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hjester@woodscharter.org

 

I am a writer of fiction and creative nonfiction, a teacher of Language Arts and Creative Writing, an artist & lover of creating and found treasures; I am “Mom” to my Charlie-bird & River. After having grown up in Charlotte, NC (for the most part), marrying my soulmate & gone on our five-and-a-half week road trip across the country and back one summer and then to Italy another (the perks of two teachers getting together), to having gone from Brooklyn to Pittsboro -- from taking the F train to Rockefeller Center and walking a block to my classroom to seeing hot air balloons floating above me on my way into class here in Chatham, from having moved to Asheville for a year where seeing the BlueRidge at dusk took my breath away, along with catching fireflies among twinkling stars in a field with my loves, to witnessing the beauty of frozen bubbles one winter morning during that first year when we returned to Chatham and lived on the Haw -- I say that these adventures, among many others, have only helped shape my story in such a rich way. 

 

I’ve taught on and off since 2000 in Charlotte, NC, New York City and right here in Chatham. I have my B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (with a minor in Creative Writing) and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Queens University. In my spare time, I love to write, whether it’s in my journal, to others, or in my book of Birdie Tales in which I keep stories & notes for and about my two boys. I also love dance parties in the kitchen, the idea of being a flower farmer and could talk all day, any day, with family and friends as their stories have my heart.

 

During the beautiful period of time in which I stayed home with my boys, I had the pleasure of working in our community and held Creative Writing workshops at a local retirement home, with middle and high school students right here at Woods and with a group of students in Chapel Hill. I believe whether one receives public acknowledgment or not, being able to get one’s ideas and thoughts on paper and the experience of sharing & hearing others’ work & giving them feedback are some of the best gifts of all -- gifts that keep on giving, helping us grow and learn so much about ourselves while also feeding our souls. I love reading and writing with students and can’t wait to share these passions of mine here with all of you as I learn about your stories as well. We used to be a Woods family ourselves as my husband, David, used to teach here and when our son, Charlie, was in kindergarten and first grade. We are over-the-moon excited to return to our home away from home and to such a warm community. I am very much looking forward to spending this year with each and every one of you!