Gators of any major hoping to enter the literary world can breathe easy — an English degree is not required.
UF alumni have published 161 books through 103 publishers, Padgett Powell, a UF English professor, wrote in an email.
One such author recently published his first novel. Marc Weingarten graduated from UF in 1973 with a bachelor’s in political science.
“I really put that to good use,” the 62-year-old comedian and author said.
He had originally set out to be a lawyer, but after attending a semester of law school, he found that he did not enjoy it.
“I didn’t want to make money off of other people’s problems,” he said. “I wanted to make money off of my own creativity.”
Weingarten’s first novel, “Cape Comedy,” was published April 16 after 18 years of writing.
Even though Weingarten did not enter a field using his degree from UF, he said there is no such thing as a waste of experience, which he said laid the groundwork for his book.
Nikolas Wong, another Gator author and current UF student, also finds material from his experiences.
The 22-year-old criminology senior just had his second work, “Summertime Treasure,” published.
The short poem is based on a true story about a trip to the beach with a friend.
“The stories are like a ‘thank you’ to my friends,” he said.
[A version of this story ran on page 4 on 5/27/2014 under the headline "UF writers find publishers, success outside their degrees"]
UF criminology junior Nikolas Wong, 21, sits in Starbucks on 3443 SW Archer Road, where he wrote some of his book containing 10 short satire stories. “The Coffee House” can be purchased on Amazon.com for $10. A portion of the profits from the book will be donated to the American Cancer Society.