Danielle DiNatale '20

Danielle DiNatale is a senior at La Roche majoring in professional writing. She recently was awarded the Benevolent Quill grant from Words for Charity upon raising the most monetary donations for Newborns in Need through her submission “Ghost Stories.”

How did the English faculty prepare you to win the Benevolent Quill grant from Words for Charity?

The faculty taught me how to analyze my writing and how to make everything better from the overall story to the tiniest little bit of sentence structure. They’ve all pushed me to be creative and do what I want in the best way possible.

What opportunities have you had through your major?

A million opportunities. There’s always something going on in the English department. We have the Courier, the student newspaper, which I write for, and Sigma Tau Delta, the English honors society, which I am now president.

We’re always getting emails for internship opportunities or other writing opportunities that are happening on campus and even out of state. The faculty give us as much as they can to help us succeed. They always give you a path to take and a choice.

How prepared do you feel to graduate in May?

As much as the adult world terrifies me, I feel prepared. The program and the teachers have prepared me for any kind of job. I’m prepared for every aspect of writing.

Why did you choose La Roche?

La Roche is the only small university in Pittsburgh that has a straight writing program. I knew I could get the creative aspect that I wanted, but also the technical aspect that would lead me into a career. I didn’t have to box myself into broadcasting or communications.

When did you start writing stories?

I started writing when I was 10 or 11. I always liked to read and then eventually was like, “Oh wait, I could do this, too.” And so one day I decided to start. I picked up a notebook and a pencil and started writing.

What inspires you to write?

I would say the world in general inspires me. I always want to learn more about things that are different from what I know and that influences me most.

Dream career:

A full-time fiction author.

If you could tell your younger writer self anything what would it be?

I would tell my myself all those years that you spent in front of a computer writing and not expecting anyone to ever read it would pay off. And don’t be scared to share your work.

What is your favorite childhood book?

That’s so hard because I read so much when I was younger. I would fly through so many books. I would say the Percy Jackson books were my favorite as a kid. I liked the Magic Treehouse books when I was really young.