Avalon Anderson is a high school student from Great Oak High School with a love for horses and academics. Her poetry has been published in two anthologies and her first photograph in a magazine from Breaking Rules Publishing. To see more photos by Avalon Anderson follow her on Instagram @shutter_butterfly_.
Annaliese Arnsten’s passion for creative writing was first sparked at the age of six, when she began writing lyrics for songs—a talent which soon evolved into writing poetry. Raised in both coastal and downtown San Diego, Annaliese is now graduating from Chaparral High School in Temecula, and looks forward to furthering her education at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts. She plans to pursue a career in education where she can inspire future fellow writers and creative thinkers.
Shaina Boal, an eighteen-year-old senior at Grand Terrace High School, is going to attend Culver-Stockton College in the fall to participate in collegiate volleyball and plans to major in nursing. She has been drawing since a young age. Throughout her years, Shaina has worked with multiple mediums consisting of pastels, acrylics, watercolor, charcoal, and sketches. Art has been a great part of her life and is one thing that gives her the most joy, especially when completing the different pieces, and being able to see each piece as it transitions from an idea into the artwork.
Alexa Bocek is an emerging writer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania whose work has appeared in The Claremont Review, Literary Heist, Mystic Blue Review, Dime Show Review, Blue Marble Review and Running Wild Press. She’s an editor and staff member of BatCat Press. She was managing editor for Pulp Literary Magazine. She’s been writing for several years and attends the Roosevelt University of Chicago, studying writing.
Megan Brewer is a nineteen-year-old college student. She grew up in a small town called Paradise, California and now lives in its neighboring town, Chico. Megan is a real estate major at Butte community college. In her free time she plays tennis and likes to surround herself with friends and animals. Megan has a strong passion for the Arts, both visual and performing and wants nothing more than to share that passion with others.
Sydney Burr is a thirteen-year-old author born and raised in the Inland Empire. When she’s not writing, she likes reading, music, and watching (good) TV.
Kiyani Carter is a junior in high school and a sporadic writer. She enjoys reading, piano, and traveling, and hopes for her stories to reflect her aspirations and open-mindedness towards new experiences, possibilities, and futures.
Marco Chavarria is a fourteen-year-old student born in Riverside, California, and currently lives with his family of four. One of his major hobbies is visual arts, particularly drawing. He has been awarded several times by his school and city mayor for his pieces of work. He plans on pursuing a career as an architect.
Mira Chiruvolu is a sixteen year old, born and raised in California. She is in the 10th grade, and an avid reader. She loves to write, specifically poetry and short stories. When not writing she enjoys playing basketball and running outside as much as possible. Her writing style leans towards grander themes about life, including courage, bravery, love, loss, etc. Her portfolio is a conglomeration of stories, poems, thoughts, and pieces that she has created over the course of her life.
Soo Yeon Chun is currently a rising junior at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts. Besides writing into the midnight hours, she enjoys listening to music and practicing drums. Previously, her works have been recognized by Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, Jack London Writing Contest, Sheila-Na-Gig, and other online publications.
Kimber Draughon is a high school freshman in Southern California. During her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, playing basketball, and hanging out with loved ones. She has been a creative writer for as long as she remembers and hopes one day her writing will be bound in leather.
Ariana Duckett has been writing creatively for five years, beginning on a little writing app on a Kindle. She has moved several times and enjoys travelling and exploring the world. Since her first Kindle, she has enjoyed watching her work grow more refined and complex, and hopes to pursue creative writing as a career.
Max Endieveri is seventeen years old and a Junior at Westridge School in Pasadena, California. When she’s not doing homework, she loves to draw, write, and read Kurt Vonnegut books.
Katie Flack is a high school senior residing in Southern California, where she is the co-editor-in-chief of her school newspaper and president of her campus’ Creative Writing Club. In her free time, she loves reading, writing and obsessing over Star Wars. She will be attending Kent State University in the fall.
Natalie Fuentes is a high school junior who is navigating through life while trying to understand herself and her dreams. She tries to pursue her dreams one step at a time no matter how steep the odds may be. For odds will always be the odds, but that’s the beauty of dreams: they are relentless. And so she hopes and continues to pursue her dreams.
Avery Garcia is a fifteen-year-old gender fluid in the Inland Empire. They are an aspiring author/poet and ardent lover of literature who enjoys late nights/early mornings of reading both classic and novel literary gems and writing dirges and tragedies. Their greatest dream is to show the world the power of story and the nearly ineffable magic of the connection it inspires across humanity through their writing.
Adelina Rose Gowans is a sixteen-year-old Costa Rican/Honduran-American writer and artist. She is a 2020 Young Arts Winner in Writing, the first place winner in the Leyla Beban Young Writers Foundation 1,000 words for $1,000 contest, the second place winner of the Hollins University Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest, the recipient of eleven Scholastic Art & Writing awards including national gold and silver medals, and more. Her work has been previously published/is forthcoming in Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Storyscape Journal, Bluefire Journal, Barely South Review, Cargoes, and elsewhere. More of her writing can be seen at https://www.adelinarose.me/.
Charity Griffin is currently a high school senior at Serrano High School. She’s been writing since she was in elementary school, and even when she is not writing, her thoughts are deep within fictional worlds.
Mimi Hopper is a nineteen-year-old undergraduate Creative Writing major at San Francisco State University. She was raised in Claremont, California, where she attained her affinity for writing poetry. Her poems have been published in the Spring 2018 All Teen issue of Inlandia: A Literary Journey. She has also presented her poetry at the Humanities Education and Research Association (HERA) Conference in 2020.
Aline Huang is sixteen years old, and, over the years, has discovered her desire to express herself creatively, through several mediums. Regarding “When You First Sprouted:” it is a demonstration of moments when she has utilized art as an emotional output, something which has remained quite a significant aspect of her philosophy towards life. Ultimately, she would like to amplify the presence of creative expression through works such as these.
Taylen Huang is a seventh grader and an avid writer of fiction and poetry hailing from Shanghai. She binge reads YA and mystery novels, plays basketball, and daydreams about the “good old days” when she lived in Houston with her mom. Unfortunately, she has a fatal weakness for chocolate.
Dylan Hypes is a sixteen-year-old junior at La Quinta High School. He was a finalist in both last year’s and this year’s schoolwide Poet Laureate competitions, and is the Vice President of the Creative Writing Club. He draws inspiration from a variety of books, video games, and forms of music, and aspires to become a successful science-fiction author in the future, operating out of his native Coachella Valley. He is fond of the season of autumn, and its aesthetic pervades his work, in the hopes of evoking things such as bygone dreams and a nostalgia for adolescence.
Meenal Jhajharia is a seventeen-year-old freshman who tries to write and make playlists. She’s obscenely fond of Plath, Virginia Woolf and confessional poetry in general. She writes in free verse and is just another lost kid trying to be the same kind of different while not taking herself too seriously.
Lauren Kawecki is a high school student in Rancho Cucamonga, California who enjoys writing, cooking, wasting time on youtube, and bothering stray cats with unsolicited love.
Stephanie Martinez-Beltran is a college student attending the University of California, Riverside. She is pursuing a B.S. in Microbiology and enjoys reading YA fantasy, writing poetry, and listening to punk rock music. She has published poems through Appelley Publishing and the Inlandia Institute. Some of her main goals include becoming involved in biomedical research and using poetry to promote healthy self-expression among teens.
Sophie Mateja is a freshman at Pescadero High School. Her work has been praised by critics for its “evocative language and deep insight,” taking first prize at numerous local competitions in the past two years. Recently, Mateja was declared a finalist in the Palm Beach Poetry Festival’s ekphrastic poetry contest. Mateja’s work has been published frequently in the Half Moon Bay Review and other anthologies including AIPF’s di-vêrsé-city. In addition to writing, Mateja enjoys playing orchestral classical music as the principal violist of the Santa Cruz County Youth Symphony.
Alexandra Naparstek is a rising freshmen at Florida State University and will be studying Classical Archaeology and Anthropology. Her poetry and essays have been published in Inlandia: A Literary Journey, Élan, and Ephimiliar Journal, and are forthcoming in River Rising. In addition, they have been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.
M. Odom is a 17-year-old writer and performer. Her work has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the Blank Theatre, and the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center. Her plays have appeared in the Writopia Worldwide Plays Festival, O’ahu Fringe Festival, Hawai’i Women’s Voices Festival, and Playbuilders PlayFestival. Maggie Munday enjoys teaching yoga classes, as she is an RYT200 certified yoga instructor.
Luke Park is a ninth grader attending Yongsan International School in Seoul, South Korea. His writing is influenced by his daily life activities. He also enjoys coding and movie analysis. His poetry was recently published in The Healing Muse and Hot Dish Magazine.
Tobi-Hope Jieun Park is a junior at Orange County School of the Arts. She is the Vice President of World Religion and Philosophy Club, and runs an intracurricular club, WAV, that helps other students to write creatively. She has been published in Adonis Designs Press, Basil O’Flaherty (2 pieces), Phosphene Literature Journal, Chautauqua Journal, Panoplyzine, Rattle, and SOLA, and is forthcoming in Cold Mountain Review. Tobi is a National Gold Medalist in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, having received one Honorable Mention, one Silver Key, and three Gold Keys. In her free time, you can find her laughing with friends, or binge watching old reruns of House.
Graciela Perez is fourteen, loves to create art, and write poems. She mostly enjoys drawing traditionally, but also likes to paint as well. She has lived in the Inland Empire her entire life and enjoys the murals that are more and more frequently being painted in neighboring towns. She lived in Redlands, California for about seven years and made many close friends before moving to Beaumont this school year. She is currently attending Beaumont High School and striving to someday attend college. She would like a career that directly helps others such as being a psychologist or therapist.
Maihan Phan is a seventeen-year-old Vietnamese American who wants, above all things, to be seen as a timeless cryptid. She accomplishes this desire by living as if she is in the Victorian era (or the Romantic literary period) and writes odes to the weather, because it was what Jane Austen would have wanted.
Adele Rishton is thirteen years old. Raised in the Inland Empire, along with four siblings, she is the second oldest and loves the responsibility and also sometimes the chaos. She is passionate about working on her art and loving on her puppy. “Dazed” is acrylic on canvas, painted in January of this year.
Demiana Saleeb is an eleventh grade student from Los Osos High school with much passion for drawing and swimming. She aspires to become a successful author someday as well as a cartoon producer. Her poetry has been recognized in the Alta Loma PTA Reflections Competition (2019-2020), in which she was a finalist.
Kahlei Sanders is a sixteen-year-old junior at Los Osos High school who plans on enveloping herself in the world of creative storytelling. At a young age, she often found her nose stuck in a book and figured it would be a waste if she didn’t give writing a shot. Often bored of the life she lives, she plans to escape reality and touch the forsaken with her characters and diverse plots.
Kimberly Saucedo-Montoya is a first year student attending the University of California, Riverside, studying in the College of Natural Agricultural Sciences with the concentrated study of Cell Molecular Developmental Biology. From a young age, she took a strong interest in the world of both science and art. Although she chose to study in the medical field, she wants to continue producing art that focuses on self-expression.
Evan-Gabriel Simon has been surrounded by music and poetry since birth. From the musical notes his mother painted on his walls to the hours spent playing guitar with his grandfather, he has developed his signature rhythmic style. At the age of seven, he wrote his first song titled, “Let it Shine.” At eight, he started playing guitar, further developing his musical interests. In dedication to his mother who played an immense role in his love for music he wrote a song titled, “Mama You Are.” He wrote “The N Word” at age fifteen. Raised in a bi-racial, multicultural family, social issues play an important part in his life. He often has thoughtful debates with his father and as a result seeks to educate and dialogue with people from all walks of life.
Eric Song is a Korean-American who was born in Chicago and now attends Riverside King High School. He is new to creative writing but has always been an avid reader of books. He enjoys writing because it is a place where he can store his imaginings and have fun while doing so.
Juan Tostado-Escobedo has lived in Riverside, California all his life. He chose to write this story because stories of mystery have always intrigued him.
Holly Zijderveld is a teenage poet from England, UK. She often writes poetry based on observations she makes and love, and also uses her poetry as a form of feminist, climate and LGBTQ+ activism. Aside from poetry, Holly spends her time practicing flute and piano. You can find her @hollyzijderveld on Instagram and Twitter.