February 6, 2013

Inspired by WNC Teacher

WNC Grad Publishes Second Book

Courtesy Shannon LItz/Nevada Appeal
Courtesy Shannon LItz/Nevada Appeal

A Western Nevada College graduate is preparing for the publication of her second book. Judie Hartwick’s “Bits and Pieces” will be published by Publish America later this year. It is a collection of short stories she began writing as a WNC student more than a decade ago. Her first book, “Some Call Her Lizzie,” was published in 2009.

As a teenager, Hartwick dropped out of school, married young and raised a family. Once her children were grown she wanted to do something for herself, so she returned to school.

“I always wished I hadn’t quit school,” she said. “There is nothing worse than feeling like a quitter.”

At first, stepping foot on campus was terrifying, but she soon found an ally, Professor Marilee Swirczek.

“When you are younger and in school, you often fear the teacher,” Hartwick said. “I came to realize that this teacher is my friend.”

Encouraged by Swirczek and other friends who appreciated her prolific letter writing, Hartwick began writing short stories based on her life experiences as well as a few fictional tales. Her favorites are those about her close friends and family. Those stories became the basis of her new book.

Hartwick also has words of encouragement for those thinking about returning to the classroom. “Go for it,” she said. “You can get the cobwebs out of your brain and meet interesting people at the same time.”

So what’s next for Hartwick? “Possibly an adventure novel involving my closest friends. They’ve been bugging me for 20 years to write one - maybe it’s time.”

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