“The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.” — Mary Heaton Vorse (1881-1966), American writer
Denice first applied the seat of her pants to the seat of a chair at age five when she wrote and illustrated a touching twenty-word memoir about visting her chronically-ill mother in the hospital.
That was just the beginning.
After hacking away at poetry, starting independent 'zines and trudging off to college to study the short works of Dorothy Parker, Langston Hughes, Ring Lardner and Kurt Vonnegut, she took a hiatus from professional writing to raise and home-educate five children.
A life-changing phone call gave her the opportunity to wrangle words for a living.
Now, she is a professional freelance writer with more than 150 published features, travel pieces and profiles to her name in publications like Farming magazine, Ohio's Amish Country magazine (winner of the 2012 Eppy Award for Best Travel Website with under 1 million unique monthly visitors), the Mennonite and more. She writes a feature column, Liner Notes, spotlighting local people in the field of music for Larry's Music Center in Wooster, Ohio.
She has written about everything from the NCAA basketball Final Four® floor to The X Factor Finalist Josh Krajcik. She has tackled difficult pieces about tough issues like childhood sexual abuse and eating disorders.
Her pieces, Bradbury (fiction), Gary the Giant (nonfiction) and Glass of Milk (poetry), each won first place in the 2011 Wayne College Regional Writing Awards. Her piece Epidemic (fiction) won first place and her poem Sink won third place in the 2012 Wayne College Regional Writing Awards. She occasionally indulges in performance poetry, when the opportunity arises, and has been clicked off such notable stages as Chicago's Green Mill Cocktail Lounge. She is also co-founder and organizer of The Poesies Open Poetry Slam Competition, a successful spoken-word event in the heart of Ohio's Amish Country.
She tries to stay sane through journaling and blogging while surrounded by the craziness that provides good writing material. She is married to her voluntary chauffer and talented musician Toby, and spends most of her time discovering interesting stuff along with her home-learning kids. She shares her home with a live-in father, three dogs, a dozen cats, fallen arches, a rabbit, and the hundreds of birds who visit her feeder. She is a member of the Mennonite church.
Denice loves music, plays baritone ukulele, and enjoys hosting The Sprouted Acorn Houseconcerts in her farmhouse high on a hill in Amish country. She and her family have welcomed such notable artists as Bob Bennett, D-Squared, Jason Harrod, Jake Armerding, Pierce Pettis, Jan Krist, Peter Mayer and more. She considers it a miracle that she can enjoy these amazing live performances while sitting on her couch with her feet propped up, sipping cinnamon tea.
She is currently working on a collection of short stories centered around human beings, their choices, and regret, or lack of it.
Join her at www.denicehazlett.com where she exposes beauty, cracks open darkness, and exhumes hope.