Hollins Graduates and their Day Jobs


Hollins Graduates and Their Day Jobs

There’s a famous story about John Lennon. They say that his Aunt Mimi told him “a guitar’s all right, but you’ll never make a living out of it.” She turned out to be wrong, but if you aspire to be a writer you’ve probably heard something similar at one point or another.  If you’ve explored our site, you know that many graduates of the Hollins creative writing programs are now published authors. But in case you were wondering, here are some examples of what kind of day jobs these talented folks have.


It’s not surprising that many of our graduates edit for all sorts of publications. Eleanor Levine ’07 says: “The Hollins MFA in Creative Writing gave me greater confidence in my editing/writing/research skills, and I’m grateful for that.” She is a medical copy editor in New Jersey. Other editors include:


As you can see, education is another field common among our alums, but they are not all professors or academics. Our graduates teach at just about every grade level, in school and out of it. Here are a few of our educators:

  • Adrian Blevins ’90. Associate Professor of English [Creative Writing] at Colby College.

  • Matthew Bishop ’12 in teaches English in Thailand.

  • Jen Coleman has been teaching English at Lynchburg College not far Roanoke, Virginia.

  • Michael Overa ’10, is Assistant Director at a tutoring company in Seattle. Besides tutoring writing and most core subjects, he provides support to tutors and consults with families.

  • Nathan Robison ’08  is a librarian in Utah.

  • Blake Maher ’11 is Executive Director at The Painted Turtle, a camp for seriously ill children and their families.

  • Will Woolfitt ’03 is an assistant professor at Lee University.


Many graduates stay in Virginia, or in the Roanoke area. Of those who stay here, some work and write in service to the local community. For example:

  • Doug Jackson ’06  works for the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s Virginia Main Street Program, where they help Virginia’s towns build and maintain strong communities by revitalizing their historic downtown buildings.

  • SH Lohmann ’12 is Program Coordinator at Blue Ridge Literacy, whose mission is to teach English literacy skills to adults and to raise literacy awareness throughout the Blue Ridge Region.

  • Aaron Fallon ‘12 is a salaried grant writer for TAP (Total Action for Progress), a non-profit in Roanoke. He writes on behalf of two of their programs: Domestic Violence Services & the Transitional Living Center. He also plans programs and program activities.


You might have already noticed that some of our grads are journalists. Many of our graduates blog; others freelance or write online (for pay!). Not to mention tweeting, tumbling, and other forms of social networking. Some even write for newspapers that come out on paper. Here are a few of them:

  • Barbara Chai ’09is a reporter and news editor for Speakeasy and The Wall Street Journal.

  • Mike Allen -94 has been a reporter at the Roanoke Times since 1998.

  • Beth Macy ’93 has been the families beat reporter at the Roanoke Times since 1989.


These days many writers find themselves in marketing. Some of our alums hold impressive PR and Marketing positions in large organizations. Others take advantage of the internet to work independently, marketing for small businesses. For example:


If none of those jobs were your cup of tea, here are a few more career options:

Are you a Hollins Creative Writing alum with an interesting career? Let us know!