A Provider Profile: Natalie Hill

Natalie Hill has been a writer, editor, and educator for over 25 years. Her love of writing led her to careers in public relations, marketing, advertising, video scripting, songwriting, and publishing. She currently teaches English at a local university and conducts writing classes with Adult Evening Education.

Her Spring 2019 classes include:

How would you describe your hometown and upbringing?

I grew up in a diverse ethnic and racial section of Philadelphia. Most people were first, second, and third generation families of early 1900's immigrants from many areas around the world. Everybody had a story. Stories were happening all around me. I could see by the action in the area stories evolve, plus I heard many stories about the old work, new life in America, and future dreams and hopes for new generations.

Describe your educational journey.

I was one of those returning adult learners, having left college to pursue singing aspirations.

When did you first find your love of writing?

I learned to read at the age of three. By first grade I was writing stories. The oldest writing I have kept came from age nine — poetry, songs, and a horror story.

What motivated you to begin teaching the art of writing?

I felt that there are so many good stories that get shared but then lost within families. I wanted to help people write their stories, so they can preserve history.

What author do you idolize and what is your favorite book?

I most enjoy humor and satire, especially in memoirs. I love the writings of Jean Shepard who wrote "A Christmas Story". I had an opportunity to interview him. My number one author is Mark Twain.

It is too hard for me to choose a book, but if I was lost on an island I would need his humor, James Thurber's satire; Charles Dicken's drab descriptions to make me thankful for what I have; and Toni Morrison's "Beloved". I love that book. Her masterful stories are ripe for interpretation.

If you could give one writing tip to everyone, what would it be?

One writing tip I would give is to write without fear. Easy to say, hard to do.

What do you enjoy most about teaching lifelong learners?

I love seeing students become confident when orally sharing their stories; as well as to see them learn how to find their voice and style on paper. Some use first person, others like to use a fictional name.

You have an extensive professional background, but what is one thing you haven't done that you would like to do?

Well, I started out as a singer/songwriter so I would have liked to have done more travel sharing songs and stories. I have visited all but four of the United States. I wish I had written down all the stories from folk I have met.