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Writer’s Relief lost a valuable and much-adored member of our team on Monday. It’s with great sadness that we announce the untimely passing of our friend, Jen Lateano, who began her journey with us almost five years ago.
Raised in New Jersey and incredibly proud of both her Lyndhurst accent and her Italian-American heritage, Jen was an excellent daughter and caretaker to her elderly mother, Millie, who was also her best friend.
Jen, an avid reader who loved to lose herself in a good story, was passionate about working for Writer’s Relief. She found a great deal of joy in assisting our clients and celebrated each and every time one of them became published.
A mosaic artist, she enjoyed creating magical pieces with glass gems, broken tiles, plates, and cups. Jen preferred to send cards in place of e-mails, and we feel that she played a huge part in the success of the sticker business. Any card she sent was plastered with stickers and filled with cheer or words of encouragement for both coworkers and clients. Her love of cheesy jokes was dwarfed only by her passion for cheeses of any kind. However, she was particularly fond of Gouda.
Jen will be forever remembered in our hearts for her kindness and generosity, her positive attitude, her perpetual cheer and cheeky sense of humor, her dedication to helping writers get published, her love of anything related to Halloween. But also each time we send a card, post a sticker, eat cheese, and/or say something corny, we will think of her. Having Jen as part of our family here at Writer’s Relief was truly “eggcellent.”
Please take a moment today and remember our gouda friend Jen. You can add your comments to some of ours below.
When you reflect on the passing of a friend, you hope it can be done in equal parts grief and celebration for a life well-lived, but the second part is difficult when someone you care about goes before their time. Jen was a friend to everyone she met, and I’m very proud to be included in that group. She will be dearly missed, and I will never laugh at another bad joke or pun without first thinking of her. –Michael
One of my favorite things about Jen was how every single time she spoke to me, whether on the phone or in an email, she always said hi and asked me how I was doing, or said that she hoped my day was going well. When she would call to transfer a client to me, she always took a second to actually say hi and ask how I was. Always. Every time. I suspect she did that with everyone here, and I think it shows just how much she really cared about everyone and wanted to connect with them and make sure they were having a good day. She sent people gifts and cards, would just randomly check in on us or send a joke or ask me what I’ve been reading lately or tell me she really liked an article I wrote, and whenever I was out sick or for some other reason, she would message me and say she hoped I was doing okay and that she was thinking of me. That sort of extra attention to the PEOPLE and relationships in our company was special. Jen worked to keep us all connected, and to keep us feeling more like friends and family. She was always ready to celebrate us and our clients in our happy moments, and always there offering support in the not-so-happy ones. Even while she was in and out of work more and more while taking care of her mom in these last few months, her attitude toward me and toward work was always positive and bright, and she was always kind (and always had a good emoji or a “cheesy” joke to share). Whenever I think of Jen, I will think of how she showed us all, every day, the importance of keeping the humanity, friendship, and connection alive in every environment, and how simple and easy it can be to do that.—Erinn
Jen was the most enthusiastic cheerleader at Writer’s Relief. Whether it was a client getting an acceptance or a coworker coming up with a good idea, Jen was ready with heartfelt congratulations and positive feedback. She offered warm support and encouragement to new staff members and the new clients in her care. And she never missed an opportunity to lighten things up with a silly ‟in-jen-ious” pun or “brain share!” declaration. I will miss her enthusiasm, humor, and readiness to volunteer whenever needed.—Carol
Madame Jen (as I called her) was one of those people who could tell you were feeling down, and would cheer you up with a corny joke or interesting anecdote. Her passion for reading and helping others showed in spades through her work at Writer’s Relief. I exchanged and discussed many books with her, and am thankful for all her wonderful recommendations. When I moved to Arizona for graduate school, she sent me many quirky cards with stickers and googly eyes and hilarious, yet encouraging words. I will miss her very much.—Dave
Jen and I did gift and card exchanges sometimes. She called me up one night to ask me what size shirt I wore because she found the “perfect shirt” for me. She was so excited about it. She was always tickled that I said “noodles” instead of cursing, and we starting saying it together as an inside joke after she gave me this shirt. She also sent me a card and postcard. She always had the coolest cards and stickers to share. For Easter, I gave her a bag of jelly beans that said “eggcellent” because that was one of her favorite words.—Sarah
I started at Writer’s Relief in our New Jersey office. Jen made me feel very welcome as the newbie. She had a way of putting you at ease, and she was very easy to work with. I’ll remember Jen for her good morning greetings, her sense of humor, and how personable she was. She will be very missed.—Pat
Jen was one of the first people I met at WR and I feel so blessed and honored to call her my forever friend. She always saw the best in everyone and had an incredible positive attitude even during hard times. She easily lit up any room she was in. I’ll miss her cool slang like eggcellent and every single pun. Jen was truly an amazing person and beautiful in every way. I’ll miss her every day. I have many happy memories to look back on with her and I’m so thankful for that.—Shannon
Jen was someone who I enjoyed getting to speak with at work. Jen was always friendly and kind to me. I looked forward to our interactions and getting to hear her puns and jokes; they really brightened my day. The brief moments when we talked during a call transfer always left me smiling because she always had something funny or sweet to say to me. Jen was always such a joy to talk to, and I wish I would have gotten the chance to know her better.—Kaitlyn
I only recently met Jen but liked her immediately, and this may have been because we shared a profound love of cheese and reading. She was always incredibly kind to me, and I really enjoyed her uniquely dry sense of humor. There wasn’t a time that we spoke or emailed that she didn’t send words of inspiration. The woman was full of love and light. Always encouraging, always uplifting, always kind. WR won’t be the same without her.—Moira
Jen touched all of our lives in a wonderful way. Check your thesaurus for the words thoughtful and kind. Every synonym describes Jen and her impact on the people around her. She made sure we felt her presence and caring every day. Now we will miss her every day. —Ronnie