Jean

Primary Role: My position as Project Administrator requires me to work with everyone at the Alliance and mostly with the Executive Director. I support the team with their projects and as well as handle administrative tasks. I also take the lead on editorial projects and copyediting press materials, publications, and correspondence.

Secret Fact: My unusual name comes from my parents thinking I was going to be a boy. When I was born, my father turned John-Paul into Jean-Paul and the rest is history.

What did you do before coming to the Alliance? I have held many positions before prior to joining the Alliance, from legal secretary, marketing and editorial intern, English teacher, editor for a literary magazine, and copyright researcher for a textbook publisher. My most recent position was Project Coordinator for PEN American’s Prison Writing Program. There, I helped run the annual writing contest for prisoners. My job required me to correspond with prisoners, manage the hundreds of contest submissions we received every year, and coordinate the payment of prizes to the winners. One of the best parts of the job was judging the works and reading the letters from prisoners who were grateful for the writing program. Many of them used writing as an outlet and entering the contest was a way for them to validate their attempts to turn their negative past into something positive. I have been writing stories since I was very young and I recently received my MFA in creative writing. I know that creating something can be a very personal process, and I am proud to support those who are willing to put a piece of themselves on display for everyone to see.

Advice to Young Artists & Writers: If you wake up in the morning wanting to write, or paint, or design a video game, then that’s what you should be doing. Only you can tell the story that is inside you.

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