Recent BHSU English graduate Caitlin Hill publishes literary essays in two national publications

Author: BHSU Communications/Monday, June 13, 2016/Categories: 2016

Black Hills State University student Caitlin Hill, originally from Veblen, earned her English degree in May 2016. Hill will publish two essays in national literary journals thanks to her persistence and guidance from BHSU faculty.

Recent Black Hills State University graduate Caitlin Hill will publish essays in two national publications: Silk Road Review and Superstition Review.

Hill's writing style, creative nonfiction, combines real life with literary elements that make it art.

"I write about my life for the purpose of figuring it out and understanding why certain memories resonate with me. Especially moments of transformation," said Hill.

Hill moved from her hometown of Veblen to Spearfish for college. The Black Hills and their namesake University became her new home.

"BHSU really transformed me. It gave me confidence and ambition. I am a person who fakes it until I make it, and I've learned that if you set up a good environment of people that will help you, you can do anything," said Hill.

Hill says she always loved to write, but exploring new aspects of the craft at BHSU helped her narrow down and find the perfect intersection where her talent and goals combined.

"At first I thought journalism would be a great way to write as a career," said Hill. "However, I realized that I am more inclined to literature and academic writing. I became an English major."

Hill fostered her passion and focus for non-fiction creative writing in the classroom at BHSU. Instructor of creative writing, Matthew Bauman, with whom she worked since her first English composition class, believed in her since day one, added Hill.

She says Bauman was a role model and she appreciates that he always took time to help students.  

With Bauman's guidance, Hill worked in her free time to revise her essays, and after several drafts and two rounds of submitting, Hill's talent was nationally recognized. Two of her essays, "Home Improvement," and "The Broken Road," were chosen to be published in two national publications-Superstition Review and Silk Road Review.

Bauman says he is proud of Hill's success.

"Many of the published authors in the Silk Road Review were my professors and peers and colleagues in grad school. Knowing she is going to be published next to them is a good feeling for her and for me," said Bauman.

Hill reminisced how after four years, several rejections, and having many doors shut while trying to get her essays published, everything fell in the right place. Hill will publish two essays in national literary journals thanks to her persistence and guidance from BHSU faculty.

"It feels surreal, so I have to remind myself that it's been four years of hard work. When people see all of this happening they think that I'm just very lucky, but the truth is there was a lot of work behind it," added Hill.

With her English degree, Hill is ready to start the next phase. Hill was accepted to four different graduate programs around the country, and decided to accept the offer from the University of Idaho, where she will focus on creative non-fiction in a Master of Fine Arts Writing Program.

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