Hello! I’m Nova! Yes, that is my actual name, not a penname! There’s a lot I could put here, so I’ll split it up. Here is the short version:
I am an author and creator. Creating stories has been a passion of mine since childhood. After lots of indecisiveness about what I would go to college for, I went to the University of Maine at Farmington for Creative Writing. I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2018. In 2022, I self-published my first book Reignite Me, a book of poetry.
I was born and raised in Jackman, Maine, a small town surrounded by forest. My family consists of big readers (we all have massive book collections) so I was reading from a young age and was reading way above my age level (in kindergarten I was reading second-grade level books easily.) By the time I could hold a crayon, I was creating my own stories. My Mom kept the very first “story” I created using post-it notes and staples. It’s mostly scribbles. It’s all scribbles. But it was just the beginning.
In first grade, I wrote my first book. Created out of printer paper, staples, and markers, I produced the story of a red snake called Jake. I brought Jake the Snake into my classroom where it was a hit. I think I saw everyone in my class read it at least once. The sequel never was finished, it’s still sitting on the shelf next to Jake the Snake, only three pages long.
These were the years when I got told if I was going to go into writing, I had to get used to living in a cardboard box. It was definitely not what anyone wants to hear. I wasn’t sure what I would do after high school. For my careers class, I went ahead and said I wanted to be a novelist. I did. I do. And for the class, my teacher had me write a short story to be sent to the local newspaper. My nerves were at an all-time high as my short story was in my hands, on the paper. But I received so many compliments, that writing became more of a possibility.
My English teacher approached me in my junior year with a brochure for a writing camp. After a lot of debating, I asked my parents to send me. Best decision ever. I got to spend a week at the University of Maine at Farmington writing with fellow students all while getting advice from the professors in Creative Writing. The next summer, I went again.
In my senior year, I sent a poem to an anthology for school students, and it was accepted! My poem “Note” can be found in Accolades by The America Library of Poetry.
College gave me a chance to really explore my creativity. I took art classes that included painting and sculpture. I started photographing friends which helped my hobby turn into more. Nova Jarvis Photography went from just occasional photos here and there to being able to become a business. I joined a dance group and even got to choreograph a few numbers.
Creative Writing classes were my favorite. Not just because I love writing, but because I learned an incredible amount while taking them. Classes were workshop based which gave me and my peers the opportunity to read each other’s work and learn from each other. The feedback I received from both professors and fellow students helped me immensely. My writing improved drastically over the four years I was in the program, and many of the lessons still resonate in my work today. I’m able to edit my own work more effectively than ever before using the questions and strategies I was taught. I have been able to take these lessons and teach others who haven’t had the same education to help them improve their work! There’s no competition here. I want everyone who takes a creative path to be able to succeed!
In college, I got the chance to write for Odyssey Online. Their setup has changed since my time as a writer, but we had a division specifically for the University of Maine at Farmington. There were about twelve of us who wrote for UMF. A few articles in, I was offered the position of editor-in-chief of our little community. For months, I edited everyone’s articles, met weekly with my community manager and the other EICs he worked with, and wrote articles of my own. They are still available here if you’re interested. There were a lot of interesting topics that my peers and I touched upon or wrote about. It was a great experience and I sometimes miss being able to write these types of articles.
I left this position after some major employee changes. I picked up working for the local paper of my hometown. I wrote articles for them, went to meetings, interviewed people, and even did research. It was a great experience, but it made me realize journalism wasn’t for me. I would much rather stick to creating my own stories than reporting on others.
The Last Few Years
After college, I haven’t had the same opportunities for writing as I once did. So I made my own. I took any opportunity to be creative and write. I made writing vlogs, I joined the writing community on Twitch, and I joined the Maine NaNoWriMo group. My friend and I would take our typewriters to the local cafe and spend time together writing and being creative. These creative times allowed me to really figure out what I wanted to do going forward with my writing. I submitted multiple pieces to many different places hoping for some sort of publication, but only received rejections. Instead of feeling bad, I decided to publish myself. I researched self-publishing and realized this was the avenue for me. I published my first book in May of 2022 with many more to come!