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Snapshot: Lily Mac Hugh



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Occupation: I am a reference librarian, project coordinator, and administrative assistant at the C.H. Booth library. I’m also a full-time student at Emerson College finishing up my MFA in Creative Writing. I’ve got one semester left to go.

Family: I have a close-knit family consisting of my wonderful parents, an older sister, and two extremely brilliant nieces.

Pets: I have a smaller-than-average cat named Marzipan and a much-too-big dog named Gideon. They are very nearly civil with each other. Gideon is a huge black lab who I take everywhere that I can. He’s my oversized shadow.

How long have you lived in Newtown? I’ve lived in Newtown off and on for most of my life. I lived in Brooklyn for most of my twenties, and briefly in Costa Rica to get my TEFL certificate. I’ve been back home and working at the library since 2021.

What do you like to do in your free time? I’m a writer and illustrator, so I spend a lot of time working on my two novels. I especially love to do “Shut Up and Write” sessions with my cohort friends and at the weekly event I host at the library. I also play Dungeons and Dragons with two of my closest friends.

What is your favorite book? Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir is the book I am most obsessed with, though, also the book that causes me the most anguish to read. It’s truly wild esoteric space punk fantasy, and I love it. Runner up would be Murakami’s 1Q84.

Who has been the greatest influence in your life? My sister, Emma, has been the greatest influence in my life. She’s so talented and hardworking, and always pushes me to try harder and reach further. She’s a floral designer and event planner, and I get to spend my summers setting up beautiful floral arrangements for her company First Blush.

If you could spend the day with one person, who would you choose and why? My friend PJ passed away a few years ago. If I could spend the day with anyone, I would want to catch up with him. I think he’d be happy to hear that I pursued my dream of being a writer.

Who is your favorite musical artist? I listen to Andy Shauf an almost unhealthy amount; it’s my salve for any bad day. All of his albums have beautiful storytelling.

What is the greatest piece of advice you have ever been given? My friend D provides the best, most sage advice. They told me that some people are in your life for exactly as long as they need to be, and it’s okay to mourn that friendship and move on from it.

What is something you cannot live without? I think a sketchbook has been one of the few constants in my life. I’ve been drawing since I was eight or so, and I’ve kept a sketchbook for over twenty years. I have a huge stack of them in my room; they’re a good reminder for who I was when I was working in them, and the progress I’ve made since then.

What is your proudest accomplishment? The first time my work was published was, I think, the proudest of my life thus far. It was my first time submitting anywhere and I hadn’t expected anything to come of it, but my short story ended up winning the contest.

What is a meal/recipe your family has passed down to you? My grandmother’s crepes recipe is written on a piece of note pad paper, stuck to the back of the cupboard, and I still use it. I have it mostly memorized by this point but it’s nice to see it written down.

Lily Mac Hugh is The Newtown Bee's most recent Snapshot profile. —photo courtesy Lily Mac Hugh
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