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Unveiling Creativity and Courage with Shanti Hershenson



In the world of young adult literature, few names are as compelling as Shanti Hershenson’s. A prodigious talent with a portfolio that spans across genres from Science Fiction to Historical Fiction, Shanti’s journey from a sixth-grade novelist to a beacon of youth activism and literary prowess is nothing short of inspirational. Recently, I had the privilege of sitting down with her for a conversation that was as enlightening as it was uplifting. This article is about Unveiling Creativity and Courage with Shanti Hershenson.

Early Beginnings and Inspirational Sparks

Our conversation began with a dive into Shanti’s initial foray into the world of storytelling. What struck me most was not just the early age at which she began her writing journey but the depth of her passion for storytelling. “It all started with a pencil, a piece of paper, and an imagination that refused to stay quiet,” Shanti shared, reflecting on her early days of crafting stories from the scribbles of her childhood.

Navigating the Genres

Shanti’s ability to navigate through various literary genres with ease is admirable. When asked about her affinity for Science Fiction and Fantasy, she explained, “These genres open up limitless possibilities. They allow me to explore different worlds and address complex themes in a way that’s both engaging and thought-provoking.” Her work, which includes the alien invasion series beginning with Biome Lock and the dystopian standalone The Accidental Insurgent, showcases her versatility and creativity.

A Stand Against Bullying

A significant portion of our discussion centered around Shanti’s activism, particularly her efforts to combat bullying. Through her spoken word poem, Needles & Thorns, and her novel-in-poetry, You Won’t Know Her Name, Shanti gives voice to the silent struggles faced by many. “I write not just to tell stories but to spark conversations about issues that matter,” she remarked. Her dedication to using her platform to raise awareness and foster empathy is both admirable and inspiring.

Balancing Acts

One of the most intriguing aspects of our conversation was learning how Shanti balances her writing career with being a teenager. “It’s about prioritizing and finding joy in every aspect of life,” she said, emphasizing the importance of time management and passion. Shanti’s hobbies, including skateboarding and falconry, not only provide a much-needed break from her writing endeavors but also serve as a source of inspiration for her stories.

Embracing the Digital Age

In discussing the modern landscape of book promotion, Shanti highlighted the role of social media, particularly TikTok, in connecting with readers. With over 50,000 followers, she has harnessed the power of digital platforms to engage with a wider audience, proving that traditional and digital realms can coexist harmoniously in the literary world.

Closing Thoughts

My conversation with Shanti Hershenson was a profound reminder of the impact that young voices can have on literature and society. Her journey underscores the importance of pursuing one’s passions, regardless of age, and using one’s talents to make a difference. As we concluded our talk, Shanti’s parting advice to aspiring young writers was a simple yet powerful call to action: “Start writing, keep dreaming, and never underestimate the power of your voice.”

Shanti Hershenson is not just a writer; she is a visionary, an advocate, and a beacon of hope for the next generation of storytellers. Her story is a testament to the power of creativity, courage, and conviction, encouraging us all to look beyond the page and see the potential for change within our narratives.

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