Featured Fig: Eliza Kirby

Eliza Kirby is another one of our awesome Figment summer interns. Originally from Connecticut, Eliza is a junior at Oberlin College in Ohio, where she is majoring in Creative Writing and French. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, reading, coffee, and yoga.

What made you want to intern at Figment?

I taught a creative writing class at a summer camp for the past two years, and I absolutely loved working with young authors, from discussing the writing process to sharing stories to debating trends in YA literature. So when I found out that Figment offers the same kind of environment online, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. Plus, I will pretty much read anything you put in front of me, so the fact that I get to spend my summer surrounded by books makes me extremely happy!

What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

One of my professors told our class to never write about a character dying unless it was absolutely necessary. As someone who has a tendency to write super melodramatic stories (Should I kill off this character or give them a long-lost sibling? How about both?!), I always try to keep this advice in mind when I’m writing. Even when I’m leaning toward killing off a character, I try to think of alternatives that would work with the plot but might be less obvious.  Sometimes a less dramatic event can be much more effective than taking a path your readers would expect.

You get to invite three authors to dinner. Who do you choose and why?

I’d have to pick J.K. Rowling, Toni Morrison, and J.D. Salinger. (Am I allowed to invite a dead recluse? Whatever, it’s my dinner party.) J.K. Rowling taught me how to write stories; Toni Morrison taught me how to write characters; and J.D. Salinger taught me how to write dialogue. I’d want to express my gratitude to all of them, but I’d probably be too nervous to say anything comprehensible.

What’s your weirdest/most unique hobby?

I used to be really into mosaic art. Like, gluing tiles to things and then grouting them. When I was in middle and high school, my family members received tile-encrusted tables, mirrors, picture frames, and clocks as gifts for every holiday.

Fill in the blank: “My most embarrassing writing moment was when . . .”

. . . I accidentally plagiarized a line from Harry Potter in a story I wrote for a creative writing class. Totally unintentional, but still completely mortifying. I think I’ve just read the series so many times that the sentence structure has seeped into my subconscious.

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