Interview with Julide Kroeker: 2nd Place Winner of the Q3 2023 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Sunday, August 13, 2023
Julide Kroeker
Julide (Juh-lee-duh) Kroeker is 25 and living in Missouri with her dog Midnight. Julide works in a cold, dark office and spends her days wondering if the sun still exists. Will the sun’s rays ever touch her skin again? And if they do, will they be so foreign to her skin that her flesh will reject the warm light and shrivel up upon contact? Julide is also a big fan of hummus.

----- interview by Angela Mackintosh

WOW: Congratulations on winning 2nd Place in the WOW Q3 2023 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest! Your essay, “An Alpha’s Guide to Apologizing” is so creative, and I love the form. What inspired you to start writing it?

Julide: Thank you so much for the opportunity! I was inspired by almost every job I’ve ever had. One day at a job I had some of the other girls and I were making fun of the “apologies” we’ve received from men and I started noticing the patterns within them. I imagined that they all read the same handbook on how to apologize, and then I thought how awful but funny that handbook could be to write.

WOW: That is so clever! The how-to methods remind me of this Southern California shock jock from back in the day. He gave guys “love advice” and encouraged them to use the “backhanded compliment,” among other things like gaslighting. Your essay brought it all back for me, and you nailed the alpha male way of thinking. How did your essay evolve during revision?

Julide: That was definitely an inspiration as well! I did consider the idea of ranking apologies Ive received from men, but I really fell in love with the “how-to” format. From there I just knew the more embarrassed I felt writing it the more authentic it was.

WOW: Ranking apologies would make another great essay! I'm always curious about writing habits. Many writers love to listen to music while they write and create playlists for their work-in-progress. Do you listen to music while you write or do you have a ritual that you use to put you in the writing mood?

Julide: I definitely need noise to do anything as I am an elder IPad baby. I’ve seen every episode of the British panel show, “Would I lie to you?” and love having that on in the background!

WOW: I'll have to check out that show! Right now I'm on a reading kick, and this summer I've burned through about five novels so far, and I'm always looking for recommendations. What have you enjoyed reading lately?

Julide: I’ve been on a massive Greek mythology kick lately. Right now I’m reading Pandora’s Jar by Natalie Haynes. She reexamines how women are portrayed in Greek myths and I’m in love with it and her writing. She’s the kinda of writer her makes you feel smarter when you read her work.

WOW: Thank you for the recommendation! I just reserved it on my Libby app, and can't wait to dig in. I believe this is your second win here at WOW, and we all love your narrative voice! Before you go, please share your favorite writing tip or piece of advice.

Julide: Thank you and everyone at WOW for the opportunity and the community! My favorite writing tip is boring but it’s just write. That’s the best way to improve your craft I think, even on days you don’t want to!

WOW: It really is the best advice! Thank you so much, Julide, for chatting with us today, and I wish you the best of luck in all your writing projects.

Find out more about WOW's creative nonfiction contest and flash fiction contest here:


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