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Rachel Henderson '08 Wins Screen Writing Competition

Rachel Henderson is a Loyola University New Orleans graduate. She graduated in 2008, and after giving some thought to graduate or law school, she decided it was not right for her. She says she has no regrets on skipping out on grad school as she feels that the people she has met and things she has accomplished would not have been possible had she continued in school. Rachel was led to Loyola by a high school History teacher in Fort Collins, Colorado who encouraged her to attend college at a Jesuit University to get a well rounded education. After applying to many schools, she made her choice on the smaller school that felt best to her. During her time at Loyola, she took classes that she feels she never would have at other universities, but that she references frequently in her life. 

Rachel said she majored in History as it was something that she was always interested in, and couldn’t imagine majoring in something different. She said that she loved researching and writing so History was the perfect major for her. These are the aspects that led her to both her career and hobbies. Rachel works at Phelps Dunbar, LLP as the Claims Coordinator, but she also writes fiction, nonfiction, and screenplays during her free time. She recently won a New York City Midnight’s Short Screenplay Competition. This is an international competition with four rounds. The final piece she wrote, and the winner, was titled It Means There’s Something Wrong With You. 

Rachel said her History degree gave her a background in writing and research that assisted her with her writing. The analytical skills she developed during her education also help in her job. By presenting her thesis, and working on committees at Loyola, she learned to be prepared and hold her ground when speaking, and credits this with aiding her confidence when engaging with people she is training. It also prepared her for the hard work her job requires from her. She mentioned that many of her co-workers, current and former, also have History degrees. 

Rachel’s fiction writing has also taken inspiration from her degree. During a competition she was assigned the genre of Historical Fiction, and got to write about the Donner Party. Her background in History helps her research for information and in verifying the fiction has a truthful basis. She is also working on a novel that she described as a “passion project.” Rachel also noted that as a non-enrolled student, she took a writing class here with Stephen Rea and continues to take classes with him. She made it clear, she loves writing and will continue to write no matter what awards and competitions she does or does not win.

You can find a link to Rachel's works on her website here.

Information on the contest can be found here. Her piece will be published there in the coming weeks!