Judy Light Ayyildiz
4930 Hunting Hills Circle
Roanoke, VA 24018-8761
Judy Light Ayyildiz, a graduate of Hollins University Writing Program, long taught creative writing to all education levels. As a graduate of the Marshall University Teachers College with a major in voice, she spent years in classrooms and on stage as performer, director, and conductor. She has been an instructor and presenter at literary workshops, international conferences on poetry, writing, and women’s studies and has through the VCA worked extensively as a writer in the schools. Internationally published and translated, she was an editor of Artemis for 13 years, a Blue Ridge Writers Conference founder, Medical Auxiliary President and founder/director of RAMA Chorus. Author of 11 books in 5 genres, including Mud River, Nothing but Time, Forty Thorns, Intervals- Appalachia to Istanbul, and 4 co-written creative writing hands-on supplementary texts for students and teachers. Literary publications appeared in New York Quarterly, Mickle Street Review, the new renaissance, Sow’s Ear, Pig Iron Press, Hawaii Pacific Review, Black Water Review, Northeast Journal, Kalliope, The McGuffin,and Nazim Hikmet Festival Chapbook. Judy was featured in international professional biographies in Women in Dialogue and in Outstanding Persons Who Have Come and Gone in Kirklareli, Turkey. Anthologies include a story translated into Italian in International Women Writing Today, a memoir in Biting the Bullet, and Auschwitz Poems-Auschwitz Birkenau Museum. Honors include YWCA “Women of Achievement in Education”, Virginia Commission of the Arts grants, various poetry short story prizes, Daughters of Ataturk award, Turkish Forum award, College Bookstores Best Book nominee, Gusto Poet Discovery Winner, VCCA Fellow, and JPX International Literary Novel 1st Place. Married for over 50 years, she and her husband have three children and two grandchildren. Judy is currently completing a memoir titled, The West Virginia Diet. http://www.judylightayyildiz.com
- Marshall University, BA Teachers College, 1962
- Taught music in Buffalo, NY middle schools and Roanoke City Schools in high schools, performed and conducted music extensively throughout the Roanoke community for 20 years
- Hollins University MALS 1979; Hollins University Graduate Writing Program 1981
- Taught creative writing classes at Roanoke College Community Education, VCA Writers in the Schools (all over Virginia for 15 years), CITY School, Hollinsummer, Hollins Women’s Center, Elderhostle, universities and schools in Turkey, and in many other venues and programs listed in Vitae.
Travel and lodging, of course. Daily or hourly negotiable to fit the normal of today
I have taught ages K – Elderhostle. I have taught inner-city and disabled. Today, I would prefer to do select classes in grades ranging from 4 to 12. I would prefer to be placed in one school per assignment.
Within 20 miles of my home, I can travel back and forth within the day, so I could do any number of days or hours in an assignment. Beyond 20 miles, I would need lodging to be worked out that would afford me privacy and safety. At this point, I am available throughout the school year, but I do market my books and do plan months ahead. If I must travel to an assignment beyond 20 miles, I would want to stay no less than five days and no longer than two weeks.
Regardless of the students’ ages, and whether I am teaching what I write—which is poetry, non-fiction, memoir, or fiction, my goals are to engage the class into an excitement of language and expression. I use the writing process in inventive ways to brainstorm, focus, observe and analyze, focus, free write, select, edit, share, and edit again.
I integrate listening to music, drawing imagery and place, art, objects, guided positive critique, sharing aloud, reading examples to inspire and showing how the writer unfolds meaning. Students are encouraged to use the imagination along with Standards of Learning skills (although I teach those by allowing discovery and experience rather than lecture) in a hands-on and enjoyable venture.
A most challenging aspect of writing is finding the words to express distinctively what is known or felt. My methods bring forth the words and ideas and focus before the first draft begins—in an individual’s own voice. I teach many classes with time restrictions. Therefore, I devise ways to enliven the material from one point to the other to the end result that students compose a hardy first draft.
The four supplementary text books co-written with another teacher-writer, published by national trade publishers, contained lessons that were each done in classrooms before they went into the book.
I work very closely with the school and teacher to enhance a theme of study or an area of particular need. For example, I integrated point of view, imagery building, description and action into an ongoing focus of the Native Americans of Virginia. For presentation to the school, students made costumes, and read to drums. It is important to take opportunity in the class and in performance to encourage each student’s skills in reading aloud, use a microphone, and even how to hold their paper during a performance.
Not only do I work closely with the teacher, but I ask that teacher become student to experience the joy of discovery along with students. My intention is to motivate students to enjoy the thrill of concretely creating what they know and feel. I hope to open a window to the love of language. Routinely, I incorporate a teacher in-service session for the teachers and staff of the school. Back when The Writing Process was introduced into classrooms, my writing partner, Rebekah Woodie, and I were a core team to teach teachers.