About

  Gabrielle Pullen, MFA, GCFP    Master of Fine Arts, Creative Writing

Gabrielle Pullen, MFA, GCFP

Master of Fine Arts, Creative Writing

 

It all started in 1590...

Her forthcoming novel is set in a little town called North Berwick, Scotland, in the year 1590. Titled, The Witches of East Lothian, it explores how three women, just living the lives they were given, became targets for the strange human need to find scapegoats to appease the hysteria of religious fervor and economic insecurity...in much the same way our current era seems to be culminating in a similar atmosphere.  

Gabrielle was born in Berkley, California and raised in Rorschach, in the German part of Switzerland. Having moved there at the age of nine, she rebelled against the requirement to learn German by deciding to study French as well. This joint study of French and German continued for over ten years. Gabrielle returned to the United States at nineteen to go to college. She eventually got her degree in French Literature from U.N.L.V. To make the culture shock even more pronounced, she gravitated towards the work she had been doing to put herself through school: body work specializing in enhancing the athletic performance of horse and rider teams in competition. During that time, before the advent of the internet, when there was still money to be made as a freelance magazine writer, she spent 10 years writing for national publications and smaller, more specialized publications including The Horse, Anvil Magazine, Iron Works Magazine. Additionally, she spent two years crafting interviews for the Feldenkrais Guild® publication, Sensibility, about the nature of embodied learning. Her intention was to document the experiences of the first generation of practitioners who trained directly under Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais before they died. She has also been a blogger specializing in writing about the Feldenkrais Method® with respect to it’s larger implications on the nature of reality, perception and identity.

It was not until the death of her 25 year old daughter that she jumped horses in mid stream, turning back to writing fiction, which she had enjoyed as a child, as a means of making meaning out of a life turned unexpectedly in the direction of devastating personal loss. To provide a structure for herself, and a new life, she went back to get an advanced degree. She enrolled in the Pan-European Master of Fine Arts Degree in Fiction at Cedar Crest College which required travel to Dublin, Barcelona and Vienna to do the intensive summer portions of her graduate coursework. 

Halfway through, it became obvious to her that she wanted to create a way to continue writing fiction. It was thus an obvious career track for her to continue to pursue her fascination with learning and teaching by enrolling in the graduate level Certification in Teaching Rhetoric and Composition at MNSU, Mankato. Additionally, having spent nine years living abroad as a child learning French and German, it seemed obvious that to pursue certification in teaching English as a Second Language would take advantage of her own experiences as a second language learner. She completed the TEFL Certification in October, 2016 and completed her graduate coursework as a Composition Teacher at MNSU in 2017.

Her joint focus on language arts, somatics and learning has drawn her to be interested in a very specialized area of academic writing: the overlap between narrative, creative writing and western logic, including how to teach students to use critical thinking as a means of regaining resilience. She writes fiction to make sense of experience, and for the fulfilment self-expression provides. She writes about the pedagogy of teaching writing and the craft of fiction to further her own understanding, and to continue to contribute to others in the same spirit of service that motivated her previous career in the healing arts before pursuing a career as a writer and instructor of writing.

A new project she has in the works is a series of online courses to help students prepare for standardized tests. The curriculum design has begun with a GRE Exam Prep Course which you can view at 

www.focusand learn.com

For focus, of course, is everything...

Additionally, she is working on an academic paper which posits that narrative offers a structure for learning critical thinking every bit as powerful and valid as the western logic espoused by the standardized tests and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) most k-12 schools use to prepare students, in a rather myopic way, for college level writing.