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Alumni Spotlight: Joy Callaway

Posted June 6, 2016
Pictured are Joy Callaway (MMC, 2009), Kim Jamieson (BA, 2006, MMC, 2008) and Graduate Student Services Director Sandra Hughes at a book signing earlier this month.

Joy Callaway is a 2009 MMC graduate. Her novel, The Fifth Avenue Artists Society, was recently published by HarperCollins. See how her experience at the CIC has shaped her career today.

What do you do in your current job?

I write historical fiction! My debut novel, The Fifth Avenue Artists Society, just came out on May 31st, and is pitched by its publisher as Edith Wharton-meets-Little Women, about a family of four artistic sisters living in genteel poverty on the outskirts of Gilded Age New York high society and centered on the oldest — an aspiring writer caught between the boy next door and a mysterious novelist who inducts her into Manhattan’s most elite artistic salon which has a seedy underbelly and secrets to hide. 

What’s the most interesting or significant thing you’ve done since graduating?

Probably the most interesting thing would be publishing my novel, though the most significant to me would be having my two children, Alevia and John.

What are you passionate about in your work?

I’m pretty over the moon about every aspect of my job. I get to make up stories for a living! It’s a dream come true and I pinch myself every day that I get to actually do this!

What did you learn while in school at the CIC that still resonates today?

Graduate school was challenging and ultimately so rewarding. My experience at the CIC taught me that hard work, perseverance, and passion are the keys to unlocking all sorts of doors, and I certainly apply that to my writing today. 

Do you have a favorite professor or a favorite memory from your time at the CIC?

I was lucky enough to meet two of my very best friends through the MMC program—Megan Fair and Kim Jamieson—and they’re both such inspirations both personally and professionally.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.