December 19, 2023
In a testament to the flourishing Humanities Program at BASIS Independent Fremont, several students have recently achieved the remarkable feat of becoming published authors. This week, we had the privilege of sitting down with Seleema A., a grade 5 student from our Lower School, to delve into her inaugural venture into the world of publishing. Join us as we explore her journey, creative process, and gather valuable insights for aspiring student authors.
Tell us about your story and what inspired you to write it.
My story is called “Tales of a 5th Grade Soccer Champion,” and it’s kind of based on a true story. It’s about a girl who was inspired by my experiences playing soccer. A girl in her class keeps saying that she is not good at soccer and teasing her, and she has an upcoming game against this classmate that is really important. So, she gets really nervous but goes through with it and plays her best because deep down, she has known all along that she really is good. She just had to dig down and bring up her confidence, and in the end, she won! I decided to write this story because it has a good message, and it happened to me, so it was quite natural to write about.
Do you have a favorite character? What makes them so special to you?
I like the main character – she’s based on me, but she’s also different in a lot of ways. She’s a little different from me in some ways and similar in others. The fact that she gained her confidence so quickly is something that it’s a little different from me. I can gain confidence, but it can take a while. I could use her journey to explore and not just write everything that happened to me. I could change it up a little.
It helped when I wrote about her. It helped me to realize in real life that what that person was saying about me was wrong. I was a good soccer player, and I tend to do really well. The main character is a very competitive person, and sometimes, that can bring out the best in you. You shouldn’t be afraid and always stand up for yourself with confidence.
Did you face any challenges while writing your story?
The word restriction was the main thing that I struggled with. Sometimes, if there’s a limit to the number of words that I can use, it’s hard for me to put everything that I have in my mind into words. This limit was 100 words, so it was a challenge. But I like being challenged, especially in writing. I was hesitant at first. I was like, ‘Oh, it’s only 100 words,’ but it was actually something that worked out, and I really enjoyed it in the end.
How did you think to submit your story for publishing? Did you get any special encouragement from mentors or teachers in your life to try to publish your story?
My mom is always encouraging me to find new competitions to submit to because I’m always up writing. When I found this competition, I decided to enter it. My parents are always very encouraging and supportive when I’m writing. A lot of my Humanities and English teachers at BIF also helped me to get into writing and really enjoy it.
How did you feel when you heard that your story had been selected to be published in a real-life book?!
I honestly didn’t think that I was going to be chosen, and I was really excited because I always wanted to be actually published. To see that it’s actually there in a real book that you can buy and people will read felt really nice. I felt like I could make a difference and actually publish my own books one day.
Do you have any special memories from your classes or teachers here at BIF about learning to write stories?
I think I started writing in first grade, but I really got serious when I had a great second grade teacher, Ms. Mishra. We were online for half the year because of COVID, but we had a historical fiction writing assignment that I really enjoyed. I think that’s where my passion for writing really started to come out. Ms. Mishra sure helped me a lot.
Mr. K Wagner has helped me a lot. We had a lot of writing in fourth and fifth grade with him as our teacher. He always helped with my writing, especially on things like our Native American and descriptive essays.
In third grade, Mr. Acevedo assigned us a great mythology unit where we got to write about Greek Gods, and I found that really exciting. I’ve always liked characters that are heroic or brave – I’ve always liked reading and writing about them. I got some ideas for some of my books and stories from them!
What would you say to other young students who aspire to be authors?
I would say, first and foremost, never give up. It’s good to have ideas and sometimes change those ideas into something that can be even better. But if you have an idea that you think is good, stick with it, and you can create something really nice out of it. I remember when my friend and I were in second grade. We started a book together. All of our friends who were writing together took a break, and we ended up stopping for a really long time. Then, this year, my friend picked up that book again, and she turned it into something so much better!
Even if you think your story isn’t perfect, don’t let that stop you. There are always more opportunities. One contest isn’t going to make or break how much you love writing. I think young authors out there have to keep on going and never give up. Always believe that you can do your best and be the change. I just want to say to all the authors out there: never give up, and always remember that your writing can change the world.
Seleema’s story serves as an inspiration for budding authors within the BASIS Independent Fremont community and beyond. Her advice for aspiring student authors is rooted in the encouragement she received from her teachers and peers. She emphasizes the importance of embracing creativity, persisting through challenges, and cherishing the guidance provided by mentors within the Humanities program.
BASIS Independent Fremont’s Humanities Program continues to foster a community of young, talented authors who dare to dream and achieve greatness. Seleema A.’s journey stands as a shining example of the program’s commitment to nurturing creativity, critical thinking, and effective communication skills. As we celebrate her accomplishments, we eagerly anticipate the future literary endeavors that will undoubtedly emerge from the inspiring environment at BASIS Independent Fremont.
BASIS Independent Fremont is a grades TK-12 private school based in Fremont, California, providing students with an internationally benchmarked liberal arts and sciences curriculum.