GLENVILLE, WV – Glenville State College (GSC) has a network of over 16,000 alumni across the United States and the world, all bettering their communities and excelling at their careers; GSC alumna and writer Tara Wine-Queen is no exception.
From a young age, Wine-Queen has had a passion for writing. “I’ve always loved writing. When I was a little girl, we had an old computer my parents let me keep in the recreation room of our house, and I wrote a little book on it.” It was in high school, though, that she discovered her love for telling human stories. “I’ve always been interested in the relationship between good and evil, how they exist within us alongside each other,” she said. “I wrote a story [in high school] about a charismatic fireman who heroically saves a family and is getting lauded on the news for his bravery, but when we see the news playing at his house, we see that his own family actually lives in terror of him because he is a violent alcoholic.”
Today, Wine-Queen has a medley of published pieces where she tells raw, emotional stories of human struggle, success, and life. Her first story, published by The Write Launch, was called, “One More Thing to Make You Proud.” The story paints the somber picture of Wine-Queen’s loss of a man she considered her grandfather during her struggle as a young mother. For all of her pieces, Wine-Queen harnesses the same level of emotion and reality in her writing, pulling inspiration from her own experiences growing up and the experiences of those around her. In “An Appalachian Story,” published by Literally Stories, Wine-Queen tells the story of a young boy listening to his mother’s monologue about her life and what she wants for her children. “[An Appalachian Story] was written from my experience living in West Virginia the whole of my life and witnessing its beautiful and proud people suffering through any number of inescapable circles, including poverty and addiction. Some cycles just don’t want to be broken,” said Wine-Queen.
Wine-Queen’s writings have been published on a variety of literary websites and within magazines. Her book, “Tenderness and Troubling Times,” reached number one on Amazon’s U.S. Short Stories Bestsellers list after its release in fall 2019. “It’s a book is about breaking and rebuilding, losing and finding, and families: the struggle to have and to keep them, the cycles they sustain, the haven they can be,” she said. “It also has my favorite bit of writing of mine so far, a series within the collection called “The Baby Losers Club,” which explores fertility struggles, miscarriages, and child loss.”
“The Baby Losers Club” collection has since expanded to its own novella and was released in late August to the public. Wine-Queen is also working on several novels and essays.
In addition to her writing, Wine-Queen has a successful social media presence where she interacts with readers and writers from across the world. “After I began getting work published last year, I realized I needed to have a social media presence to engage with readers and other writers on, so I created the Tara Wine-Queen Writes Facebook page as a place to build an audience through humor and human connection. It’s grown since then, and I’ve expanded to Instagram and most recently Twitter, with over ten thousand followers across platforms. It’s really been a lot of fun and gets bigger all the time, with several things I’ve said or created being shared to millions of users,” she said.
Wine-Queen resides in her hometown of Weston, West Virginia, with her husband Aaron and three children. At Glenville State College, she was an English education major, a writer and editor for the College’s student newspaper, “The Phoenix,” Vice President of the English Revolutionary Society, and a member of the choir. She graduated from GSC in December 2010.
“I can’t overstate how important Glenville State College was to me,” Wine-Queen recalls. “I had always been at the top of my class growing up, had even skipped a grade to be in my graduating class. At Glenville, I was given the opportunity to thrive under the guidance of brilliant professors who not only took the time to get to know me but to engage me, to fight for me, to want what was best for me. The smaller class sizes and the family feel of the English and Education departments were exactly what I was looking for when thinking about my ideal college experience. I feel lucky today to still have relationships with many of those professors, who, through no obligation but the goodness of their hearts, continue to cheer for me and push me forward.”
“Dr. Jonathan Minton was my Creative Writing teacher, as well as my teacher for many other classes. He was enormously helpful and supportive of my stories, encouraging me to publish them in The Trillium and beyond,” she added.
For more on Wine-Queen’s writing, visit TaraWineQueen.com or follow her on social media at “Tara Wine-Queen Writes,” (Facebook), @TaraWineQueenWrites (Instagram), and @TaraWineQueen (Twitter).