Audrey Taylor Ward

I grew up in Orlando, Florida. My earliest memory of literature and the almighty power of the written word is being toted to the Orlando Public Library by my mother, my older and younger sister in tow, and spending hours of our summer afternoons there, filling backpacks and, when those were packed to capacity, our little arms full of as many books as we could carry.

After that, my older sister's kindergarten teacher would let me take books home from their classroom library, and it became my favorite part of walking with my mother to pick her up from school every day.

In ninth grade, I had my first taste of creative writing in English I Honors. My teacher assigned us a free-writing exercise after we read the Odyssey. I can't for the life of me remember what fanciful tale I concocted about Odysseus and his epic, but I do remember Ms. Holt's note to me in the very top of the margin: "You have a flair for dialogue!"

And thus a writer was born.

Since then, I've written 3 novels, endless essays, articles, and thinkpieces, and more than a few pieces of poetry that should probably never see the light of day.

I have yet to find a problem that a good writing session can't fix.