Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Two Young Writers and One Reason

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So I've spent the past month introducing all of you avid Open Book Toronto readers to some up and coming young writers. But why? I mean, who knows if any of these kids are going to make it in the harsh world of writing? Well, one has to start somewhere and really anyone can interview someone once they have become established. My aim is to catch the genesis, the spark, the glowing ember before the big bang. That's harder. I want to show the world who is next on the writing front. Will I get it right every time? Probably not, but what fun is safe? Besides, maybe just validating young writers makes the probability become a reality.

So here are two more young writers, and when I say young - I mean really young. Emma Train is ten. She's probably has as many novels on the go as I do. Her passion is dinosaurs and dragons. Emily Firmston is twelve, and yes, she's my kid. She's a big fan of biology and plans on using her word prowess to get large research grants.

So with that I present to you: Emma Train and Emily Firmston.


KF: When did you start writing?

ET: I dunno, when I was 6, maybe 7?

KF: What kinds of things do you write?

ET: I normally write fantasy, action/adventure, and maybe an itsy-bitsy, teensy-weensy, tiny little bit of romance here or there. I also tend to write quite a lot of fanfics. What? I can’t help myself.

KF: Who or what influences your writing?

ET: My friends, mostly. The games we play, the things that we talk about, the ideas that they come up with, all of that.

KF: Where do you see yourself going with writing in the future?

ET: I’m hoping to become a part-time author sometime in the near future, but I wouldn’t mind being a full-time author either!

KF: Do you have any advice for other young writers?

Don’t be afraid to write your heart out! Try to use things that happen in your life to your advantage. For instance; if one of the characters in your story just broke an arm, and you’ve broken your arm before, then use that experience to describe how your character felt. Dig deep! Always believe in yourself, even when no one else does.

See Emma's writing in RIO's November's E-Zine (and past E-Zines too)


KF: When did you start writing?

EF: Since I was little. I don’t remember why I started, or exactly when.

KF: What kinds of things do you write?

EF: Spoken word poetry and fantasy stories. Sadly I never finish the stories, but I’ve started a bunch.

KF: You've had many writing teachers, who are some of your favorite and why?

EF: You (Kim Firmton), Mary Pinkoski and Sheri-D Wilson. Sheri-D is THE MOST terrifying poet ever, but she is a great teacher.

KF: What kinds of things influence your writing?

EF: My friends, my wandering attention, Anime and manga, the music that I listen to. Science is a big thing in my poetry, so biology, I guess?

KF: Where do you see yourself going with writing in the future?

EF: It has always been a hobby. Our relationship shall stay like that permanently. Sorry, writing, you’ve been friendzoned. I’ve seen how much money writers make.

KF: Has there been a highlight in your writing life so far and what is it?

EF: Winning a recent poetry contest. That was cool.

KF: Do you have any advice for other young writers?

EF: You sure I’m qualified to give advice? Ok. Try to get influenced by everything around you. The bus. Your friends. Fan Fiction is a legit form of writing, so do that too. That plastic orange that’s been sitting on your desk for months, it could be the main character in a Sci-Fi adventure novel. Is that good advice? Was I inspirational?

KF: Where can people see your work?

EF: On Pandora's Collective website, Blue Skies Poetry, and AT THE ONE, THE ONLY, RIO WEBSITE! Ok. I’ll stop. But, do check us out. We are the definition awesome sauce.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Related item from our archives

Kim Firmston

Kim Firmston is a writer and creative writing instructor in Calgary. Her teen novels Schizo and Hook Up were Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Bet Selections. Her short story "Life Before War" was shortlisted for the 2008 CBC Literary Awards. Her most recent novel for teens is Touch, about a teenage hacker with a troubled family life.

Go to Kim Firmston’s Author Page