Eileen Pollack

Eileen Pollack


University of Michigan - Helen Zell MFA Program


My road in life took a while to figure out.
When I was a very young girl, I loved reading so much that I started writing my own books.
When I got to junior high, I was told that girls couldn't take advanced science or math classes.
That first big "no" spurred me to read everything I could about science and study physics.
My college professors got me excited about physics, but as a female, I still felt like an outsider.
I eventually gave up physics and went back to pursuing writing.
Trying to make a living as a writer was hard; I worked some awful jobs just to keep myself afloat.
Despite my inexperience, a friend persuaded her editor to take a chance and hire me as a reporter.
I really hit my stride once I realized I could combine my two passions and write about science!
Keep following my journey



I teach English / creative writing at the University of Michigan and I write about women in science.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Being Creative

Day to Day

I get up early, eat breakfast, check my email, and read the New York Times. Then I get to my desk and spend the morning working on my own material, whether it's a novel, short story, or piece of creative fiction. In the afternoon, I switch my brain over to my students: I go to campus, teach a class or two, and hold office hours. On a good day, I don't have too many administrative tasks or meetings and I can spend most of my time working with interesting, enthusiastic young writers.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

If you want to be a writer, it's not always the best idea to get an undergraduate degree in writing or English; of course you should take some creative writing classes, but you should also immerse yourself in something like history or science. That way, you will know something about the world, and you can come to your writing career with a unique perspective. For example, I'm able to write fiction and non-fiction about scientists because I'm very familiar with that realm.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:



The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"How could a girl succeed in physics?"