Brittany Ackerman is a writer from Riverdale, New York. She earned her BA in English from Indiana University and graduated from Florida Atlantic University’s MFA program in Creative Writing. She teaches Archetypal Psychology and Creative Writing at AMDA College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts in Hollywood, CA. She was the 2017 Nonfiction Award Winner for Red Hen Press, as well as the AWP Intro Journals Project Award Nominee in 2015. Her work has been featured in The Los Angeles Review, No Tokens, Hobart, Cosmonauts Ave, Fiction Southeast, and more. She currently lives in Los Angeles, California with her first collection of essays entitled The Perpetual Motion Machine out with Red Hen Press.
I aspire to be a kind person, someone who doesn’t sweat the small stuff, someone who can get back up after they fall or are kicked down, someone who is a team player and can see beyond myself. In terms of career goals, I just want to stay active and keep writing and be able to keep writing for the rest of my life.
My biggest success so far has been getting my book, The Perpetual Motion Machine, published by a press who I truly respect and love who honors my work and my being. I recognize what a feat this is, and I am happy to call Red Hen Press my book’s home.
My most challenging moment has been the fear of what comes next. I have a lot of books still in me, but I also want to start a family soon and I’m getting married this year. I need to have a balance between my career and my personal life, and I’m lucky to have such supportive family and a loving and also artistic fiancé by my side.
My dad always quotes Yoda’s, “Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
Jo Ann Beard forever.
How did you get into the industry?
I went to graduate school for creative writing and moved to LA shortly after. I waitressed for a while and kept submitting out my book to agents, publishers, contests, etc. One day, I got an email that my book was a finalist for Red Hen Press’s annual nonfiction contest, and later received news that I had won. I was thrilled! But that win turned out to be simply getting my foot in the door. There was a lot of work to be done, still. I’ve learned since then that getting published is when the work truly begins.
Career advice to those in your industry?
The joy that one gets from publication does not last long. You have to make sure that you’re writing, or pursuing whatever art it is that you are pursuing, because it is what you love and what you feel will inch you back to some higher purpose in your life. The true joy you receive will hopefully be from connecting with others along the way, impacting people, inspiring others to chase their dreams and follow their art as well. Use your gifts for good.
How do you motivate others?
I try to motivate others by leading an example. I’m constantly sending out my work to literary magazines and agents and whether or not I get positive feedback, I continue to do so. It’s great to get your writing on the page, but it’s really important to share it with the world, since you never know who you might inspire or heal through your work.
My Daily Thoughts:
Goal of the Day: Learn something new.
Thought of the Day: To be of service to others.
Action of the Day: Exercise!
Deed of the Day: Pay someone a compliment.
Tip of the Day: Be kind.
A Day in My Life:
What do you love most about Your City?
Being able to go on hikes year-round and spend time outdoors.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
Belgium waffles at Russell’s in Pasadena.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – Waking up.
10:00 AM – Teaching.
12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal?
Butter lettuce salad (sub goat cheese for feta) at Joan’s on Third.
7:00 PM – Gym class.
11:00 PM – Writing.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
One hazelnut latte at 8:00am that I grossly microwave again at 9:00am and drink until lunchtime.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
What should everyone try at least once?
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
In a book.
What Else to Know?
Here are some links to recent pieces I’ve had published in various literary magazines and journals: