B.A. 2008, Film, Creative Writing
When Laura Popp begins to tell you a story, all you want is to hear more. For example, Renagada (Rena) and Acha are outcasts from their civilization because Rena is a hindered “monara.” In this particular universe, monara are women who can communicate with all animals, but Rena can only hear Acha, her vulture. When Acha is threatened, the two leave the comfort and safety of home to experience one dangerous adventure after another until Rena must decide . . . ?
Popp’s vivid imagination fuels her award-winning fiction, and her faith-based altruism has carried her to Malawi. As a film and creative writing major at TU, Popp’s savvy science fiction novel about Rena and Acha, Treasure Traitor, received an honorable mention award from the international Writers of the Future contest. As a TU Presbyterian Scholar, she spent 10 days nourishing her imagination throughout Scotland - from misty mornings in St. Andrews to the jewel-like gardens of Scone Palace to the pub where Harry Potter sprang from J.K. Rowlings’ pen. Later, she traveled to the African nation of Malawi on a mission trip and made a documentary, “Malawi Missions,” now playing on YouTube.
“I first got interested in TU when Chaplain Jeff Francis spoke at my church” she recalls. “When I toured TU, I was immediately drawn to its Presbyterian heritage and the religious community on campus,” she says. “I loved the small classes, guest artists, the freedom of the liberal arts curriculum, and the ‘family’ feel.”
TU’s flexibility also allowed Laura to explore various genres - playwriting, screenwriting and fiction.
“I try to write at least 1,000 words a day,” she says of her current output.
Since graduating from the University in December 2008, Popp landed a position as an SAT, ACT, TOEFL instructor for Kaplan Test Prep in Tulsa, where she works with international students. She is also writing a history of TU’s Tulsa Undergraduate Research Challenge program (TURC). She hopes that her next endeavor will land her in Japan as part of the Japanese Exchange Teaching (JET) program. Until then, there are at least a 1,000 words a day just waiting to spring to life.