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International Student Abbey Nimegeers Writes an Award-Winning Story

Abbey Nimegeers was amazed to find out she was named the 1st place writer in the creative nonfiction category for the 2023 Presidents Writing Awards. The Student Life team had the opportunity to speak with her and hear her inspiring words. Read Abbey’s award-winning manuscript “Smoke Signals”.

Meet Abbey

My name is Abbey Nimegeers and I was born and raised in Saskatchewan, Canada. My childhood looked much like you’d expect from a rural Canadian, I was surrounded by lots of hockey and lots of prairie. With 5 acres of garden, two hippy parents, and four wild sisters, I was rarely bored. I first came to Idaho in 2016 and fell head over heels in love. I’m still a prairie girl at heart, but Idaho’s mountains and rivers inspired me immensely and in 2020 I decided to attend university at Boise State. In the future, I hope to keep writing stories, particularly the ones that too often go untold.

“Smoke Signals” pays tribute to my mom as a mother, and my mom as a woman of her own. It speaks about my truth through years of growing up surrounded by a bright light of a woman and slowly watching that woman fade away. Writing this piece was a part of my healing process. While there are an endless amount of ways this story could be told, this is my version for now. I hope readers read this story and are inspired to dance with the skeletons in their own closets.

Q&A with the award-winning writer

Q: What is the best piece of advice you’ve heard at Boise State?

A: I think the best advice I’ve received at Boise State is that it goes by really quickly, so enjoy it. I’ve found that in my three years, it’s almost over and if I could do it again I totally would.

Q: What writing projects are you currently working on

A: I’m working on a feature article for one of my nonfiction classes and I’m just loving it. In the future, I want to do more articles like that and tell stories of things that hard news usually wouldn’t share stories about and just dive into that.

Q: If you could only eat one campus food option, what would you pick?

A: I think I would have to go with Guru Donuts. They’ve got a mean turkey pesto sandwich and they’ve got donuts and coffee.

Q: How has Boise State helped you transition into college city life?

A: Coming from small town Saskatchewan, I was a little nervous to move to a big city. But Boise is such a good size and the campus is such a great size. Really leaning into Campus Rec has been helpful just because I recharge outside in nature and away from the city, so having that as a resource on campus has been awesome.

Q: What advice would you give young writers?

A:  I think to young writers — especially in college — I would say use your professors as much as you can. The writing program at Boise State has amazing faculty. I guess it can be a little intimidating sometimes, but lean into them. We only get them for a short amount of time so use them to your full advantage.

Abbey’s final thoughts and advice for students at Boise State:

My biggest advice is to use what you have on campus. As an international student, for me, International Student Services has been awesome, including the Rec Center and all the resources on campus. It really goes by quick and it’s so much better if you get involved.

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  • Molly


    Content Writer