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Finding Balance and Writing Biography

Margaret Walters, presenter at the Red Clay Writers Conference, found the balance between having a life and a writing career. If someone told me she was completing her PhD, teaching classes full-time, and gestating for the first time, I would probably think she had lost her mind - or at least she would eventually. This, in fact, is exactly how Dr. Margaret Walters, Associate Professor in the English Department at Kennesaw State University and Executive Director of the Georgia Writers Association, began her career in teaching. Having all of these life altering events happen simultaneously must have been challenging, but Dr. Walters is a proven example that success, both in career and family, is always possible, even if doesn't come easy. It is all about finding balance.

Dr. Walters has been teaching courses in English since 1984 although teaching was not her first career. Prior to teaching, she worked as a technical writer for several aerospace companies, including Honeywell, Rockwell, and the NASA Johnson Space Center.

Most students in the Master of Arts in Professional Writing program at KSU will at some point be instructed by Dr. Walters in one of the many courses she teaches - Technical Writing, Biography Writing, Professional and Academic Editing, Writing for the Web, and Intercultural Communication, just to name a few.

Writing biography is yet another aspect of Dr. Walters' career, one that she says satisfies her desire to write creative nonfiction, in particular the biography. Her first biography, A.L. Burruss: The Life of a Georgia Politician and a Man to Trust, was recently published by the KSU Press. She is researching her next biography on the life of Liliane Kaufmann, who, with her husband Edgar, commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater in Bear Run, Pa. Dr. Walters is also a founding member of the Biographers International Organization, Executive Director of the Georgia Writers Association, and was recently presented with the 2010 Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award. Of all Dr. Walters' accomplishments, however, she is most proud of her daughter, Jacqui.

Learn more about the Red Clay Writers Conference.

--Written by Jenn Rau, an educator in Forsyth, GA and an MAPW graduate student.


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