Mason West's CV

Journalist, Writer, and Teacher

Various newspapers & blog Since 2005, writing creatively, and in March 2016 began blogging on an almost daily basis. Between 2000 & 2005 traveled around the world while writing & teaching EFL, frequently focusing on literature and film. Taught both graduates and undergraduates at Woosong University, Daejeon, South Korea. In Colombia, Ecuador, and Chile taught at various levels. At Kodaikanal International School, Tamil Nadu, India, taught high school literature courses with a focus on understanding and writing about literature along with the mechanics of writing. 
Many years experience as a journalist, writing for The Daily Texan, The Austin American-Statesman, The Austin Chronicle, and various newspapers and music rags about the country. Wrote voraciously for Texan—covered the burgeoning Austin music scene during the 1970s, and hard news on the state and campus beats during the 1990s, and my interviews with state politicians during a big spell of redistricting gave me a working knowledge of the state’s legislative process. 1970s music coverage got me published in the Austin American-Statesman and several local rags. I met deadlines and produced what was often front-page material for the Texan every day (even in the summer we were publishing Monday through Friday back then). I have attended my share of press conferences—from mad musicians to sheriffs searching for psychos—and I have used my skills to promote poetry readings, replete with press releases and Web and television presence to put people in the seats. I am also a credibly published poet. And all of this came after a twenty-year career in computer programming, so I straddle both Humanities and Technology.

Education

  • Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. Southwest Texas State University - San Marcos, TX. 2002.
  • Bachelor of Arts in English. The University of Texas at Austin - Austin, TX. 1998.
  • Diploma in paralegal studies. Blackstone Career Institute - Allentown, PA. 2010.
  • Certificate in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), Arizona State University, late 2017 or early 2018.

Skills

Writing both for journalism and creatively; Software Development; Web Design. 

Awards

  • Second-place in the non-fiction category of the University of Texas English Department's Writing Contest. March 1992. “Texism in Colorado,” essay.
  • First-place in the non-fiction category of the University of Texas English Department's Writing Contest. October 1997. “On Dallas,” essay.
  • First-place in the non-fiction category of the University of Texas English Department's Writing Contest. March 1998. “Visiting Hemingway,” essay.
  • Story selected by The American Institute of Graphic Artists, Houston chapter. October 1999. My story “Alice by Day” was selected by The American Institute of Graphic Artists, Houston chapter, as one of 25 stories by Texas writers to be represented by professionally drawn posters auctioned to raise funds to combat illiteracy. The exhibition, “Do You Read me?” toured Texas cities between November 1999 and April 2000.

Additional Information


Accustomed to living overseas and working in vibrant and challenging environments. Traveled around world as a teacher of English as a foreign language. Bilingual (English and Spanish).