Two journalists to speak about careers, writing with students

Garza and Granandos will be speaking at 5 p.m. on Tuesday in 301 Marrs McLean Science Building. Both Garza and Granandos will be sharing their recently released fiction and taking questions from students.

By Tatum Hanson | Contributor

From the fast paced newsroom environment to the creativity of fiction writing, Cynthia Leonor Garza and Christine Granados have proven that good writing is not exclusive to one genre. These women have paved successful careers in journalism and are now conquering the field of fiction writing.

Garza and Granandos will be speaking at 5 p.m. Tuesday in 301 Marrs McLean Science Building. Both Garza and Granandos will be sharing their recently released fiction and taking questions from students. Garza will be lecturing on the impact of journalistic writing on different genres and sharing about her personal work and life in Nairobi, Kenya. Granados will be reading a short story from her recently published book, “Fight Like A Man and Other Stories We Tell Our Children,” and discussing how her journalistic skills of observation, note-taking and interviewing helped her to write the story.

For an informal setting, Garza and Granandos will be mingling with students around free coffee and pastries at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the Castellaw Communications Building lounge.

“At the heart of any genre of writing is a good story,” Garza said.

Garza is a graduate of Rice University and has a master’s in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Garza previously worked as a reporter for the Houston Chronicle and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and has also written commentaries on NPR and essays for The Atlantic.

Most recently, Garza has engaged herself in writing children’s books. “Lucía the Luchadora” is her most recent release and was inspired by her daughter strutting her Hello-Kitty cape with the confidence of a super-hero, a combination that; according to Garza, is lacking in our world.

“I think what all writers have in common is that we are all trying to make some sense of the world through the stories we tell,” Garza said.

Though “Lucía the Luchadora” features a strong female lead, Garza does not believe its message is exclusive to the empowerment of young women. Her desire is for any child, male or female, to be inspired after reading the story of the young girl who prevailed in spite of gender stereotypes.

Granados found her love for writing as a young girl in the Chihuahua Desert of El Paso. She remembers feeling incapable of being a writer because of her Mexican-American ethnicity and lack of familial education. Yet her parents’ devotion to reading the daily newspaper instilled a passion for writing into Granados. The Hispanic surnames at the end of articles in her local paper served as a tangible goal and piece of hope to fuel her dreams.

Like Garza, Granados began her career as a journalist. In college, her job at the El Paso Times, the very publication she admired as a child, helped her pay her way through school. She says her time in the newsroom has given her the skills and structure she needs to succeed in fiction writing.

“I learned that journalism because of its principles and ethics limited the type of stories I wanted to tell,” Granados said. “I found that fiction was a better place for me to express the important truths of life.”

Granados is now a reporter at the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post and teaches writing at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her most recent work includes “Fight Like a Man and Other Stories We Tell Our Children,” a compilation of fiction stories about life in El Paso.

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