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Master Class Provides Marketable Skills

Master Class Provides Marketable Skills

Aspiring Ursuline writers and dedicated readers were rewarded with invaluable advice from best-selling author Yvette Manessis Corporon ‘86 P’19 at the TUS Master Class “Write That Book!” on December 8, 2022. Yvette’s talk was the first of Ursuline’s new TUS Master Class Series, enjoyed by more than 80 in-person attendees and a Zoom interactive audience of more than 60 alumnae and community members from across the country.

During her talk, Yvette recommended “writing what you know and love” in order to cultivate an authentic story to reach the hearts of readers. She shared how to discover one’s own story, how to be disciplined in writing, and how to find an agent.

Yvette addressed the group


Yvette’s audience also learned to “keep yourself open to feedback” and that gut-wrenching rejection plays a part in publishing, as does persistence and hope. “Writing is not easy, but it is so rewarding,” she said. Her first book, When the Cypress Whispers, told a unique family experience as historical fiction, calling upon her grandmother’s dramatic role in helping to hide Greek Jews from the Nazis during World War II. It was satisfying to hear that never giving up on her grandmother’s story led to her first published book.

“What an incredible talk about writing! The best I’ve heard—so heartfelt, with important writing advice and a bird’s-eye view of publishing,” said Amy Sivco Kierce ‘85, a writer who tuned in from Boston.

The TUS Master Class “Write That Book!” illustrated how Ursuline develops outstanding writers, whether successful as college students or as published authors. Yvette shared, “Ursuline really helped me cultivate what I loved so much.”  She thanked Ursuline teachers who had taught and encouraged her, starting in 7th grade.  “What happens in this building matters,” she said. “ Whether you’re teaching or learning. It matters, it stays with you, it shapes us.”

Attendees appreciated the chance to ask their specific questions, in person or via zoom chat, and then to speak individually with this Emmy Award winning journalist at the book signing and reception. To date, Ms. Corporon has authored three best sellers.  Her books have been internationally acclaimed and translated into 16 languages.  Her latest, Where the Wandering Ends, was selected as one of Good Morning America’s Buzz Books in August 2022.

Yvette signed many books and spoke with attendees


The Master Class was co-hosted by the Advancement team and the TUS Writing Center; students who are National English Honor Society members took on prominent roles in the event.  Yvette praised Ursuline for creating the Writing Center, an incredible resource for the students that is “just one more way that Ursuline distinguishes itself from other schools.”

The innovative Writing Center was launched last spring in direct response to the growing interest amongst students to create a dedicated space for writing at The Ursuline School. Ms. Corporon asked the students, “Do you know how lucky you are?” She shared that writing can be isolating and it is extremely beneficial to collaborate and critique. “To flex such strong writing muscles at such a young age is just incredible!”

Students from the Writing Center


“Our students become reflective writers, learners, and thinkers,” explains President Dr. Colleen Melnyk. “By putting our students first, we create opportunities to showcase their varied interests and limitless potential.”

The festive reception offered a wonderful opportunity for attendees to connect with each other in a meaningful way. Thank you to the Madroukis family for providing the delicious Greek desserts, in keeping with the setting of Yvette's first book.

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Students introduced the program
Ms. Corporon shared her story
Retired Ursuline teacher John Malnati was glad to attend
Standing proudly in front of our mission statement
Students were among those who had books signed
Dr. Melnyk enjoyed speaking with alums at the Master Class
Families enjoyed speaking with Yvette