Cynthia J. McGean
       I grew up in Northern Virginia and started writing in elementary school.  In third grade, my parents gave me a self-correcting electric typewriter and I thought, “Now I am a real writer.”  But, like Pinnochio on his journey to becoming a real boy, I still had many miles to go.
    I graduated from Amherst College with a bachelors degree in European Studies, basic word-processing skills, a thesis on “Beauty and the Beast,” and a desire to work in arts and education.  I interned with a children’s theater, got a job at a children’s museum and saved enough money to move across the country to Portland, Oregon.
    I found a job with Young Audiences of Oregon and got involved in the Portland theater community. The writer in me demanded to work on something besides the dry prose of academia and administration.  I did emergency repair to some problem scripts, wrote a few stage adaptations and got a commission to adapt Beverly Cleary’s Henry Huggins books for the stage.  I even got to meet Beverly Cleary herself!!  The script was published, but my inner writer was not satisfied.  “That’s not MY words,” it said.  
    When my husband Sam needed scripts for his radio theater troupe, the demand of a deadline and the limitation of a thirty-minute time slot blasted through my fears, caution and writer’s block.  I started writing original work, and I kept on going - mummies, monsters, horrible ghosts, science fiction, fantasy and realistic drama.  
    In the meantime, I had moved on from Young Audiences to work in child abuse prevention and then to coordinate a program mobilizing seniors to work in the schools.  But each step forward in the nonprofit world took me one step further away from working with children and one step closer to sitting in an office all day.  I decided it was time to go back to school and get my teaching license.
    Once I started teaching, the writer in me got very excited, because as I taught writing to my students, I was rediscovering the craft for myself.  Soon, story ideas were pounding at the door, demanding to be told.  My husband and I started up a writer’s workshop for audio theater, hoping to expand the number of writers working with us now that I was teaching full time.  That workshop led to a critique group, and to more stories unfolding at my fingertips.  Before I knew it, I had decided to write a novel.
    I’m now in my tenth year of teaching and I’ve finished two novels, three picture books and many short stories.  I get up at 5 AM every day so I can write before I go to school.  In the summers, my inner writer takes over full-time.  And the stories keep coming.
Employment Background
Theatrical Background
Freelance Writing Credits
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