5 Burning Questions with Carolyn Shayte

Carolyn Shayte is one of our featured writers at our September 10th reading. Check out our interview with her below.

What is your first memory of writing for fun?

I must have been around 5, I remember writing my own version of an Arthur storybook, one of my favorite series to read as a kid, complete with hand-drawn illustrations by yours truly. I even stapled all the pages together and made a front and back cover out of cardboard so it looked more like a real book. I was so proud of this, I think I still have it somewhere!

How many drafts = done?

That’s a tough question! I think all my writing needs at least a couple drafts, and some pieces need more drafts than others, but then I also have to stop myself from overworking pieces as well. So I think I determine more by my gut, when that is telling me the piece is done (or done enough for the time being!).

What is your favorite book or favorite book-of-the-moment?

My favorite book would have to be a collection of poetry by Mary Oliver. I find myself returning to it over and over again.

What is it about your discipline that gets you the most excited?

I enjoy how interdisciplinary all the different mediums I like to work in can be. This allows me flexibility to express myself in a variety of ways, and allows multiple access points to the viewer/audience.

What’s your favorite word or words? What about it/them appeals to you?

I don’t know if I have one favorite word, but I love alliterations and repetition of sounds. The whimsical way words weave together works wonders for me.

Bonus question: what is one thing you would eradicate if you had the power to eradicate just one thing in this world.  [can you tell my favorite word is eradicate?]

Great question! I would eradicate the continued stigma around mental health. I have seen firsthand how many folks do not get the support and help they need for their own mental health. I hope to eradicate some of this stigma through my future work as a counselor and art therapist.


Carolyn Shayte is a writer, artist, teacher, and PowerPoint enthusiast living and working in Baltimore, MD. Her work has been published in The Poetry and Fiction Issue of Baltimore City Paper, The Purple Poetry Book, and HYRSTERIA, among others. She will begin her M.A. in Art Therapy and Counseling at Southwestern College and the New Earth Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico this upcoming January 2020.

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