Katherine Warriner

Katherine Warriner

In her element

Photo credit: Krystel V. Morin
Photo credit: Krystel V. Morin

Katherine Warriner explores a burgeoning literary genre

If young adult literature needed a champion, Katherine Warriner would no doubt be a top contender for the job. This summer, thanks to the B.E.S.T. Projects Fund, the 21-year-old from Toronto will immerse herself in the study and writing of young adult literature when she attends a 6-week intensive Master of Fine Arts program in Virginia.

“I have loved English my whole life. I taught English to high school students during my practicum, and I learned to love teaching. But the one thing I have always wanted to study is young adult literature,” reveals the English and Secondary Education student. “I’m excited that I’m going to meet this community of like-minded people who care about young adult literature.”

Katherine has followed several authors in the genre since the 4th grade, and thus has seen the rise of its popularity in Western culture. Marginalized in the 1980s, the genre exploded into the public consciousness as many books were adapted for films. “These books reach such an important population, especially from my perspective as a high school teacher,” says the passionate student. “Teenagers are vulnerable. They are struggling to find their stable and enduring selves and they, more than anyone, need stories that show them that that’s okay, that struggling and making mistakes is completely normal—and necessary.”

Katherine’s hope is that this opportunity will help her join the ranks of her idols and write her own story for young audiences. “As a reader of these books, I know the effect that the work of these authors can have on people. I know the passion that these authors inspire. I enjoy teaching, but writing a book is my pie in the sky dream,” she muses.

As she prepares for her American adventure, Katherine reflects on the lessons that her experience with high school students has taught her, and how those lessons might help her become a better writer. “Over time, I have tried to emphasize connections with people,” she says. “My goal has been to remember that what matters most are the people I meet and the experiences I have with them.”

What is B.E.S.T. ?

This story focuses on a recipient of the B.E.S.T. Projects Fund. B.E.S.T. is the premiere experiential learning opportunity at Bishop’s University. In 2010, an anonymous Bishop’s graduate made a gift commitment to establish this opportunity fund at the university. This unique possibility is meant to assist students, determine their career paths and realize their ambitions. It also gives the student the chance to learn outside of the classroom.

The funds are awarded to students whom the Selection Committee believes have the potential for significant achievement and impact once they graduate from Bishop’s. Find out more information about B.E.S.T.