Deena Drewis is what the old school psychological community might deem a "multipotentialite," in that she’s super intellectual and excels at pretty much everything she touches. What a bitch! Kidding—the editor of Girlboss is as sweet, talented and interesting as they come. Aside from editing and writing stimulating news and feature stories on this very site, the Korean American 30-year-old is also the founder and editor of Nouvella, an independent publishing house dedicated to the art of novellas. After winning the first ever Girlboss Foundation grant, the writer came on board as Girlboss’ one-woman word machine.
Since then, the team has grown and so too has Drewis’ fanbase. Ready to join ‘em? Let’s meet her.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was really young, I wanted to be a gold miner. I grew up in Northern California, where a lot of that history went down, and I was a total weirdo about it—I carried around a replica of Patty Reed’s doll in my pocket for, like, a month after I read the book.
Luckily, I grew out of that and decided a much more practical career choice would be to pursue the arts. By the time I was a sophomore in high school, I knew I wanted to be a writer.
Long story short, what did you do to get to where you are today?
Because I knew what I wanted to do pretty early on, I knew the rough trajectory. I studied literature at the College of Creative Studies at UCSB, where I worked as an editor on the campus literary magazine. After college, I volunteered for a scrappy literary getup in Sacramento called Flatmancrooked, which eventually led me to start up Nouvella, an independent publishing company dedicated to novella-length fiction.
In 2015, I was one of the inaugural Girlboss Foundation recipients for Nouvella, and that’s how Sophia and I started working together. When she decided to start building Girlboss Media, it was just a really natural fit.
That being said, I want to make sure I’m painting the full picture: After college, I lived with my parents in Sacramento until I was 27 and I waited tables part time until a week before my 30th birthday.
Sometimes those parts get left out of people’s narratives. But all the while, I was working as a freelance editor and writer, and working on Nouvella. It’s been a really piecemeal hustle, but it allowed me a lot of freedom and flexibility, which was invaluable.