My first career, if you don’t count a short stint in high school as the drive-up window girl at Pup n’ Taco, was in museum education. After an internship at the Des Moines Art Center with the amazing Suzan Shutan, and another at the Iowa State University Museum with the incomparable Dorothy Dunn, I continued to work at museums around the Midwest for over ten years until I left to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Minnesota under the tutelage of Professor Margarat Di Blasio. The most interesting part of every museum job was hanging around with the permanent collections, but a close second was delivering school and public programs focused on objects from those same collections and traveling exhibitions.
In 2015 I veered into the paths of writers like Carolyne Van Der Meer while attending Vermont College of Fine Art’s Novel Retreat. I later joined thousands of other aspiring writers to participate in the University of Iowa’s MOOC, “How Writer’s Write Fiction”, facilitated by Christopher Merrill and Angela Flournoy. It may sound cheesy, but this free and highly interactive course really propelled my writing forward. A year later, I was selected as a mentee for Association of Writers & Writing Programs’ Writer to Writer Mentorship Program.
Simon Fraser University’s The Writer’s Studio is where I fleshed-out the story for Boy Between Worlds with the incredible Eileen Cook and buoyed by Canadian writers Tanya Boteju and Christy Dunsmore, among others. Since 2016 I have been an active member of the Brussels Writers’ Circle, co-facilitating weekly meetings with Irish writer Colin Walsh for a while. The Circle 19: a Brussels Anthology, the third anthology of short stories and poems by members of the Brussels Writers’ Circle was the first publication under my Idle Time Press imprint.
I am a proud author-publisher and find great support through my collegial memberships in the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustartors (SCBWI), Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) and Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA). For the latest on Cynthia C. Huijgens’ books, check out Goodreads.