Abigail Shannon Kern
I attended Webster University, graduating in 2011 with a BA in English, Creative Writing, and minors in Religious Studies and Japanese.
My focus in school was to take a broad range of classes that exposed me to new ideas and always sharpened my critical thinking skills. As a creative writing major, I also took constant writing workshops, which taught me how to both give and take constructive criticism. I learned how to craft excellent prose at the sentence level, and how to spot phrases that just didn’t work, or whose meaning was unclear.
In addition, I worked in Webster’s writing workshop, where I helped brainstorm, structure, and edit writing of all kinds. This is where I was able to learn and implement many different styles, including MLA, APA, and Chicago.
I also spent one year studying abroad in Suita, Japan, at Kansai University. While I was there I studied the language and culture of Japan, and also focused on exploring the country and figuring out how to survive so far from home. This helped me learn networking skills (it’s hard to rent an apartment in a foreign language without a little help) and communication across language and culture boundaries.
After school, I moved around a bit, and had a beautiful red-headed daughter, Amadea. Because of my location in a very rural town, I looked into remote freelance work, and also chose to pursue an online Master’s degree. I found Full Sail University’s creative writing program, and took it on (while pregnant!) This program focused on writing for visual media, and it taught me exactly how stories are structured and why that works, as well as where and how to play with the form to innovate. This degree program culminated in a full-length feature film script. I graduated with my master’s in 2013.
My freelance workload has included writing for [one]missouri.com. I have completed several ghost writing projects for short novels. I have also helped write and edit social media for small businesses.
In conjunction with freelance work, I have worked as a substitute teacher for several school districts. Substituting is always a new challenge, as every day I have to interpret and implement new lesson plans while improvising around the inevitable problems that occur in the classroom. It has made me a better communicator, as I must connect with students of all ages, and a better problem solver, as something will always go wrong during the day, no matter how well you follow the plans.
Currently, I split my time between working freelance, substituting, and raising Amadea and Robin, my two-year old son that I call my young Puck. I have chosen part-time and remote work so that my partner and I can keep the children at home while juggling work schedules. However, as they are getting older, I would like to enter a challenging new career. I am eager to find opportunities to fill out my resume and portfolio with relevant work experience and prove my worth.