Winner of the 2017 Nick Adams Short Story Contest
Story: “Four Times Jasper Diallo Didn’t Die (and One Time He Lived)”
- Senior at Ripon College
- Double major in psychology and a self-designed major in disability justice
- Hometown: West Allis, WI
Q. What sparked your interest in writing, and how did you get started writing fiction?
I’ve been interested in writing quite literally as long as I can remember; I still have a little notebook containing a short story about Winnie the Pooh that, judging by the handwriting, I wrote about the time I learned to hold a pencil. But what really pulled me most deeply into writing was discovering fantasy and all of its varying subgenres. I was particularly fascinated with the different ways magic worked, and how fantasy elements interacted with culture. I’ve been working on developing my own modern fantasy world (which “Four Times Jasper Diallo Didn’t Die (and One Time He Lived)” is set in) for about 10 years now.
Q. Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I’d like to thank my partner, Doragon Blair, who has contributed to the development of this world and these characters almost as much as I have. I’d also like to thank Dr. Megan Gannon, who encouraged me to submit this story; after high school, I had stopped writing entirely until I took her creative writing class last semester. Her encouragement and guidance were invaluable in rekindling my writing career. And I’d also like to thank Ripon College’s Queer-Straight Alliance, who provided me the community and support I needed to feel comfortable writing such an openly queer story.
Q. Do you have plans after graduation?
After I graduate Ripon, I’ll be attending Marquette University, where I’ll be pursuing a clinical psychology Ph.D. I’m currently finishing up a study on issues of autism identity and stigma, and I plan to continue that research in my graduate studies. I’m also hoping to start writing a series of novels based on the characters and world of “Four Times Jasper Diallo Didn’t Die (and One Time He Lived).”