LaTroya Lovell and Kayla Heisler spoke at a reading we hosted for young writers outside of the New York City region who do not have an Affiliate for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and therefore usually receive no recognition other than their certificates and keys. Their words were so direct and insightful, I asked if we could publish them here for all writers to read.
LaTroya Lovell’s advice to young writers can be found below. Please click here to read Kayla Heisler’s words.
“To me, writing and art are one in the same rather than two separate entities. Writing is the painting of one’s voice. Us writers come with the innate ability to capture the voice within us and get it down on the page in the same preciseness an artist uses to perfect a painting. We practice, we get better. Through our pens we let out what seems an almost burning longing, the words of our inner world. Joan Didion says that “we tell ourselves stories to live,” and there is no better way to explain the nature of the writer. While you all are young and budding with talent, remember this one thing right before you sit down to write; there will be times when you feel it necessary to censor yourself, to change your words for the sake of acceptance, to change your words to make a group feel comfortable, don’t do it. There is a reason why the situation claws at you the way that it does, that is your story. Never mask your voice, that is the very thing that fuels the writer. “
LaTroya Lovell is a junior at The New School, where she is on the Dean’s List; majoring in Literature/writing and Gender Studies. She is a nonfiction writer and has been writing for seven years, born and bred in Harlem, New York. Most of her current work falls into the brackets of poetry, personal narrative, and critical essays; that focus on minority issues, with a predominance for woman experiences. Outside of writing, LaTroya is involved with several projects that focus on youth and woman’s outreach. She believes that writing is an innate ability that only a few get the privilege to call “their talent.” This talent fosters voices that break through barriers in the perpetual way, that no other art form can.