Date of Thesis

5-10-2017

Thesis Type

Honors Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts

Department

English - Creative Writing

First Advisor

Joseph Scapellato

Abstract

When constructing my idea for this honors thesis, I had two primary goals: the first was to create a work that showcased my culminating experience in the Creative Writing concentration, and the second was to lend a voice to the underrepresented LGBTQ community. Throughout my time at Bucknell, I have taken a variety of classes in the English Department that have shaped my understanding of what it means to write creatively. The choice to write in novella format allowed me to explore a complete, yet highly focused, narrative arc that blends conventions from both short stories as well as full novels. Utilizing supplemental reading to help refine elements in my own story, I have completed a work that I feel best represents the knowledge I have gained through the English Department. The choice to center my novella around LGBTQ characters stems from both personal as well as academic experiences. Despite being an avid consumer of fictional literature, I have rarely encountered LGBTQ narratives unless they have been specifically labeled as such within a niche genre. This refusal to bring queer representation into mainstream literature unless they are stereotyped or minor roles heavily influenced my desire to create this honors thesis, and shaped the novella into what it is today. Thus, this novella tells the story of Kenzi, a young girl who struggles through not only the same coming of age processes as her peers, but a coming out narrative as well. Through the guidance of two older friends in the community, and specifically through her newfound friend Sera, Kenzi learns what it means to grow up in a world so capable of hate, but also of love and acceptance. She balances between doing what is expected of her and what she desires, and ultimately learns that though being oneself may come at a heavy price, she cannot do anything but be true to the feelings that guide her.

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