Alumni Spotlight: Colby Bigham ’21

Colby Bigham graduated in 2021 majoring in English and minoring in creative writing and Appalachian studies. Having worked as a part of the Writing Resources team all four years, Colby is more than well acquainted with writing and has it as a major part of her life. As a child, she remembers creating her own stories to match the pictures of her favorite Dr. Seuss books, however it wasn’t until graduating high school and  arriving at Berea College that writing as a career seemed like a real possibility for Colby. Saying that at first, she “didn’t really know how to get my foot into that [career] pathway,” but after being a part of the Ireland BIST Colby came away with a newly widened sense of what it means to be a writer. “Writers come from different background just like everybody else does,” she says. “You don’t have to have that perfect life, perfect childhood, and perfect dream of [how] to be a writer.” Bigham said that she recommends for anyone interested in writing, to take at least one Creative Writing class from both Professor House and Professor Howard.

Colby Bigham is the 2020 recipient for the Jean Ritchie MA Scholarship, which will see her pursuing her writing this September in Galway, Ireland, at the National University of Ireland (NUI). She will have to leave at home “an awesome husband, an amazing dog, and a wonderful cat,” but plans on returning to Tennessee after finishing her scholarship and settling in the state. Colby is passionate about using her writing to educate folx on issues important to her, saying, “there are a lot of people who don’t have access to an education, and I was almost one of those people. So, if I can use my work to educate those people without them having the burden of finances or accessibility, than that’s my big overarching goal.”

Want more information about Colby’s story? Contact her via email at 

By Rowan Swift
Rowan Swift Peer Consultant