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DIERDRE ALLEN TIMMONS

Dierdre TimmonsAfter graduating from the Annie Wright Schools, Dierdre Allen Timmons joined Smith College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English literature in 1990. She subsequently moved to Brussels with her then husband, who was attending a master’s program there, and began her career as a writer with The Bulletin, a local magazine. When she returned the United States, she joined a small local newspaper in Bellevue, Washington, as a news clerk before going on on to become a reporter with a different small paper. Continuing her studies, she achieved a journalism certificate from the University of Washington to support her career and eventually acquired an editor position at Microsoft, where she worked pulling news stories for MSN.com. Around the same time, Ms. Timmons began working as a freelancer for various local newspapers and magazines as well and also spent a year as the president of the board for her local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

As she progressed as a writer, Ms. Timmons branched out into writing scripts, taking courses in screenwriting and film at the University of Washington. This culminated in the release of “A Wink and a Smile: The Art of Burlesque” in 2008, which became one of the earliest films on Netflix’s then new streaming service and spent three years as their top documentary. Additionally, she recalls when “A Wink and a Smile” had its theatrical release in Seattle, opening night saw the theater sold out with a line that stretched all the way around the block, which was an incredibly exciting moment for her. More recently, Ms. Timmons released the documentary, “Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker,” about the annual burlesque production of “The Nutcracker” of the same name. It premiered at the Dance on Camera Festival in 2020 and won her both the Top Indie Film Award for Best Editing and the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Award for Best Director.

Attributing much of her success to her education, Ms. Timmons also credits her innate tenacity and focus. Known as a calm person, she stands out for the humor that infuses all of her writing, which includes her 2019 book, “Brain Candy: A Memoir,” a story that grapples with her fight with cancer alongside her mother’s Alzheimer’s. She feels it is important that people can connect to her writing in a joyful way, even when it is about difficult topics, and humor has been an impactful way of doing that, particularly when it comes to sharing messages about love and support. Above everything, Ms. Timmons considers her favorite parts of her career to be getting to write about real life experiences, be they her own or someone else’s, and when her writing touches people and makes them laugh and/or cry.

Outside of her primary responsibilities, Ms. Timmons is a frequent volunteer with homeless shelters and other local organizations in support of homeless people. This work has included providing hot meals and items that make living out of doors easier. She also notes that having even a small amount of education can help people get through the world and endeavors to provide mentorship and guidance where she can. Currently, she offers coaching services for writing, and she hopes to continue that work with a focus on high school and college students looking for support in their writing, applying to college, or entering the workforce. Above everything, Ms. Timmons would advise young and aspiring professionals to figure out what you want to do and just go for it.

Looking toward the future, Ms. Timmons intends to write more books and scripts with a particular eye toward adapting her scripts for film. She is presently working on a second memoir about her life growing up with parents who struggled with eating disorders, and her goal is to eventually write about her entire life. Motivated throughout her career by her desire to keep her brain active, she has also been continually driven by her outlook on life, which has always had a goofy and humorous bent to it. Furthermore, Ms. Timmons is incredibly proud of her daughter, Rose Mary, who is currently working as a teacher in Paris and studying to become a nurse.

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