Holly Vernon’s writing reflects her personal and professional experiences with the indignities of poverty, homelessness, disability, and loss as well as the countless joys and triumphs accumulated along the way. Writing was a regular requirement in her long, rewarding career in Boston area social services. Unfortunately, her body was ready for retirement well before she was. Her mind, however, was up and dressed at all hours craving the happy havoc of full-time work. With years of challenging projects and countless personal and professional pages behind her, the sight of a suddenly blank schedule was unnerving, so she decided to head back to college. She was rescued at pen point right in her own town thanks to the Wheaton College writing community. Finally, with two grown daughters, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild, she had time to indulge her own muse, the inquisitive, inner “enfant terrible.” In addition to fiction writing, she began to explore other genres in depth, such as poetry, creative nonfiction, and playwriting. Safely perched on many layers of hindsight, her writing today often assumes the raw humility and wry twist she believes most subjects deserve.
Past professional projects include development of training materials to promote access to medical and legal support for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing clients, assisting in the development of disability related curriculum for Northeastern University, Boston University, and Bristol Community College and consulting to Boston Housing Authority and Disability Law Center and Volunteer Lawyers Project for applicants and tenants with disabilities. She assisted in extensive development of website materials for UMASS Medical School disability resource project. She worked with nurses and physicians at Boston Medical Center to provide ongoing support to children with severe disabilities and children living with sickle cell disease. Current ongoing projects include developing training materials and resource manuals promoting access to safe shelter services for homeless people with disabilities and assisting a college student from Kosovo to chronicle her experiences as a child with disabilities adjusting to life as a student in American public schools. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless and remains involved in many Wheaton activities, particularly those in the creative writing department and the office of Service, Spirituality and Social Responsibility. Current writing projects include A Delicate Debaucle of Deliberation, a satirical look at small town life written for the Ten-Minute Play Festival, fall 2013, and Seduced and Abandoned (working title), a sardonic, no-holds-barred study of human and canine relationships written for the Wheaton College New Plays Festival, to be presented in spring 2014.
Holly Vernon, Advanced Playwrights 2013-2014