From Notebook to Novella

May 11, 2012 | Brooklyn College

Brooklyn, N.Y.—Emma Eden Ramos, a creative writing major who transferred to Brooklyn College this semester, has already won over the publishing industry: So far, she has published a collection of poetry, a children’s novella and a novelette in an anthology for teens.

The 24-year-old Upper West Side resident studied psychology for two years at Marymount Manhattan College, but she transferred to Brooklyn College when she decided to pursue creative writing full time, as Marymount offers creative writing only as a minor.

“I heard great things about the program at Brooklyn College, including that it has very well-known professors,” she says. Spring 2012 is her first semester after taking a year off from school to write. “I love it here. The students are diverse, and the professors are excellent.”

Ramos is considering minoring in psychology, her former major. “Knowing psych is good for creative writing because it allows you to look at the human mind and understand why people do what they do.”

Three Women: A Poetic Triptych and Selected Poems, Ramos’ first poetry collection, was nominated early this year for an Independent Literary Award. The 37-page chapbook is a three-part narrative about four women connected by suicide. “They are connected in dealing with the tragedy and their relationships with each other,” says Ramos. “Introductions is about each character introducing herself and her predicament; Impressions is about the characters stepping out of their circumstances, relating to others, and beginning to view each other; and Connections is a dialogue between two of the characters,” she explains.

This September, Ramos will release a children’s novella, The Realm of the Lost. The 60-page book is targeted to 10- to 14-year-olds. “It’s about what happens to people when they die before they’re meant to die. In the story, a young girl finds herself in a realm where people go before their allotted death time,” Ramos says. “I wrote it after reading Dante’s Inferno, so it’s loosely based on that.” The Realm of the Lost took Ramos a year to write and will be published by MuseItUp Publishing.

Where Children Play” is included in the anthology Resilience: Stories, Poems, Essays, Words for LGBT Teens. The anthology, released in January, was started in late 2010 when teen suicide rates were up due to bullying and homophobia in schools. Earnings from the book will be donated to the Make It Safe Project and go toward getting LGBT literature in school libraries around the country.”My novelette is about a 17-year-old boy growing up in New York City with an ex-Mormon mother and conservative father. The story focuses on the boy’s sexual awakening and how his mother deals with him coming out,” says Ramos.

The chapbook, novella and novelette are the highlights of Ramos’ young writing career. She decided she wanted to be at writer at age 15, especially after reading The Awakening, by Kate Chopin. Lately she has been working on a few story ideas and is excited to see what inspiration she’ll get from Brooklyn College. She is currently taking a screenwriting course and looking forward to taking a playwriting course.

“No matter how experienced you are, you can always learn, and I’m eager to learn as much as I can,” she states. “Writing is my way of connecting to people by sharing my ideas and personal truth.”