Your source for CHS news


Your source for CHS news


Your source for CHS news


Local teens to host writing fair on April 20, emphasizes representation of teen writers

Megan Xia

Local teen writers are hosting an all-ages writing fair on April 20 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. The event will be held in the Community Room at the Carmel Clay Public Library (CCPL). Various published teen authors and writing clubs from this school will be at the event to host activities. Nick Stitle, a teen author and senior, is one of the students who will be helping out at the event. 

“I originally started writing in sixth grade,” Stitle said. “At first, writing was more of a hobby than anything else; I did it for fun and I didn’t expect anything to come of it. I wrote consistently through middle school and my freshman year, but I started taking writing more seriously at the start of my sophomore year. I started working on the first draft of what would eventually become my debut novel: Stormless. Throughout the next year and a half, I dedicated more time to writing until I eventually finished Stormless and published it in May 2023. I have now published two books, and both are a part of the same series: the Stormless series. I intend to finish the series, which is currently planned to have four books in total, and then write a few unrelated standalone novels after that.”

Stitle said the writing fair was a great way to introduce writing to teenagers who may be interested in writing or authoring books. 

“I am going to be a part of the teen author panel, and I’m going to have my own table set up,” Stitle said. “Events like this contribute to the development of new teen authors because these events show aspiring teen authors that their dreams can come true. These events show new young authors that it is possible to publish a book at a young age, and beyond that, these events show more established authors, like myself, that the community around us cares for our work and wishes to support us.”

Kelly Fulk, a member of the CHS Creative Writing Club and junior, said she would also be volunteering at the event and agreed with Stitle that it was a good way of representing teen authors. 

“I’ve been writing ever since elementary school, but I really started to do it competitively in eigth grade when my teacher recommended I submit (my work) to the Scholastic writing competition,” Fulk said. “These events are so cool and they really help teen authors gain traction and recognition locally for their talent, as well as inspire young authors to get published during their teen years. These events represent teen authors as imaginative and hard-working individuals while also helping to normalize the process of getting published as a young author, which hopefully one day becomes more normal for the large publishing companies.”

Mary Halfmann, sponsor of the CHS Creative Writing Club, agreed with Stitle and Fulk and said teen authors are currently underrepresented. 

“I don’t think, just on a daily basis, many students here know that there are (teen) writers,” Halfmann said. “I have several students who have self-published and people are just not aware of that. One time, we did have a student who wrote a book about her brother and his medical experiences, and we saw an announcement on it, but that was the only way people knew. Having the CCPL put something like this on, showcases our young people’s abilities and what they’re actually doing.” 

Nick Stitle, a teen author and senior, reads a book about Venezuela. Stitle said the writing fair was a great way to introduce writing to teenagers who may be interested in writing or authoring books. (Abigail Lee)

Stitle said teen authors were important because an author’s age influences writing styles. 

“I think that my young age gives me a more modern perspective on writing and storytelling,” Stitle said. “My works tend to be very large-scale and epic, rather than short and sweet. I think this reflects a more modern perspective on storytelling because, in the last few decades long, expansive series consisting of massive amounts of content have become more popular than ever. While long series have always been around, I feel that they’ve risen in popularity recently, and I think the expansive scale of my own work reflects that modern preference for longer works.”

Fulk said she agreed with Stitle. 

Fulk said, “I think being a teenager means my writing is a very raw and genuine account of my emotions, which can be intense at times, but it also means I have a lot of writing about what it means to grow as a person and evolve over time.”

Fulk said she encourages writers to write whatever they think is best and not to worry about the outcome. 

“If you’re struggling with ideas, look at what’s happening to the people around you and imagine how they’re feeling and write whatever comes to mind,” Fulk said. “Don’t ever give up. No matter how many publishers reject you, no matter how difficult it is to edit your work, no matter how scared you are to share it with the world, someone is going to read your story and it will be their favorite. Stories are meant to be read.”

Juniors Ava Luckenbill and Ally Swearingen attend the writing fair on April 20. Luckenbill and Swearingen wrote the book Moose Can Too! (Lorna Ding)

Stitle said he recommends prospective teen authors to acknowledge the amount of work publishing a book takes. 

“My main advice to other teen authors would be to be prepared to put in a lot of work if you intend to publish a book,” Stitle said. “I definitely enjoy writing, editing and publishing, but it is very time-consuming. Publishing a book takes a lot of work and sometimes people don’t realize that going into it. I’m not saying this to discourage any aspiring authors, but just make sure you’re willing to dedicate a lot of time and effort toward writing if you do intend to publish your work. But if publication isn’t your final goal then your main goal should just be to enjoy yourself and have fun.”

Stitle said writing fairs such as this event is also great for prospective authors and writers.

“As a whole, these events bring authors together and give us a chance to all support one another,” Stitle said. “Writing is generally a solo activity, and thus it can be kind of isolating for some. But events like these remind us all that we are all in the same boat, and that we can all support each other in our journeys.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to HiLite
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All HiLite Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *