love YA fiction; the Abhorsen series by Garth Nix, Harry Potter (unsurprisingly) and The Hunger Games are my favourites. I don’t like my books too dark or too sad, but I love my poetry dark and sad. I guess I can only take it in small doses! I love poetry from Allen Ginsberg, Leonard Cohen, Sylvia Plath, Mya Angelou and Langston Hughes. I like poetry that is political; that has something to say. I tend to be turned off by stuff that is too pastoral or too flowery, so while there are moments in poets such as Whitman and Frost that I love, there are also moments that I glaze through it.
Can we see you at any upcoming NOWW events? I am excited to go to the Readings where I get to perform my poetry! I plan on attending all the NOWW events, but will probably only make it to about half.
Where can we learn more about you and your writing? I post some of my poetry on Instagram under Tessa.leee and on Facebook under my actual name.
And to end things off, tell us something surprising about yourself! I am self-conscious about my spelling and grammar and will sometimes type random letter combination into my phone or computer to make sure my spell checker is still working.
If you would like to be featured in a member profile, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or find Jodene Wylie at the next NOWW event.