MightyWriters

More from Joanna

What was your favorite book as a kid? When I was very little, I enjoyed a picture book called “Little Oh.” I always borrowed it from the library and after we moved, I found a copy for myself in a used-book store. It’s a Thumbelina- or Pinocchio-style story set in pre-WWII Japan. I enjoyed the story so much because I’m very small and Asian like Little Oh. I also enjoyed the surprise ending!

What did you like to write as a kid? Free verse poems, song lyrics, diary entries, and stories. In middle school, I wrote a multi-chapter story about a fairy world. There wasn’t much plot, but I enjoyed the weekly process of creating my own world.

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My mom read the classics and explained them to us, since we weren’t yet old enough to easily understand the complex vocabulary and issues.

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Who influenced you to care about writing and how did they do it? My English teachers, my mom, and one history teacher who said “If it’s worth experiencing, it’s worth writing about.” They are all great storytellers. My mom took us to the library every week and let us pick out as many books as we wanted. She read the classics and explained them to us, since we weren’t yet old enough to easily understand the complex vocabulary and issues.

What was the last book you read and what did you think of it? The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is a dystopian novel. The epilogue presents the story as historical fact, which made me think about human perception. The present feels so alive and real to us, but when we look at things from a retrospective view, that perception can change.

What is your favorite thing to write now? Poems, diary entries and essay writing.

What keeps you coming back to Mighty Writers? I really like the staff and the vision they have: to bring a passion for writing and reading to West Philly kids and to make the experience fun!

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