Writing in Jamaica


This last week I’ve been in Jamaica at my first residency for the Sierra Nevada College MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults (WCYA).

I was so nervous coming out to do this but I’m lucky that my best friend and fellow writer is also pursuing this degree. I’m also lucky that she is pursuing this life. It’s so hard to talk about writing to people who aren’t writers and I am thankful everyday that I have friends who are working toward their own creative goals.

Our flight to the island was delayed because of an issue with the navigational system. We were delayed for almost two hours, so rather than getting into Kingston at 8pm, we got in at 10pm. And Maggie arrived without luggage.

We had to wait for the next plane to arrive at 10pm, but they were also delayed and didn’t arrive until midnight. Then we had the bus ride from hell to the other side of the island. The four hour bus ride from hell. Up and down a long, tight, winding trail.

And then later that day we had day #1 of our residency! And half of us were exhausted and running on fumes. I don’t think I ever felt at 100% during this whole time.

So now we’re all checked in for our flight and finishing up the last day at residency. Literally just sitting around talking about our WIPs.

I can’t wait to get started this semester and I’m really looking forward to writing on the plane.

By J. M. Tuckerman

J.M.Tuckerman is a neurodivergent writer with a big education. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, an MA in Writing, and a BA in Writing Arts (specializing in Creative Writing, New Media Writing, and Publication; concentrating in New Media Production), which she somehow managed to earn despite her three very loud and large dogs. Jessica was lucky enough to intern at Quirk Books and Picador, USA while earning her master’s degrees. Her service dog, Ringo, is very proud of all that she has accomplished and hopes to be on a back cover of a published book with her very soon. An avid reader, writer, and lover of young adult and middle-grade literature, Jessica’s bookshelf is overflowing with hardbacks, paperbacks, and a million half-filled notebooks. She is a proud fur-mommy to two lab/st-bernard littermates, a retriever-mix service dog, and one orange little hobgoblin cat, all of whom have made very audible appearances on the Booked All Night podcast.

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