Faces: Meet the Moderator

by Mackenzie Jager

Welcome to the Faces section! My name is Mackenzie Jager and I am privileged to be the moderator and editor of this section for the second year in a row.

The dream for this section was to introduce current and prospective students to the quirky and talented people within the Professional Writing major at Taylor University as writers, of course, but also as so much more than that. Our goal was to present our peers as the complex people they are with unique stories, dreams, goals, backgrounds, and interests.

Today, I want to share a little bit about myself. As a reader and writer, I am mainly interested in young adult fiction and fantasy. I recently finished writing the second novel in my Mermaid trilogy, and am pursuing some leads and advice I received at a writing conference this summer as I work toward my goal of publication. I am simultaneously playing around with fairy tale retellings as well as some shorter creative nonfiction pieces.

Besides reading and writing, other passions of mine include spending time with my friends and family, baking, crafting, and watching way more TV and movies than is probably healthy. I am also a sucker for conspiracy theories. Atlantis, the Bermuda Triangle, Fort Knox Gold, The Grove. . . if you have any shred of evidence something strange might be going on, I want to hear about it.

I have always had a passion for stories. Before I could read, I would follow my mom around the house with a stack of books and beg her to read them to me. Before kindergarten, I taught myself to read. The summer before second grade, I read The Chronicles of Narnia series by myself. Playing with dolls or stuffed animals turned into elaborate dramas full of danger and princesses and adventure. Through middle school, my punishments involved being forced outside without any books.

Today, I still live for stories. My dreams of becoming a published novelist have only become stronger, but my goals have also expanded. My passion isn’t just for the stories in my head; it’s for all stories that are told well and deserve to be told. I would love to help other writers and creatives shape their stories into work they are proud of. Right now, that path seems to be leading me toward editing or agenting positions in the publishing field where I can help authors turn good stories into great stories.

But I also have an obsession with Disney. When I saw Saving Mr. Banks a few months ago, I was struck that Disney hires whole teams of writers for every movie they produce. I could be one of those writers! Creating characters and plots that speak to children––and the child in all of us as Disney himself would remind us––seems like a pretty ideal position.

Wherever God takes me on this messy, beautiful journey of life, I am confident He will use my passion for storytelling, and I feel honored to be chosen for such a life.

Mackenzie Jager is a junior Professional Writing major.

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