Alumni Spotlight: Jason Lee Norman

What advice does Jason Lee Norman have for student writers? “Try to get better at writing.” It seems simple, but young writers often don’t focus on it. Don’t worry about what other writers are doing or how they determine success, he says. No novel deal yet? Not even a short story in a lit mag? Doesn’t matter. “Write, read, submit,” he continues. “You have to submit at some point. Rejection will happen. Feedback will happen.”

Norman’s not one to push a person down the traditional publishing path, possibly because he hasn’t followed it himself. “I didn’t always know I wanted to be a writer—I just enjoyed sharing stories,” he says. At eighteen, Norman moved with his family to Argentina and, with less responsibility in this foreign country, he had more time to think about his life. As he looked back on his youth, he realized how much he’d enjoyed reading and writing, and how often he’d spent time on those activities. So he made them his focus and started by searching out the great books to read. “The more I read, the more I wanted to do what that was.”

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