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Nicholas Chiarkas


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I grew up in the Al Smith housing projects on Manhattan's Lower East Side. When I was in the fourth grade, my mother was told by the principal of PS#1 that "Nick was unlikely ever to complete high school, so you must steer him toward a simple and secure vocation." Instead, I became a writer, with a few stops along the way: a US Army Paratrooper; a New York City Police Officer; the Deputy Chief Counsel for the President's Commission on Organized Crime; and the Director of the Wisconsin State Public Defender Agency. On the way, I picked up a Doctorate from Columbia University; a Law Degree from Temple University; and was a Pickett Fellow at Harvard. How many mothers are told their child is hopeless? How many kids with potential surrender to desperation? That's why I wrote "Weepers" and "Nunzio's Way"— for them.
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If you are available to be a speaker please list topics that you speak on here.
Writing Fiction (the many topics within that journey, from a 10-step self editing process, to the importance of truth in fiction, to the first and last line, to landing a traditional publishing contract, etc.).
Legal and political Issues facing the Criminal Justice System from Juvenile Justice to Organized Crime.
The real weight of growing up in poverty and/or growing up in a low income housing project.
Effective Leadership.
Teachers are my heroes.
Libraries saved my life.

Wisconsin Writers Association

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