By: Sean Wesen '22
This week, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Savannah Porcelli '17. Savannah was an assistant for the Rutgers Writers House back in 2017 when she graduated with a major in English and a marine science minor. She worked for the Rutgers University Press for several years and we are happy that she has now returned to the English Department. She is also currently pursuing her major in marine science at Rutgers.
Q: Tell me a little bit about your return to the English department.
A: I actually used to work at Writers House right out of college. Between 2017 and 2019, I was an assistant for Aimee and the position before her, and the biggest project I was involved with was all the renovations of the Writers House classrooms in the basement. Then, I got a full-time position at the Rutgers University Press. Though I learned a lot about publishing at that job, I missed the English department, so when a full time position opened up this past fall, I jumped at the chance to come back.
Q: How has English or creative writing been a part of your life?
A: Reading and writing have both always been important to me. I completed the creative writing certificate when I was in undergrad, and I still write fiction when I can. I'm working on a longer project right now that could hopefully turn into a novel. But yes, I've been writing since I was a kid.
Q: Do you have any fond memories of your days at Writers House?
A: I loved doing the student creativity showcases and the award ceremonies because we got to read a bunch of student work and preview original stories. It was a great to see students perform their own work in front of an audience. For most students, that was their first time reading their work like that, so I was glad to be a part of that experience.
Q: Now that you're back, what are you most excited about?
A: I'm really excited to get back into a literary mindset. I've already exchanged a couple stories with Aimee and she's given me some suggestions on where to submit them. My goal is to get a story published in the next few months. Now that creative writing and English are again part of my day to day life, I have more motivation to send out my work.
Q: What projects are you most excited about that you're working on?
A: I would say the novel that I'm working on. I started it during NaNoWriMo. I'm really excited about that. It's a romance novel.
Q: What's one thing you wish people knew about the Writers House?
A: I would say how many resources there are if you ask for help, and how helpful the professors are. They are always ready to read your work, give you feedback, give you advice on anything from publications to MFA programs, to finding an agent. They've been through all of that so they're always ready to give you tips on how to navigate that yourself.
Q: What is one thing people may be surprised to learn about you?
A: I actually am involved with Rutgers Scuba. I've been diving since I was 14, and I got my professional license in 2017. I've been working for Rutgers scuba since about 2015 or 2016. Mostly, I assist with classes, so as soon as we can go back in person, I'll be teaching underwater basket weaving, which is a lot of fun! It's just one night a few hours for $20, and everyone has a great time (and makes a basket underwater).