About Jen Vincent

Hello there! Thanks for stopping by. I'm excited you are here and ready to explore the power of story with me.
When I say the power of story, I mean it. Stories help us find ourselves, connect to others, and make the world a better place. I should know, stories made me who I am today.
See, I grew up in a northern suburb of Chicago. A super wealthy northern suburb of Chicago. It’s beautiful and fancy and the people are beautiful and fancy and all the things there are beautiful and fancy. But I didn’t always feel beautiful and fancy. My parents rented a small little apartment and drove used cars and didn’t shop at all the high-end stores in town.
Maybe I didn’t have a mansion or a Mercedes but my parents loved me. My mom took me to the library where I could check out any books I wanted. And as many as I wanted. My dad took me to bookstores where I could wander the stacks and choose a book that he would buy just for me. And it was all my own.
But most importantly, the books I read from the library and the bookstore were the exact same books my friends were reading. When so much about me and my life didn’t feel like enough because of the town I grew up in, there were always books and stories. Books and stories made me feel whole, helped me fit in, gave me an escape but also propelled me forward. I loved them, they loved me, and they helped me love myself.
I write because the power of story helped me love myself.
In March of 2015, I blogged every single day, using words to unravel the shame and guilt I felt over being the not-so-rich girl in a super wealthy, beautiful and fancy, northern suburb of Chicago. By the end, I realized more than ever how books and their stories are a big part of who I am today and that I have stories to tell. They’re mine and they’re special and they’re unique and they have to be told. In The One Where I Have To Share My Stories, I finally truly and deeply understood this. Click on the link above to access all the posts I wrote and learn more about me.
I have a story to tell.
And you have a story to tell.
Story Exploratory is about unlocking the power of story that is inside each of us. Let’s explore story together. Come explore with me. We’ll learn about ourselves, connect around and through the writing process, and make the world a better place. Read about books I’m loving. Watch some inspirational videos. Write with me. Join me in celebration. I’m so glad you are here.
A little more about me: I am a technology integration specialist and former teacher of students who are deaf and hard of hearing with my Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from National Louis University and National Board certification in Early/Middle Childhood Literacy. I’ve blogged at Teach Mentor Texts since 2010 where I review books and share ways to use authentic texts to teach writing. I also contribute articles to Little Lake County, a local family-oriented blog. I founded Story Exploratory in 2015 to extend my love of writing others beyond the world of education.

Since 2012, I have co-hosted and participated in Teachers Write, a virtual summer writing camp for teachers, with authors Kate Messner, Gae Polisner, and Jo Knowles. I’ve been a member of SCBWI since 2013 and am represented by Danielle Smith at Lupine Grove Creative.

Wanna say hi? Please email me at storyexploratory@gmail.com.