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The Science Survey

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The Science Survey

We've got the news down to a science!

The Science Survey

Recognizing the Future of Literature: An Inside Look into the World of Young Writers

Keeping up with a passion amidst life’s chaos is difficult, but these groups and individuals have persisted through it all and have produced amazing work on the way.
“The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar, is the test of their power.” – Tony Morrison (Photo Credit; Debby Hudson / Unsplash)

You’ve just come home from a long day at school. Your back and shoulders are sore from carrying your heavy backpack all day. Your legs are tired from walking up and down flights of stairs to get to each class. Your mind has completely melted from all the new information you’ve had to take in throughout the day from each of your courses. 

You plop down onto your seat and open your computer to see the Google Doc tab you’ve kept open. It’s supposed to be for your newest writing project, and you can feel your heart and soul tug at you to start working on it, but your mind draws a blank. There’s nothing left to do but wait until inspiration strikes with a new idea. So you open up a different tab, perhaps to study, do homework, or watch that one show that successfully distracts you from everything else; anything but that writing project anxiously waiting for you to complete it. When it gets late, you collapse onto your soft, warm bed and sleep until it’s time to begin the cycle again. 

This, without the inclusion of any commonplace household chaos, is a typical evening for young writers. There is a daily struggle against academics, out-of-control circumstances, and personal wishes. Whether it is fighting to finish a pile of assignments and study for a mountain of upcoming assessments, wrestling with one’s own mind to brainstorm ideas to put onto paper, or finding a corner to awkwardly stand in as the rest of the family argues about one thing or another over dinner. Young writers have a myriad of challenges between them and achieving a completed draft or even the published product of their projects. 

Taking a moment to focus on the academic scene, some argue that the educational system slowly kills creativity. Moving from classroom to classroom and needing to adjust to each different subject within a limited time, with most schools placing a strong emphasis on their core subjects and leaving the arts to dwindle in the background. Such problems extremely limit a writer’s time, energy, and motivation that could’ve been spent working on their personal projects. 

Additionally, schools label those who can complete academic tasks efficiently as gifted, and those who need extra help paying attention as they quietly draw or tap their pencils against the desk tend to be set apart from the class for their unfocused behavior. The educational system’s tendency to be rigid from elementary through high school creates tired students who are restricted to stick to their schoolwork and have very little energy or time to explore other, more creative pursuits. 

There’s also simply the issue of time. It’s difficult to find the time to work on and enjoy hobbies amid an immensely hectic or otherwise quite busy life. 

It’s always been hard for me to balance writing and other activities. I’ve been writing a lot less in high school because of the other things that take up my time. For me, writing requires undivided attention and a lot of mental preparation that I often don’t have the time for,” said Kiep Leon ’26.

So why do young writers still write, given that life at school and home can get very tiring, and that they have already written enough essays for a day? Young writers write out of a passion for the craft. It’s not just about the act of writing itself; it’s also about the content and the feeling poured into it. There are very few opportunities in traditional English classes to express complete creative liberty over a written and restrictive project. Being able to bring imaginative universes to life is thrilling: writers can pour anything and everything they want to create their own worlds and tales. 

I reached out to a couple of writers, some from Bronx Science’s very own Creative Writing and Dynamo clubs, to see what they wanted to share about their own writing experiences and projects. 

What I learned is that growing as a writer isn’t easy. The road is bumpy with external rejections and judgments, along with self-criticism. 

I really wish that I knew not to always expect excellence from my writing.” said Itamar Goshen ’26. 

When you’re extremely self-critical, it’s difficult to look at your work, especially the first draft, and find aspects you thoroughly enjoy. Maybe the dialogue wasn’t quite right, maybe the characters feel flat, maybe the plot wasn’t complex or your vocabulary use wasn’t evocative enough. Though there are a million things you could choose to nitpick and a billion things you may not be satisfied with, this self-doubt is natural. We cannot work towards improvement if we don’t evaluate the problem first. 

However, there must be a line drawn between what’s healthy and what is an unhealthy insecurity that hinders you from enjoying the process of working on your project. Sometimes, the line gets crossed by other people, whether they’re providing unsolicited advice or refusing to provide ample support for writers trying to find their footing in the community. 

As a young writer, there is a clear lack of support and spaces to nurture youth creativity. I hope to see a diverse range of individuals showcasing their creative projects within my age group,” said Shantosmita Biswas, Eagan High School ’25. 

Thankfully, there are various ways to bypass some challenges young writers face. Some writers have employed unique strategies that work to fight against their personal issues, most often a lack of motivation, time, and/or writer’s block. 

“When I was having trouble continuing a book, I decided I needed a bit of a mental break. I opened up a new Google doc and called it ‘To Start Anew,’ and wrote a short story based on a movie I had just watched. Every night I decided to add something new, but always something different, to get my creative juices flowing again and also feel relaxed,” said Leon. 

The document has grown to become a collection of several small pieces coming together to form a bigger project, which has “helped me remember that writing isn’t always about finishing huge things, but also finding enjoyment in small things,” Leon continued.

The work that many young writers have done is impressive and merits as much celebration and additional support as we can give them. 

Some projects are group efforts, such as our very own Dynamo literary magazine. Every year, without fail, Dynamo releases a fantastic issue full of poetry, short stories, and beautiful photography collected from the students. Even amidst terrible interruptions, such as having to go digital and adjusting to the circumstances brought on by the pandemic four years ago, Dynamo continued to deliver an iconic component of the Bronx Science experience.

Another such group at Bronx Science is the Creative Writing Club. After being revived following its disbandment a few years ago, the Creative Writing Club has quickly become a safe space for writers, no matter the skill level, to hone in on their craft and have fun with other students who share their love of writing. Unlike Dynamo, the Creative Writing Club does not work on large pieces or projects together. They instead support one another with their individual projects. 

“There are plenty of people in the club who are happy to help edit my work and are a great community to be around. They constantly provide laughs, good times, and genuinely great advice about how to change my stories,” said Goshen. 

Dynamo and The Creative Writing Club have both created very enjoyable platforms for creative expression, helping the Bronx Science student body foster their love for writing and create a better balance between different interests. 

Some other young writers have taken it upon themselves to start creative organizations of their own. Touching the hearts of many aspiring creatives around the globe, youth-led literary magazines like The Cleverly Creatives have devoted themselves to making sure the creative space is as accepting as it can be. Their website hosts articles, visual art, poetry, and more! 

Recently, they’ve been releasing literary magazine issues rather than individually publishing pieces of work. The organization has also hosted several events, one of the most notable of which is its Cleverly Creatives Summer Camp, which housed visual art, poetry, and story-writing camps. The camp was a triumph and helped many young creatives start to find their footing in the artistic world after that summer. 

It’s also valuable to note individual accomplishments, which are especially difficult to do amidst all the aforementioned challenges the writer may face. 

Biswas, for example, is “working on a project which involves writing a book detailing my experiences as an international student in high school. I began this project a few months ago randomly, realizing that there are others like me on this journey, and it is crucial to share my story to shed light on this community of dedicated individuals.”

Biswas believes it is important to share her story so that others like her can find a space to feel heard, and this isn’t all she intends to do. 

“Additionally, I have future plans to compile a book featuring heartwarming stories and recipes from strangers anonymously. This passion stems from my interest in listening to stories, and now I feel the need to transform it into a book that can provide motivation or serve as a platform for individuals to share their life experiences with others,” she continued.  

Biswas, from just providing these two examples of her ongoing projects, is the sort of person who deeply cares about writing for the sake of other people in addition to her own. She wants to use her writing to boost others, which is an admirable goal. 

Speaking of helping others, these writers had much to say to fellow aspiring creators.

It’s crucial not to concern yourself with others’ opinions of your writing; instead, focus on your own growth and creativity. Seeking validation or attempting to prove those comments wrong is not worth it. By quietly working on your projects, you will naturally distinguish yourself without even realizing it,” said Biswas. 

Many tend to compare themselves to others, becoming immensely critical and insecure about their work. Sometimes, it’s beneficial to keep a few things about your project to yourself because it helps maintain that excitement you have for your project and will help prevent interactions that might make you doubt your writing abilities. Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk about writing at all; if you’re enthusiastic about your work and want to share it, go ahead! But there is a level of caution you may want to have if you know you’re prone to getting anxious when your work is out there or getting unsolicited critiques. 

Your work is your own, be proud of it, even if it seems like the most terrible piece of writing you could’ve ever created. 

“Don’t beat yourself up if your writing is bad at first, or if no one wants to read it, or if people criticize you. Writers often forget that they should be writing for themselves more than other people. Take constructive criticism, but feel free to do what you want- writing is a space for you to literally be as creative as possible. There are no limits,” said Leon. 

Frustration is inevitable. As a writer, or anyone trying to pursue their passions, really, there are going to be times when you’re going to be absolutely sick of your work, and perhaps even be tempted to give up, but we must all keep in mind that difficulty is natural when trying to develop a skill. 

“I think the most difficult thing is to keep on going on after you start. It gets harder as you go on, and you’re faced with so many obstacles like writers’ block and time management. But once you get through these troubles, the results are very rewarding,” said Rida Nuamah ’25.

Young writers deserve all the help they can get, and there are many people and resources out there willing to provide it. 

There are a few places where writers can start to improve their skill sets and create more immersive pieces. One can start with social media such as Instagram and Pinterest, where other, typically older and more experienced, writers share their own pieces of advice and notes for aspiring authors, novelists, journalists, and bloggers to benefit from. A few notable accounts include @schoolofplot, @sophiemporaykowrites , @the.plottery, @writingshade, and @coffeebeanwriting

There are also many websites writers can take advantage of for things like story plotting, worldbuilding, and character creation. 

If you’re a writer looking for an organizational tool, consider giving sites such as Notion, Milanote, and Hiveword a try.

Notion is already known for its wide range of organizational templates and tools. It is an excellent option for writers looking to outline and create writing schedules for themselves to better balance out their work/personal lives with their writing. 

Milanote doesn’t have as many readily available resources and has a limited amount of cards one would be able to use for free. This site, in particular, has more of a whiteboard model. Hiveword is one of the most useful ones for aspiring novelists, as it’s specifically a novel organizer with templates like Notion. 

For character creation and worldbuilding, give Reedsy and Inkarnate a look. 

Reedsy can also be used as an organization tool like the sites noted above, but it also has a learning tab that includes many lessons to choose from. Once enrolled in a lesson, you’ll receive an email a day for ten days, each email including a short article for that day’s lesson. A few lessons include: “How to Write Mind-Blowing Fantasy Fiction,” “How to Find Your Target Readers,” “How to Get Your Book Covered by Mainstream Media,” and more. 

Inkarnate is a fantastic tool to create free maps of your world. It’s particularly useful to visualize where everything is in your story, which helps put into perspective how much characters will have to travel and how much time it will take in the story it will take to reach each destination. From there, the timeline of events between each major setting, especially if the characters are going across their world or other immensely long distances, will be clear for the readers. 

Finally, YouTube might be your best friend, especially if you learn better by watching or listening to someone else working. Some of my favorite Youtube channels that I specifically watch to help me with my novel writing include: Abbie Emmons, Ana Neu, and Oyinda. For general writing advice, I tend to turn to Diane Callaham – Quotidian Writer, Brandon Sanderson’s lectures, and Christy Ann Jones

Reading like a writer may help alleviate some of the frustrations that come along with trying to write a first draft. Whether it’s poetry, creative nonfiction, or prose, looking closely at what you’re reading can help refine your writing abilities by providing you with the opportunity to pick out what works and what doesn’t work for the particular piece you’re reading. All of these are skills you can then reflect onto your own work. 

Exploring different ways to apply foundational skills, discovering new facets of your potential, being able to take a deep breath when things get challenging, and being capable of going back in and refining what you’ve done using new knowledge acquired from research are all immensely valuable tools to have when going down the path of becoming a writer. 

No matter what sort of writer you choose to become, know that it takes a lot of time, effort, and practice to get where you want to be. Take it from all the writers I’ve featured above, they’ve all tried their hardest to improve their work. They love what they do! Even then, they all know there are areas in which they can improve and make their work stronger. Know that you can do it, just like these amazing writers have. 

So why do young writers still write, given that life at school and home can get very tiring, and that they have already written enough essays for a day? Young writers write out of a passion for the craft. It’s not just about the act of writing itself; it’s also about the content and the feeling poured into it.

About the Contributor
Ruby Moran, Staff Reporter
Ruby Moran is a Copy Chief for ‘The Science Survey.’ She believes that journalistic writing is essential for educating the public on crucial issues affecting all types of communities around the world. She enjoys a multitude of creative hobbies such as prose writing and creating visual artwork, as well volunteering in her free time. Ruby plans on continuing her volunteer work to advocate for environmental issues and marginalized voices in creative fields. In college, she is interested in studying business administration. She hopes for a future in which she continues to pursue what she loves while creating positive change for future generations.