FARMINGTON, ME (October 29, 2019)—Hannah Binder, junior at the University of Maine at Farmington, always felt she was a writer at heart. Now, with her second published work, there isn’t any doubt.
Binder, who writes under the name Hannah Paige, came to the small western Maine community from a city 10 times the population in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area in California. She was looking for a quality college creative writing program that could help her hone her writing skills, and a community that she could embrace.
UMF creative writing major Hannah Binder’s new book, 30 Feet Strong, was published by Austin Macauley in August 2019. (Photo by April Mulherin.)
“I’m a planner,” said Binder. “I researched creative writing programs and found the UMF program offered its annual, week-long Longfellow Young Writer’s workshop during the summer before my senior year in high school and decided that was a good next step.”
“After my experience with Longfellow, I was sold on UMF and its Creative Writing program. I loved the environment and the community and was sure this was where I needed to be,” she said.
The UMF Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program, one of only three in New England, introduced her to the workshop method with small classes, one-on-one mentoring and writing in multiple genres that strengthened her passion for the written word.
A writer since she was six-years-old, sitting on the floor of her mother’s hair salon, she has kept a journal for years where she has collected her thoughts, experiences and story ideas.
Her first book of women’s fiction, “Why We Don’t Wave” (Austin Macauley, 2017), was published during her senior year in high school. Her second, “30 Feet Strong” (Austin Macauley, 2019), just published this year, is about a young man born on September 11, 2001, and the connection he has with four people affected by the 9/11 tragedy.
Binder has published 30 Feet Strong and her first book, Why We Don’t Wave, under the pen name Hannah Paige.
“I feel obligated to tell people’s stories, and put in words what others just can’t talk about,” she said.
Some of that was instilled in her by one of her favorite UMF professors, Eireann Lorsung, who taught her to question what she sees and write about it. “She pushed me as a writer in ways that other mentors haven’t in the past.”
“I love working with Hannah and other students in writing classrooms at UMF, because their dedication to writing teaches me in a vital way about how to live and how to make art,” said Lorsung. “Being with student writers re-prepares me for my vocations of writing and teaching—just as I hope, by challenging and supporting them as they write, to help prepare them for theirs.”
“I feel I have really grown as a writer through my college experience at Farmington, and am building a professional resume while pursuing my education,” said Binder with a smile.
At UMF, she serves as a writing tutor and English teaching assistant. She continues to write and submit her writings to journals, literary agents and publishers. After graduation, she plans on staying in New England and would like to teach high school, while continuing to write.
More on the UMF Creative Writing Program
As the only Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program in the state of Maine, the UMF program invites students to work with faculty, who are practicing writers, in workshop-style classes to discover and develop their writing strengths in the genres of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Small classes, an emphasis on individual conferencing, and the development of a writing portfolio allow students to see themselves as artists and refine their writing under the guidance of accomplished and published faculty mentors. Students can pursue internships to gain real-world writing and publishing experience by working on campus with The Beloit Poetry Journal, a distinguished poetry publication since 1950; or Alice James Books, an award-winning poetry publishing house.
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Photo Caption: UMF student and author Hannah Paige (Binder)
Photo Credit: UMF Image
UMF Associate Director for Media Relations