By sharing your experiences, your writing skills get better


Koichi Iwasaki

MaxieJane Frazier reads from her essay “Here Is Where My War Story Begins.” Photo by Koichi Iwasaki/the Gateway

MaxieJane Frazier, a freelance editor and teacher who is retired Senior Military Faculty from the United States Air Force Academy, read her essay “Here is Where My War Story Begins” on Oct. 10 at UNO.

The Goodrich Scholarship Program at UNO hosted the event in order to enhance students’ writing skills. Associate professor of the Goodrich Scholarship Program Todd Richardson said he wanted students to see a professional writer’s work about their own life experiences in preparation for when students write biographies.

Richardson said professional writers have valuable experience to decide what does work and what doesn’t for better performance in their works. Richardson said “it leads to better writing” for students. He added that good writing skills “allow you to give words to the things you feel and you think,” which is “crucial for human beings.”

Richardson also said he believes that good writing skills can change society and impact communities if words are used effectively.

“Therefore, you can make a difference by writing,” Richardson said.

Frazier studied public relations at the USAF Academy and said she “learned everything.”

Richardson said good writers have valuable experiences, Frazier has had a lot of terrific experiences throughout her life. She said she saw a lot of aircraft and visited historical places while she was in Afghanistan.

The most interest thing in her military career, she said, was teaching senior classes at the USAF Academy. Frazier said she has tried to share as many stories about war as she can to enhance her students’ understanding about wars and “to think how violence can be.” The most challenging experience for her, she said, was training in the military, especially fast running and traveling overseas, far away from her family.

Richardson said that the writer’s workshop at UNO is open both to students and writers who visit campus to share their works every week.