Growing A Writing Career – Guest Essay by Angie Mangino

writing career
Writing has been a big part of me ever since I was a little girl writing for my own amusement.  As a woman, I filled many a journal, doing my best reflections in writing.  Then in 1992, a friend developed terminal cancer.  I shared that journey with her for thirteen months.  My journal helped me find some sanity in the insanity; birthing an essay, “Friendship Elevates Our Lives.”  When my friend read it, she got this determined look in her eyes.

“Promise me,” she said.  “Promise me you’ll get this published.  It could help so many people.”

I made and kept that promise.  In 1995, I received my first writing check.  I knew I would continue to write for publication after requests for reprints came in from people who had friends with cancer.

After the publication of subsequent essays, the Senior Editor of Woman’s Day called me and asked for an essay!

Simultaneously I worked online for Inscriptions Magazine doing book reviews, and working as a stringer for our local weekly newspaper from 1997 until the paper’s demise in 2005.  Working on a series on Tottenville’s history for the newspaper, another door opened.

In 1999, the Council on the Arts & Humanities Staten Island (COAHSI) gave me a grant to research Tottenville history and to hold an interactive workshop in the community.  In 2000, the New York Public Library had me conduct an additional workshop at the Tottenville Branch.  In 2002, the N.Y. State Assembly cited me as a Staten Island Woman in History.  The 50 Plus show interviewed me on Staten Island Community TV, as did WNBC’s Gabe Pressman for his news report on Tottenville.

Everything was looking up for my writing career.

Then life intervened.

My husband’s poor health got progressively worse, forcing his disability retirement in 2008.  I assumed more caretaking responsibilities, and had less time to pursue my writing career.  He developed gangrene during Christmas 2010, was admitted to the hospital on January 4th, had his leg amputated on January 31st, and died on February 28th.

However, this is not how my children and I want to remember him. As a memorial to their father, my children are walking on October 23rd to fundraise for the American Diabetes Association.  I am so proud of my children for starting Team Carmine to remember their father, doing something positive in his memory to help others.

writing career

For Christmas, with my husband aware this was probably going to be our last one together, Carmine gave me the iPad I coveted, inscribed with “Always believe,” as a tangible sign of his support for my writing career.  Between our children’s following in his footsteps caring for others, and my husband’s encouraging last gift to me, it comforts me to witness his love living on, propelling me to continue to work growing my writing career.

Angie Mangino, a former investigative reporter for the Staten Island Register weekly newspaper, is a freelance writer who has been providing quality service to editors since 1995.  Publications online and in print include articles on a variety of subjects, essays, and book reviews.

Her website has her full writing resume.

Angie networks on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and is always open to meeting other writers, firmly believing writers have so much to learn from, and to share, with each other.


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  1. When reading Ms. Mangino’s story, I am reminded of how writers may take the opportunity to construct meaning out of tragedy and loss. It is one of the best things to teach children, who will no doubt face loss again. Human life is such that we rarely get back what we lose but writers can at least explain it and go on in strength. Thank you for sharing your story.

  2. I am a long time friend of Angie’s and I must say that this small article doesn’t even begin to show how her writing has helped so many people. As one example: While the other local paper reported incorrect information about the struggle of 40 families to save their homes, she researched and wrote the truth! She wrote from her heart and stood up for truth of what happened to those families. To have the truth told helped all of those families. She is a strong woman with a true talent for writing. I could go on and on but I will just say that when you have that kind of talent it has to be shared. The written word, when it comes from the heart can change the world. I know because she has inspired me!
    I have donated in memory of Carmine and I hope that all who read this will donate whatever they can to help stop diabetes.

  3. I was touched to read this piece by fellow writer Angie Mangino. We connected during her time at the Staten Island Register when she wrote incisive profiles of island residents. Such a pleasure to read her work again after the difficult life passage she has come through.

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