The writer's life

Junior Josh Tuttle, an English major on the writing and literature tracks and computer science minor, has been passionate about writing from a young age. After learning the alphabet as a child, Tuttle used to type on his family's old typewriter. “I have always wanted to be a writer; the problem was when you’re a little kid, the challenge of being a writer isn’t necessarily the writing, it’s having something to say,” Tuttle said. “I didn’t have anything to say, because I hadn’t had the right experiences to have anything to say.”

Tuttle has come a long way since his typewriter days and over time has found many things to say. “Eventually I got older, and you both get more life experiences, and with practice, you get more facility with language and writing, and mental stamina,” Tuttle said.

Last year, Tuttle won the Washington Consortium for the Liberal Arts essay contest and will have one of his short stories published in an anthology entitled “Songs of My Selfie,” a collection of 17 short stories by millennial fiction writers.

“I had always wanted to get a short story published and I hadn’t been able to yet, so that was why I was so excited to hear that it was going to be published," Tuttle said.

Tuttle’s soon-to-be published short story is a fictional work; however, that may not be the writing style he continues to pursue.

“I feel a bit unmoored right now,” Tuttle said. “I sort of stumbled upon creative non-fiction, and I think that will probably end up being more of my thing. That does make me a little sad, because I really wanted to be a fiction writer, but I've discovered that I like creative non-fiction more.”

Before coming to Whitworth, Tuttle served in the army for two and a half years, where he worked as an Abrams crewman and a Stryker Mobile Gun System crewman.

“I picked up a book when I was in the Army called "Reading Like a Writer," by a woman named Francine Pros,” Tuttle said. “I picked it up and it sounded interesting, because I had always wanted to be a writer. The book was fantastic, and that was the first time that I ever really felt like I could see the path forward.”

After the Army, Tuttle attended De Anza community college (CA), where his writing professor, Charles Gray, reminded him of how much he enjoyed being in an English class environment.

“I loved the environment so much,” Tuttle said. “Without that experience, I really don’t think that I would have had the necessary insight to want to come to a place like Whitworth, where I would be in a good place to explore that side of things, so I owe a lot to him.”

After attending De Anza, Tuttle eventually transferred to Whitworth, where he was drawn to the English department.

“I came to Whitworth to be a computer science major, because I wanted to work for Microsoft,” Tuttle said. “I also wanted to explore the writing side [of myself], and I figured my opportunity to do that would be better served at a liberal arts university than some state school. And I was right. Our writing program, on the creative writing side, is just fantastic.”

There has been no single person of inspiration for Tuttle, but rather a whole department of support.

“Our professors are so supportive and so wonderful, after coming from places like the Army and De Anza College,” Tuttle said. “Just the personal relationships with these professors, I don’t think I could name anyone in [Whitworth’s] English department, that I haven’t had something like that with.”

“Songs of My Selfie,” the anthology featuring Tuttle’s short story, will be available in print by April 5.

 

Kailee Carneau Staff Writer

Contact Kailee at kcarneau17@my.whitworth.edu

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