WThe Morgan McAllister riter has been linked to NASA since the day he was born in a hospital across from the Johnson Space Center, where both of his parents worked.
“I’m a NASA kid,” said the 31-year-old trans queer man. “My mother, Donna McAllister, worked at the Johnson Space Center as the chief librarian for many years. She was also a branch manager and received the Silver Snoopy for her contribution to the shuttle program.
His father also worked for NASA, first as an entrepreneur, then as a public servant. McAllister’s turn to work at NASA came during his graduate internships, and later with a contractor from the organization’s public affairs office.
While McAllister loved NASA, it was the written word that stole his heart. “My brother and I had a lot of room for creativity,” he recalls. “My mother let me read and write whatever I wanted. Unsurprisingly, she was fiercely opposed to any form of censorship. “
From his childhood, McAllister knew that becoming a writer was a viable option for him. “When each of my community college teachers started commenting on and encouraging me to make a living from my writing skills, I decided to go with my heart. “
After earning his associate degree in biology at San Jacinto College, he decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in professional writing and a master’s degree in technical communication at the University of Houston-Downtown.
Today, McAllister is a writer at RedShift, an ultra-powerful, lightning-fast writing agency that lives to write and writes for the brand. “It’s pretty neat to get paid for my favorite activity,” he says.
McAllister is now the happiest he has ever been in a job. “I joined RedShift over the summer, which was really kind of a homecoming for me. I worked for them as a contract writer in 2017 while going to college.
And RedShift seems to really fuel his creativity. “There’s nothing quite like working with a team of other writers every day,” notes McAllister. “Since the work is done entirely from home, I had plenty of time to recover from recent surgery and to work on other health issues, both physical and mental. “
Working from home allowed her to spend more time enjoying the great outdoors and gave her space to resume writing fiction and poetry in her spare time, for the first time in years.
McAllister adds that the favorite part of being a writer is that you can put thoughts in other people’s heads and persuade them. “It’s a bit like magic!
McAllister wants more people to know that they are already writers whether they realize it or not. “And more than that: everyone can be a competent writer. It just takes practice and a lot of reading. Be confident and be kind with your writing when you practice. Keep whatever you write.
McAllister is also happy to partner. “My partner’s name is Devlyn, and she and I are devoted servants to three kittens: Noodle, Tortellini and Dorabelle. Devlyn and I have been together for two years. It is the most fulfilling and loving relationship I have ever been in.
At his community college and university, McAllister served as president of LGBTQ student groups. “These days I’m involved with several online and offline support groups for gay and trans peers, and I even run one of my own. I’m passionate about things like sex education and body positivity in particular, ”he says.
As for the future, he has plenty of dreams. He would like to write a novel about Scáthach, a warrior from the Ulster cycle of Irish mythology who has built her own military academy. And, McAllister notes, “I would love to go back to school and get my doctorate in technical writing someday.”
For more information visit redshiftwriters.com.
This article appears in the November 2021 issue of OutSmart magazine.