• Area Happenings,  Bella Finds

    Writing Outside the Box

    Meet Emma Choi Written by K.L. Kranes Talking with 18-year-old Emma Choi of Vienna, Virginia feels a bit like jumping into an episode of Gilmore Girls. If you are unfamiliar with the iconic TV show, it is about two fast-talking ladies who throw around references to things like pop culture, philosophy and books so quickly even the best viewers can’t catch them all.  During our phone interview, Emma’s words and ideas swirl so fast in my ear my nimble little typing fingers can barely keep up. When she starts listing off her writing resume, I have to ask her to stop and repeat. The list is long, especially for someone…

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    Meet Maryam Durrani

    Young Female Writers Club: Fan Girl Dreaming Written by K.L. Kranes It sounds like the plot of a book. 13-year-old Maryam turns fanfiction success into successful book series and finds her true self in the journey. This isn’t fiction. Maryam Durrani, fanfiction writer, novelist, self-published author of three books, has accomplished more in her 18 years than many writers twice her age. Maryam’s book dreams likely started far before fanfiction readers discovered her stories of the Last Airbender. In fact, it really started with a shampoo bottle. “I always loved reading,” Maryam explains. “When I was little, in the bathtub I’d read the back of shampoo bottles.” As a child…

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    The Next Literary Voices: Cara Hadden

    It’s a classic story. A group of possessed marshmallows unleashes havoc on a small town in California. You’ve heard it before, right? Probably not. This type of atypical idea can only come from an inventive mind with a Roald Dahl sense of humor. This story of marshmallow mayhem came from a mind in Virginia’s Spotsylvania County, just outside of Fredericksburg. This brave mind isn’t afraid to invent strange stories about sugary snacks. In a world where book readership is shrinking, it’s the kind of mind that just might be the future of books. It’s the mind of Cara Hadden. “The worst kind of failure is to not try at all,”…