CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Current and former students of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi were celebrated for their literary talents at the first ever Student Authors’ Celebration, hosted by the Mary and Jeff Bell Library on Oct. 19.
“The purpose of the celebration is to recognize the accomplishments of our student authors,” said Dr. Catherine Rudowsky, Bell Library Director. “We hope their words and shared experiences will inspire other students to pursue writing and publishing.”
The event featured a panel of four authors including alumnae Christina Boothe and Samantha Hernandez and current students Joshua Espitia and Austin Simonson. The young authors discussed the process of writing and publishing and read a selected piece from their publication. They also discussed their trials and errors in the writing and publishing process.
Christina Boothe writes under the name C. R. Beck and published her first book, “The Mastering,” at age 18. Boothe graduated from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in December 2015 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing.
“There were times when people discouraged me from fulfilling my dreams by saying that I was not good enough,” said Boothe. “I told myself that it was my responsibility to help people, encourage them and say, ‘you can do it.’”
Samantha Hernandez co-authored her first book, “Latinas in American Politics: Changing and Embracing Political Tradition,” in May 2016. Hernandez graduated from A&M-Corpus Christi in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
“My book is dedicated to my grandfather who passed away the first year that I began writing and publishing,” said Hernandez. “This subject means so much to me as I am a Latina woman and through writing the book, I was able to connect with my community and learn how people of color who run for office are perceived.”
Joshua Espitia, an English major, is the author of short fiction stories titled, “Rules” and “The Basque”, which were both published in the Del Mar College “Siren.” “The Basque,” was later published in the “Literary Ramblers” journal. Espitia received a Texas Intercollegiate Press Association award for short fiction and magazine articles and wrote a short film called “Every Man a Patriot.” In addition, he wrote one play, “Hap 34rpy Hour” that was produced featuring local artist Pepe Serna.
Austin Simonson is the author of a book of poetry titled, “The Infernal Variations.” Simonson says he has a few more poetry projects in the works including a book of humorous poems inspired by homophones of the first lines of famous poems. Both Simonson and Espitia are members of the Islander Creative Writers Group.