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Young writers know how to reach young readers

October 27th, 2011 by Carrie Gleason

When a writer can make a direct connection to the world of a teen who doesn't usually read books, there's a good chance that kid will give the writer — and his (or her) book — a try. That direct connection is often easier for young writers who are only a few years away from their readers in age. At Lorimer we are always looking for new young writers of teen novels. This fall, we are publishing three — and each of them can make connections with your reluctant and struggling readers.

AyaPretty Bones cover

Aya Tsintziras was in her teens when she started writing her just-published novel Pretty Bones. The inspiration for her story came from a tragic event that happened at her Toronto high school — a student had died from what the school was calling "a mysterious illness." The mysterious illness was in fact complications due to an eating disorder.

This prompted Aya to write a play, which won an honourable mention in the Tarragon Theatre's Under 20 Playwright Competition, and eventually led to this novel. Now, just 21, Aya is well on her way to a promising writing career.

Aya blogs at about her experiences as a young published writer.

Kim FirmstonSchizo cover

Kim Firmston's new first novel Schizo is based on one of the many street kids she befriended when she moved to Calgary on her own at age 18. Kim's novel tells the story of a teenage boy who takes care of his little brother because their mom is schizophrenic.

Today, Kim holds creative writing workshops for children and teens and runs a children's writing club in Calgary. With that background, she has lots of experience in finding ways to encourage kids to read — and to write. To find out more visit her online at or



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