Sitting in an advanced expository writing class one day, not a casual place to be at any time, Carol was especially alert and pleased to realize it was a copy of her paper that the professor was handing out to the class to discuss. No surprise, she thought; after all I worked hard on that one. Wish he’d left my name on it!
"Now class, if you will take a moment to skim this so-called essay on academic freedom as it relates to the speaker ban law, you will note it surely does give the appearance of an expository essay—until you look more closely. Might I mention metaphors, similes, supporting sentences for the theme of each paragraph? I mention them because this writer barely acknowledges their slim existence in her headlong rush to drag us into the next meaty fact.
"It must be said, however, that it is a tidy paper, tightly crafted and free of any superfluous thoughts. Had that been the assignment, this paper would get an "A". As presently constructed, it would pass a building inspection for air leaks but gets a "C" from me.
"However, it does show promise. My suspicion is that this student is a journalism major and faces the challenge of travelling beyond the five "W’s" in a lead sentence to the wider climes of expository paragraphs . I challenge her to do so."
Carol learned the value of re-write; she did it four times on this paper before she received an "A." Meanwhile, back at the journalism school: "I’d like everyone to take a look at Ms. Gallant’s latest story in The Daily Tar Heel. Would you call this a news story? You are not writing a novel about the town’s new ordinance, Ms. Gallant. Report it, don’t fall in love with it. "
And so, armed with writing lessons learned from James Baldwin’s, Notes of a Native Sun, and E.B. White Essays, and from Walter Cronkite and The New York Times, Carol became a writer—a confused one stuck between two camps, but a writer. Sometimes you need to add a little pizzazz to a press release on budget sequestration, or bring blood from the heartless cutting of a lengthy tale about "Memories of Aunt Maud."
She quickly discovered that the skills learned in journalism school were the ones that got you a job, and her career focused on how to take a massive subject and reduce it to a readable page or two. Though she started writing little stories by the time she was nine years old, she did not return to creative writing for many years. And when she did, she found great pleasure in easily spinning out words, and she also found she could get published and maybe even win an award or two along the way.
- Potomac Review (Rockville, MD) - "A Show of Community" (Essay) - Read it!
- Poetry & Prose Anthology (Shepherdstown, WV) - "Club Creole" (Flash Fiction) - Read it!
- Frommer's "America on Wheels" travel guides, editing/writing (Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, USA)
- Freelance articles in The Charlotte Observer, Frederick Magazine
The 2013 Lorian Hemingway Short Story competition Honorable Mention was awarded to D.C. Gallant for her short story, "Sarah's Video." - Read it!
The 2008 Carolina Alumni Fiction 3rd place prize was awarded to D.C. Gallant for her short story, "Green Beans."
The WV New Writers Fiction Award, 2007 Honorable Mention, was presented by Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence Henry Louis Gates, Jr. to D.C. Gallant for her short story, "The Coin Purse." - Read it!