Interview with Tammy Davis, Runner Up in the WOW! Q4 2023 Creative Nonfiction Contest

Sunday, December 24, 2023


Tammy Davis is an Indiana writer who spends her days telling organizations’ stories and the rest of her time telling her own. She has two adult children whose company she adores, though not quite as much as that of her anxious bullmastiff, Wallace. She publishes in several northeast Indiana magazines and occasionally on her blog, Wordsmatter ( She’d love to know how it feels to get eight hours of sleep. 

----------Interview by Renee Roberson 

Read Tammy's essay "Broken Birds" here

WOW: Tammy, thank you for joining us today and congratulations! How did you first get the idea to write about your mother’s Tupperware Bowl in correlation to your parents’ divorce? 

Tammy: Over the past year, my therapist introduced me to EMDR therapy. (Look it up; I highly recommend it.) Through that process, I found myself continually returning to the house where I lived when my parents divorced. It showed me that much of my work needed to start there. The bird memory pops up every time I see that bowl, and everything just came together when I started writing about it. 

WOW: You work as a copywriter and marketing strategist, and it takes a special skill to gather the best information possible to tell a company’s story in a compelling way. What advice would you give someone first starting out in this line of work? 

Tammy: I always think of myself as a translator. It’s my job to figure out what my client wants to say and then create a story that resonates with the intended audience. That does two things. First, it helps me remember that it’s their story, not mine, and that keeps me objective. Second, I’ve had to learn to listen like my audience so I can anticipate how each story will resonate. If a writer can do both of those things, she’ll likely go a long way. 

WOW: You shared on your blog that you joined an online writing group. How has that helped shaped your writing style and projects? 

Tammy: Having a community with a shared passion has been so validating to me. Being among these women, even virtually, has helped build my confidence so that I’m more willing to step out of my comfort zone with my writing. It’s like stretching before running; it makes me stronger, more able to go the distance, and more likely to take on new challenges. 

WOW: I agree that writing groups can be so helpful in building our confidence levels and increasing productivity! How did you first hear about this contest? Have you submitted to it before? 

Tammy: This contest was recommended to me by one of the women in that writing community we discussed. In fact, entering it the first time was one of those steps outside my comfort zone. I had submitted twice before Broken Birds, and the feedback provided each time has been incredibly helpful. 

WOW: Do you have any funny stories about your bullmastiff, Wallace? 

Tammy: Wallace is such a character. He weighs about 105 lbs. and insists on sleeping under the covers beside me because he has to constantly touch me. His favorite activity is catching marshmallows. Every night he waits (read: gets in my face and barks until I go to his treat drawer) for me to throw a handful of them to him in rapid succession. He’s really good at it!

WOW: Ha, love that! 


Anonymous said...

I love reading Tammy’s writing. I may be her biggest fan

Anonymous said...

This is an extremely relatable essay. Its subtlety gives it a melancholy aftertaste. I am also a huge fan of your work and look forward to more-

Anonymous said...

I just happen to have been one of Tammy’s teachers, and her current writing is a magnificent extension of her eighteen-year-old talent. Back in the day we referred to it as “word magic.” I delight in her success and her quickening talent as an author. Write on, dear girl!

Anonymous said...

Tammy is absolutely incredible. She is a talented, powerful, and insightful writer. She is a fiercely loyal mother, friend, and mentor. If you don’t know her, you should.

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