Lindsay Olson (’07, English creative writing major) recently checked in with the department, catching us up on her considerable accomplishments. Upon graduation, Lindsay got a job right away as a children’s specialist in a small public library in Colorado Springs, CO. “For five years,” Lindsay reports, “I worked for the library in both the children’s and teen departments, and I loved every moment of it!”
But the publishing world called to Lindsay, so “when an opportunity to work for a small division of Penguin Random House came up, I jumped at the chance,” she says. “I worked in publicity and marketing for two imprints of PRH for several years before taking a chance on my own work and leaving my formal job to become a freelance editor and writer. My most exciting project was being asked to write reader discussion guides for new editions of classic spiritual writings by Madeleine L’Engle.”
In her spare time, Lindsay “probably wrote five or six novels—none of them any good. But, finally, I began work on a story that had been brewing for several years in my heart.” Two years later, that novel led to Lindsay’s first publishing contract.
Since then, Lindsay has quit her freelancing and focused exclusively on her writing life. “I’m a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), and am part of a team planning events at local bookstores in the Bay Area, where I now live,” she tells us.
Looking back on her time at SPU, Lindsay has recognized some things her alma mater, and the English Department in particular, offered her. “When I was a student, I used to chuckle whenever we heard the SPU motto (which was a lot): engaging the culture, changing the world. It was everywhere, and at the time seemed a little cheesy to me. But as I’ve moved through the last ten or eleven years, I’ve come to understand those words so differently. In the world of writing—and specifically in writing for children—the SPU motto is incredibly relevant.”
Lindsay adds that “SPU not only gave me the motto, it also taught me so much about the craft of my work.” She continues, “I’ll confess that, all these years later, I still have many of the text books I used during my time in the English Department, too. They sit on a shelf in my office, and continue to be resources of inspiration and education for me.”
In sum, Lindsay states, “I see traces of SPU just about everywhere I turn in my life!” We are glad to have served you well, Lindsay, and are proud to have helped make you a successful author.