Celina McManus writes poetry and children’s literature. She is a graduate from Randolph College’s MFA program where she was a poetry editor for online journal,Revolute. Her poems have been published in Peach Mag, Hooligan Magazine, Cobra Milk, and others. She is currently working on a collection of poems speaking to the environmental crisis, incorporating play and wonder. She teaches English and is a caregiver. She is from the foothills of the Smoky Mountains and currently lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with her fiance and black cat, Marceline.

Tell us about when you first knew you were a writer.

I knew I was a writer when I wrote my first story at age six titled “Silly Sally Superhero.” I haven’t stopped writing since. 

What three books do you wish you had written and why?

I wish I had written Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, The Bat Poet by Randall Jerrell and Maurice Sendak, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll. Each of these books holds a raw curiosity and wonder that bestows the richness of play.

What’s something you have learned while mentoring youth writers?

 I’ve learned in mentorship the ways we learn from each other, a reminder that collaboration is key.

Tell us a story about a time when you and a mentee used a strategy or tool and it unlocked new possibilities in their work.

When assisting a writer with their poem for the Inklings book, we decided to expand his metaphors. By looking at the relationship between two seemingly dissimilar subjects, we were able to explore the world of his poem, discovering new possibilities.

Beyond writing books, what is another way you express your creative voice?

I enjoy working off the page, so I find that collaging and doodling aids in my writing practice. It also adds another layer to my creative voice.

What are you working on now in your own writing?

Right now, I am working on a poetry manuscript. It explores narration, playing with the way words look on the page, and leaning into what my heart wishes to share with the world.

We each have stories to tell.

Plus, our own unique ways of telling them.

That’s why we personalize each mentorship at Society of Young Inklings. Our mentors are professional writers, storytellers, and illustrators who help students understand how they think, learn, and best achieve momentum. Our mentorships are designed for writers ages 8+ who are ready for a challenge.