Gina Magnello (née Olszowski)
My Wild Gift project — Now Coming to a Town Near You — was to write and self-publish a book that took a critical look at urban sprawl and its effect on communities. My mission was to inspire a change of heart among my readers and to encourage them to defend and preserve the unique character, quality of community, and purity of wildness in the places they called home. I sold over 600 copies of my book, which is now on its second printing. Since publication, I have been invited to speak at dozens of events ranging from green expos to college classrooms. A portion of the book’s proceeds benefitted The Conservation Foundation, a local nonprofit devoted to protecting farmland and open space that would otherwise be lost to development.
I earned my MFA in creative writing from Chatham University in 2012, having served as the university's Rachel Carson Fellow for two years. My concentration was in Nature & Environmental Writing — a genre for which Chatham is nationally distinguished. I currently work full-time as an artist. In September 2013, I married my husband Kurtis, a certified master arborist who is earning his enivronmental engineering degree at Youngstown State University. We live in Western Pennsylvania with two dogs, two bunnies, and a cat, and enjoy hiking, kayaking, and climbing trees.