braxton-portrait-2I’m an award-winning journalist and prize-winning essayist. I grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut, spent many years at my career in print and broadcast Braxton on camerajournalism and finally ended up in the Boston, Massachusetts area. For the past 16 years or so I’ve gotten short stories and essays published in literary journals and small publications. I hope to one day get my novel published. Through my
forgiveness-book-stackedinspirational writing, I share stories from my life, stories about hurt, pain, disappointment, joy, and hope. I hope that I can help people to move past discouragement and go forward in their lives. My essay, “The World I Didn’t Know Existed,” was published in an anthology called Inspire Forgiveness published by Inspire Christian Writers. The stories, poems, and devotional included in the volume challenge and encourage the reader on the power of forgiveness. This essay first appeared on WBUR radio’s new ideas and opinion page, Cognoscenti under the title, “Processing ‘Go Back Where You Came from’ When Where You Came from is Here.”finding-mr-right-cover

My essay, “Short Distance Romance” is included in the anthology Finding Mr. Right, a volume of 20 stories that will resonate with women of any age who have ever loved, lost, and loved again. The editor’s awarded me second prize in a literary contest for that essay.

More Christmas Moments features my story, “Sunshine for more-christmas-moments-front-cover-webChristmas.” More Christmas Moments is filled with personal stories of the Christmas season. The stories are encouraging and inspiring because they show that no matter the circumstances, the authors were able to open their hearts to the wonder of Christ’s presence.

Soul Survivors: From Trauma to Triumph is a collection of soulinspiring personal essays and poems celebrating the resilience of the human spirit over pain, trauma, and tragedy. The collection features my essay, “For Better, For Worse.”

Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dating Game is a collection of chicken-soup-books-on-tablestories from men and women about dating—the good, the bad, the ugly. The stories are designed to encourage you, support you, and make you laugh as you navigate the dating game. My essay, which you can read here, short-distance-romance, is also included in this anthology.

In addition, I was awarded honorable mention in the Writer’s Digest Writing Competition for 2105 for an inspirational essay. I am the Writers Digestimmediate past president of the Women’s National Book Association/Boston Chapter. Serving as president was a rewarding experience for me. Not only did I learn leadership development, and event planning, I also got to meet some wonderful women who have been wnbaboston-2016highly successful in literary circles, but generous enough to give their time to WNBA. It was a thrill for me to meet mystery author Hank Phillippi Ryan and suspense novelist Hallie Ephron.  They made a joint appearance a WNBA/Boston event that I hosted, Hallie_and_Lisa_and_Hank[1]entertaining our members and guests with stories about how they crafted their novels and their writing routines.

Another highlight of my years serving as president of WNBA/Boston was meeting children’s novelist Lois Lowry. She is a powerhouse. Lois has written more than 30 children’s books and one adult novel.  She’s become known for writing about difficult subject matters within her works for children, such as terminal illness, the

Lois and LisaHolocaust, murder, and racism. She has won two Newbery Medals for Number the Stars and The Giver. We asked Lois to speak at our annual holiday tea one year and she graciously agreed to be our keynote speaker.

The Sun Magazine LogoMy publishing credits include Snake Nation Review, Foliate Oak, Meetinghouse: A Journal of New England Fiction, Clockhouse Review, Literary Brushstrokes, The Sun magazine, and Vermont Literary Review. I have also taught creative writing at Boston Center for Adult Education.

Grad2In 2008 I made the decision to enroll in the low residency master of fine arts degree program in creative writing at Southern New Hampshire University. It was the best decision I made to help me improve my writing and understand the craft.

I wrote the book I always dreamed of writing as I earned my MFA. The two-year low-residency program allowed me to write at home, while still maintaining my career. All of us students connected with each other and faculty mentors during short, but inspiring residencies, developing close and sustaining relationships that have continued well beyond graduation. I graduated with a book-length manuscript of publishable quality, a network of agents and editors, and college-teaching opportunities.

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