ECC Alumna Recognized for Creative Writing Pieces
Eliana Plumb began writing consistently as a student when she began at East Central College less than three years ago.
That’s led the ECC alumna to be recognized recently for two short stories she submitted for review as a student at College of the Ozarks this past spring.
Plumb, of Hermann, submitted her short story, “Mortem Obire,” to the international English honor society Sigma Tau Delta, and it was presented at the organization’s annual conference.
She attended the conference held in Denver, Colo. in April where she read her piece to a small audience.
Plumb earned an associate degree from ECC in 2022 and plans to graduate from the College of the Ozarks in the Fall 2024 with a bachelor’s degree in English. Her minor is in writing and rhetoric.
She said “Mortem Obire” is a story she wrote in Josh Stroup’s, English instructor and department chair, creative fiction class at ECC.
“I took inspiration from my own father’s embalming profession to ponder the question of how a person with a different perspective on death might face grief,” Plumb said.
She also submitted “Mortem Obire” to the Sigma Tau Delta Review for publishing. She will learn later this summer if the piece will be included in the journal.
Another short story, “Song of the Wind,” won second place in the College of the Ozarks’ short story competition.
“’Song of the Wind’ is a project that I plan on extending to become a novel,” Plumb commented. “I was inspired by my British literature class and my classical and Christian epics class.
“I wanted to merge epic conventions with different poetry conventions across the world during different time periods,” she added. “My epics professor asked at the beginning of class why we thought no one was really writing epics anymore, and I decided I wanted to do just that.”
Plumb noted that being acknowledged for her writing has helped build confidence.
“Receiving recognition for my creative work has really settled in my mind that I can be successful doing what I’m inspired to do,” she said.
Inspiration at ECC
Plumb, who was homeschooled, said she didn’t recognize her talent for writing until taking English courses at ECC.
“I had no metric for my abilities until I came to ECC. With the classes provided, I was able to see my talent in the English field,” she said. “I was inspired to attempt things I never would have on my own, and I’ve taken that mentality with me to College of the Ozarks.”
Plumb was inspired and encouraged by Stroup and Raphael Maurice, former adjunct instructor at ECC.
“Both of them cemented in my mind that studying English is the only thing I want to do,” she added. “I cannot thank them enough for encouraging me to expand my knowledge and my abilities.”
Outside of her former instructors, Plumb has been inspired by many authors.
“I have innumerable influences, but I can name Edgar Allan Poe, Sylvia Plath, Donna Tartt, and J.R.R. Tolkien as authors who formed what I enjoy reading and writing.”
Although she has only been writing creatively for a short time, Plumb plans for a career in the field.
“I only began writing consistently a few years ago, but since then I have written several short stories, poems, and a full-length novel that I would like to publish,” she said. “I would love to continue my education, but I really have a passion for writing. If I could build a career off writing and editing creative works, I couldn’t ask for much more.”
ECC offers creative writing and English emphases through its Arts and Humanities Pathway, which introduces students to the history of ideas that have defined cultures through a study of the visual arts, literature, theatre, music and media.
To find out more about ECC and the Arts and Humanities pathway, visit www.eastcentral.edu.