Archive for March, 2013

Alyssa Eckles

March, 2013

By Paul Martell

Alyssa Eckles is an alumnus with a story, actually, she has many stories…she is a writer


“Crowds of students say ‘well, we’d like to be painters, we’d like to be poets, we’d like to be writers, but as everybody knows you can’t earn any money that way’…When we finally got down to something, which the individual says he really wants to do, I will say to him, ‘you do that and forget the money,’ because, if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time.”

–          Alan Watts

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Alyssa Eckles is a writer with a bright future

Alyssa knew what she wanted to do with her life, and often, that is the hardest step for a student. For her it was easy, Alyssa says, “When I was young, I always wanted to write novels, but my parents said, ‘you need to have a real job,’ so I went into journalism. Then all the journalism jobs went away.” Thankfully, for a person with Alyssa’s skills and passion, not even a downward spiraling industry could keep her from success. Alyssa’s ambition, coupled by a great sense of humor and a school that, “emphasized how important it was for someone in writing to get on-the-job experience,” would give her all she needed to be the efficacious writer she is now.

Alyssa attended Evergreen High School in Metamora, Ohio. Alyssa loves reading and her Genre of interest is Sci-Fi and Urban Fantasy. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, and Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley, are two examples of Alyssa’s favorite reads. Upon looking for a University in which to further explore her love of writing, Alyssa learned about the Presidential Scholarship program at Eastern Michigan University. Alyssa had always been an excellent student and thought, “Okay, I’ll give it a shot.” Alyssa applied, tested, interviewed, excelled, then received the Presidential Scholar Award, and that is how EMU came to be Alyssa’s university.

For many students, it takes a year or two of acclimating to University life before they are comfortable enough to consider extracurricular activities. For Alyssa, her first classes had not yet started when she got involved. Alyssa was simply walking on campus when she saw a copy of The Eastern Echo. She immediately knew that she was going to write for the University paper and signed up. Alyssa started writing Entertainment and Feature stories for the Echo. Working here not only provided Alyssa with invaluable experience; EMU was provided with an invaluable writer. Not long after being hired, Alyssa was promoted to Senior Staff Writer and later held the position of News Editor.

While writing for EMU, Alyssa had the opportunity to work on fun and diverse projects. She interviewed Robert Pattinson (star in the “Twilight” film series), Christina Ricci (star in the “Sleepy Hollow” film), and Colin Meloy, lead singer of the Decemberists. Interviewing Meloy was a memory that is special to Alyssa as the Decemberists is one of her all-time, favorite bands.

While enrolled, Alyssa spent time studying abroad in Derby, England. Alyssa admits, “I am a bit of an Anglophile.” She recalls a time in England when she needed one more course to fulfill her requirements. She ended up taking American Literature. She says the entire experience abroad, and being the only American in an American literature class was an experience she cherishes.

Alyssa Eckles graduated from Eastern Michigan University in May of 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism. Alyssa remembers her time at EMU with, “lots of warm, fuzzy thoughts.”

About the time Alyssa graduated, the journalism profession started undergoing massive changes. The demand for writers was in question. Alyssa worked two part-time jobs; as a receptionist at U of M, and as a web copy writer. Alyssa says, “It was a very scary time.”

Within the next three months, Alyssa came across a job opening at American Greetings. The job would require writing humorous greeting cards. Alyssa applied, tested, interviewed, excelled, then received a job offer from one of the largest card developers in the world. Alyssa says that, after applying, she was asked to write and submit 20 sample cards. This was a test that would be a pivotal factor in deciding whether she would receive an offer. Alyssa says that after being offered the job, it was explained to her that one of the 20 samples she submitted got her the job. The sample read as follows:

COVER: “You’ll always have a place in my heart…”

INSIDE: “Right next to the vodka and behind the Xbox.”

Currently, Alyssa lives in Ohio with her cat, Libel. She works in the Alternative Humor Department at American Greetings, and covers, “a huge range of content from ‘fluffy bunnies” to straight up dirty jokes.” The line of cards she works on now is called justWink. justWink is a card-line that utilizes trendy, quirky humor to appeal to Generation Y. This is Alyssa’s favorite writing subject. Alyssa’s work is not limited to cards. When she is not working on humor, Alyssa works with advertising, public relations, and other departments.  She is also involved in writing for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, Ohio. Alyssa also writes for Shutterstock, a New York based, Technology Company. She is currently blogging for them, writing articles like, “The Write Stuff: 5 Tips on Creating Great Copy for your Designs.”

Alyssa Eckles has a bright future. She loves working at American Greetings and says, “Writing is my passion and I feel so fortunate that I get to do this every day.”  She also hopes to travel the world, including volunteering in China someday. Alyssa’s journey is a pristine example that shows what determination and a little laughter can do for our dreams.

Alyssa is thankful for what she learned at EMU, “I had to be well-rounded in writing…it’s up to me to blend writing and versatility, I suppose.”

Do yourself a favor and check out justWink and/or download the App

Or take a look at what Alyssa’s been writing for the Shutterstock blog

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