Faces of WITS: Corinne Manning
October 7, 2020
Our WITS Writers-in-Residence work with students across public schools in Seattle and the greater Puget Sound region to provide new tools, perspectives, and attention to students to help them develop and express lifelong literacy skills. WITS Writers also connect and inspire teachers, invigorate teacher practices, and help make our public schools as vibrant and creative as students are themselves.
As part of our “Faces of WITS” series, we are interviewing WITS writers to learn what inspires them and what projects they are up to. Today, we are excited to bring to you an interview with Corinne Manning, a prose writer and literary organizer who inspires and teaches as part of the WITS team and is currently teaching at The Center School.
Corinne is the author of We Had No Rules (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2020). Their essays and stories have been published and anthologized in Toward an Ethics of Activism and Shadow Map: An Anthology of Survivors of Sexual Assault. Corinne also founded the James Franco Review, a literary intervention project addressing implicit bias in the publishing industry.
Read on to learn what inspires Corinne and what they love about teaching with WITS!
How long have you been working with WITS?
Since 2012. Hard to believe it’s been so long!
What is your favorite part about teaching with WITS?
Young writers always surprise me, and it’s that element of surprise that keeps me in love with writing. It’s such a powerful opportunity for connection, and whenever there is connection in art, there is always something to look forward to.
What are you working on right now in your writing life? Do you have any projects, performances, or publications you want to tell us about?
Well, I recently had my first story collection published! It’s called We Had No Rules, and it explores all the ways that queer characters, especially white queers, confront complicity. I’m not just talking about complicity in larger systems of oppression—but how we will enact those in the realms of our intimate relationships.
What has inspired you lately?
I help raise a three-year-old, and her ability to find play and joy in every situation has given me major inspiration.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Actually, a very dear friend gave me the best advice this year: “The privilege of writing books is extraordinary.” It’s easy to forget that, especially when it can take such a long time to get published. But, goodness, the opportunity to create something that will have its own relationship with people I’ve never met? It doesn’t get much better than that.