Finalist in the 2019 Nick Adams Short Story Contest
Read the story: Closure
- Senior at Grinnell College
- Majors: English and Gender, Women’s, & Sexuality Studies
- Hometown: Verona, NJ
ACM: Do you have plans after graduation?
Braneck: My current post-grad plans include taking a road trip, reading for pleasure, spending time with my family, scoping out the best bookstores in South Carolina (my family recently relocated), writing stories, and applying for jobs.
ACM: What sparked your interest in writing, and how did you get started writing fiction?
Braneck: I’ve always loved to read and write, and my parents and grandmother, Nan, fostered my love of literature from birth. Nan in particular is a prolific bibliophile, and has always just read something interesting that she has to pass on to me. My mother, Roberta, filled our house with books and often took me to readings to hear writers talk about their work and craft when I was growing up. My father, Jay, brings home interesting and weird books he finds through his work as an antique dealer. So I consider myself to be incredibly lucky in being part of a family that has always, always supported my love of reading and writing in very concrete ways.
ACM: How have you developed your writing while you’ve been at Grinnell?
Braneck: While at Grinnell, I have had the luxury of both studying and producing fiction in a structured, supportive setting. I’ve been so lucky to work with a wide array of amazing writers and teachers, such as Sam Chang, Alissa Nutting, and Yvonne Owuor, who took us on the best and weirdest field trip I’ve ever been on, to the cemetery in Grinnell, where we spent the afternoon walking around and writing. The workshop with Dean Bakopoulos and the community created among students was by far one of the most inspiring spaces in which I have worked and learned–the class was constructive, instructive, and generative. My best readers are the friends/writers I’ve met at Grinnell. And being in Iowa has been a wonderful place to work–there’s plenty of space to think out here.