Hi! My name is Julie Dahms and I work at the Herzfeld Foundation in Milwaukee. The Herzfeld Foundation awards grants to Milwaukee nonprofit organizations working in the arts, education, and civic areas. Before working at the Foundation, I practiced law. I have always loved writing creatively! I moved to the US when I was six and English was my third language. I still remember watching Sesame Street, Captain Kangaroo, and going to my English tutor’s house every week to learn the language! My favorite authors became Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary, and I grew to love my creative writing class in high school – adding humor and some outrageous descriptiveness to your writing makes it so much more fun; you can watch the story grow and blossom while you get lost in it! Plus, it’s fun for others to read.
One of the most fun high school writing assignments I had involved doing a restaurant review with my best friend – we ended up getting some food poisoning, which made for a very interesting review. I have always loved animals too, and I think that’s why Beverly Cleary’s books were great to read – Ralph the Motorcycle Mouse and so on – getting into the mind of an animal or pet can be very interesting. Just imagine what they are thinking about the world and what they do when we aren’t watching! My best tip to anyone starting their reading and writing journey is to find books that you love to read, that you get lost in. If you start a book and aren’t crazy about it, find another one. For writing, I absolutely encourage you to try a rainbow of colored pens and some paper that you love! It makes the writing feel even more like art!
Good luck and happy writing, I can’t wait to read the stories.