Emily Gajda is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studies journalism and English. She grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina, on a loblolly-pine-lined street with a backyard of one square-acre that felt to her younger self like it stretched for miles. Her dad instilled in her a love of the constant search for new experiences and led her to begin traveling alone at the ripe age of 18 much against the wishes of her naturally anxious but still very supportive mom.
She began writing creative nonfiction work when she was 14 years old after her first few backpacking trips. Emily was the Juried Runner-up in the genre’s category of Short Edition’s 2022 Long Story Short Award competition. Her writing has also appeared in WALTER Magazine, an arts and culture magazine in Raleigh, NC. Her love for creative nonfiction continues to grow as she travels to new places and meets the interesting people that inhabit them.