What would you like readers to know about you as an introduction?
My name is Arielle DeVito, I’m 17 and I’m a rising senior. I’m from Cleveland, Ohio, and when I’m not writing or reading, I play the flute, figure skate, paint, sew costumes for myself and others, and bake a lot of cupcakes.
Describe your piece that was published in Dancing With The Pen II. How did you get your idea for the piece?
My poem “senescence” was published in Dancing with the Pen II. The idea from the piece actually came from my wanting to write a four-part poem based off the four elements -- senescence was originally intended to be for the “earth” part. But when I finished it, I realized that I preferred it as a standalone piece, and that it didn’t follow the element theme as much as I’d intended.
Have you been writing for a long time? What do you like about writing?
To be honest, I can’t remember a time that I haven’t been writing! I’m fairly new to poetry, but I’ve always been writing stories. I like writing for a lot of reasons, including because I get to share my stories with other people and because it can help me figure out what I’m thinking and feeling.
What does it mean to you to have your piece included in this book? What was it like to get the news?
It was really exciting! Being published has helped me realize that there’s a possibility that I can actually follow this dream and make writing into a career for me. When I found out, I immediately called up all my friends and my English teacher to tell them, and we just all freaked out a little bit.
Do you have any advice for other writers, or for other young people going after their dreams?
My advice would be to get started following your dreams now. Things might sometimes seem far-off, but there’s always something you can do to work towards them. In my case, this was starting to submit my writing for publication and making time to free-write for at least ten minutes a day. Little things you can do are just as important as big ones!
Can you share a few of your favorite books or authors?
This question always gets me, because I love so many different books and authors! As a child, I think I was most influenced by Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and of course the Chronicles of Narnia. Recently, I’ve really loved reading books by Neil Gaiman, Malinda Lo, and Marissa Meyer, as well as reading poetry by Billy Collins, Sarah Kay, and Jamaal May.
What inspires you?
I think I’m inspired by the world in general, but especially by the amazing people who surround me and the stories I read or hear from others.
What are you working on now? What’s next for you?
Right now I’m working on editing the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo a few years back and just continuing to write poetry. I think next I’d like to work on more short stories and maybe a sequel to the book I’m editing!
Anything else you’d like to add?
Just a huge thank you for being included in this book, as well as good wishes for any other young writers trying to get themselves out there – I believe in you!
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