“Who are you?” said the caterpillar contemptuously.

Hello. My name is Ellen Finnigan (a.k.a. “Ms. Scribbles.”) Thanks for visiting. Here is some information about my personal and professional background.

I graduated with my B.A. from Boston College in 2000 and began my career working as a writer and editor in New York City. I did a little bit of everything in the world of marketing and business communications, from technical writing to advertising copywriting. Then I moved to Washington D.C. to work as an Editorial Director for an online media network. I also wrote a biweekly column for a daily newspaper.

I received my M.F.A. from the University of Montana in 2008. There, I learned the value of the writing workshop (as opposed to the writing class) and this informs the way I teach. While writing a book in 2008, I started teaching writing online to homeschooled kids and found that I really enjoyed it. Students seem to respond well to my conversational style and organic approach. I have been doing it ever since. In fall 2012, I started teaching at St. John Bosco Academy, a Catholic hybrid school in AtlantaI teach Ancient Greek Literature and Rhetoric as well as Language Arts.

As a creative writer whose work has been published in many venues, I value the written word as a medium for artistic play and personal expression, but having worked in a number of professional fields (technology and nonprofit, among others), I also understand the importance of strong writing skills in terms of practical use, tangible benefits and “real world” applications.

My writing philosophy is: Writing is rewriting. My teaching philosophy is: Writing is thinking. When I help students to become better writers, I am helping them to become better thinkers. Unfortunately, “regular” teachers, especially in traditional classrooms, don’t often have the time to do much more than mark up papers and hand them back with a grade. That’s where I come in. I aim to help students develop their writing skills at an affordable cost using the online model I have found so effective.

Full professional résumé available on request.

Education & Honors

    • B.A., English
      Boston College Magna Cum Laude
      Phi Beta Kappa
    • Master of Fine Arts,
      Creative Writing, The University of Montana (UM)
    • Winner of 2008 Merriam-Frontier Award