writing portfolio.

I began writing when I was 5, perhaps 5 ½. My mother kindly allowed me to order a journal, lock included, from a Scholastic Magazine. I say “kindly” because I am sure I asked her no short of twenty times. I wanted to write about life, about people, and about what I was learning as I started school and my world opened, bit by bit.

I kept adding to my journal collections and now, at almost 30 years of age, I have a volume for nearly every year of my life. I’ve recorded feelings, observations, and occurrences. More pointedly, I recorded family dramas, heartbreak, falling in love, and loss. As I wrote, I was better able to understand myself and how I could relate to the people around me. Always a people person, I also developed a knack for asking questions and learning about people’s stories.

My story, I realized, was true and valued, particularly in the context of other stories, too. They are bound to each other – meaningful because they co-exist – and so eventually, my writing encompassed these stories and how they influenced my life.

My portfolio captures how I’ve processed memory, exchanges, and cross-cultural relationships. A great deal of my work has been influenced by the places I have been and the places I have lived. My formative years were in both Colorado and Arkansas, however, I integrated strongly into Rwanda, during the Peace Corps, and so the intensity of teaching and living abroad is an experience that extends into the words and pages I still use.

I have spent most of my writing career in the realm of writing about faith, culture, travel, and relationships on my blog. However, the diversification of my writing has come to life in the last couple of years, with features on various online publications and other blog hosting sites, most recently, on LoveBoldly, an organization that seeks to promote conversation and dialogue among peoples within (and outside) the LGBTQ community. I am anxious and thrilled to dive deeper in these topics – especially since I am now an “out” woman – and writer.

I have also used my passion for writing in my professional life, starkly relevant in my career with The Women’s Bakery, a social enterprise committed to empowering women through business and education. I’ve written a portion of the curriculum for women’s groups in East Africa, and have included a sampling of this design, and also regularly contribute to the company blog.

I write because stories are begging, needing, desiring to be told. All we need, usually, is a storyteller.

I aim to be the medium that unheard voices can be heard, bringing our past to the forefront of our future.

Online Articles

Communal Table

Issue 6, Staff

“A Sojourner’s Staff”

https://communaltable.com/a-sojourners-staff/

Issue 4, Grace

“Simply Divine Grace”

https://communaltable.com/simply-divine-grace/

Africa Agenda

“The Women’s Bakery and Possibility-Driven Media”

http://africaagenda.org/the-womens-bakery-and-possibility-driven-media-in-rwanda/

Peace Corps

January 16, 2015

“Corps to Career: How This RPCV found her way back to her host country”

https://www.peacecorps.gov/stories/corps-to-career-how-this-rpcv-found-her-way-back-to-her-host-country/

 December 20, 2015

“A Small Batch: Surprising, Unexpected Moments that Empower”

http://welcometothevillage.tumblr.com/post/136890015591/guest-post-by-heather-newell-rpcv-rwanda-and

November 17, 2016

“The Women’s Bakery empowers women through sustainable solutions”

https://www.peacecorps.gov/stories/womens-bakery-empowers-women-through-sustainable-solutions/

 Love Boldly

 April 10, 2017

“Cross-Culturally Gay”

http://loveboldly.net/2017/04/10/cross-culturally-gay/

 The Her Initiative

 August 16, 2016

“Learning to Empower”

http://theherinitiative.org/learning-to-empower/

 One Seed Expeditions

August 22, 2016

OneStory: The Women’s Bakery

http://www.oneseedexpeditions.com/blog/onestory-the-womens-bakery