Digital Exclusive: Celebrating success back home

Digital Exclusive

DANVILLE, MONTOUR COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A Montour County woman is back home in Danville. Finding success early in her career with screenwriting and even eight-foot dinosaurs, she’s managed to take another step forward.

It’s hard to imagine that a dinosaur and a storm trooper are some of the early work of one former proud Danville Area High Lady Ironman.

“It’s something that found me and, and I mean I have my dinosaur business that kind of took off so I didn’t think writing would take off too,” Mackenzie Wertman said.

Wertman has been honing her creativity for years. Her parents say she’s been expressing that in her writing since she could write her own name. Two decades later and Wertman has gone from successful dino-entrepenuer to accomplished college graduate and screenwriter.

“At my internship in Los Angeles, it went really well and, you know, everything just kind of fell into place with the screen writing and then, and publishing and everything,” Wertman said.

Having recently signed a book deal to work on her first major novel with a publishing company, it’s the early stories she remembers. The ones that got her discovered by executives.

“Because I started writing in high school about these star wars fan fictions, and it was just because I had a spinal injury so I kind of couldn’t do anything else but write,” Wertman said.

In the process of finding success, Wertman’s work has already been published to different magazines, as well as some lighter stories she had to submit for school, anyway.

“Life is like a story, you keep on getting new chapters, and those are my older chapters, they, they got me to where I am today so I’m very thankful for them,” Wertman said.

Proud parents, Charlotte and Mark Wertman, imagined a ‘9-5’ job for Mackenzie, but weren’t surprised when their daughter’s passion turned into a career.

“We still talk about her imaginary friend from the time she was two years old, because she just had that creative part of her. It started to the point where we thought, okay is she okay here? Because we weren’t sure,” Charlotte said.

From Danville Area High to Bloomsburg and ending up at Full Sail University in central Florida? Mackenzie’s writing has taken her well beyond the confines of Montour County.

“When she was down in Florida she loved Florida so much that I was afraid that she wouldn’t come home,” Mark said.

But home is where the heart is.

“I love Danville. I do leave it from time to time because I do love experiencing new places. I’ve lived out in Los Angeles. I’ve lived down in Orlando. I absolutely love Orlando. But I’m the type of person that somehow I always find my way back home, hopefully inspire others in my hometown that, like you know, you don’t need really need to leave to be successful. You can be in your hometown or your like childhood bedroom or like near your at your school anything like that. It doesn’t matter where you are, you’re connected wherever you’re at,” Wertman said.

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