When Andrea Avery was a kid, she and her siblings had to write persuasive essays when they wanted to watch TV (except PBS). The Avery kids could use profanity, but each F-word cost them a quarter. It worked: Andrea loves TV and writing and believes all words come at a cost and sometimes the cost is justified. A native of Rockville, MD, Andrea moved to Phoenix in 1995 to study piano, harpsichord, music theory and composition at Arizona State University. She went on to earn an MFA in fiction writing, also from ASU. After a stint working as a copyeditor and proofreader, Andrea followed her heart into the classroom: In addition to teaching 10th-grade English, Andrea teaches creative writing in ASU’s department of English and grammar in the journalism school, where she was named Outstanding Faculty Associate of the year in 2009. She was nominated for Best New American Voices 2005, and her work has been published in Ploughshares, Shade 2006: An Anthology of Poetry and Fiction, 52nd City magazine and Phoenix Magazine. She was recently named winner of Real Simple magazine’s second annual Life Lessons essay contest and her work was featured in the April 2010 issue. It is now online and can be read here.