As well as feature our future readers, we also wanted to check in with folks who have read for us over the last 5 years. Kaya Dia (formerly known as Mika Quinn) read for us in 2019 – read what she has been up to below!
What have you been up to since reading with us at Writers & Words? How has the writing been going?
Since I read, I’ve become a junior in high school, meaning that the college searching and applying process has become much more stressful. I’ve also been nominated for a full scholarship to attend Iowa Young Writers Studio, a great honor that led to my acceptance, and my virtual and later on physical attendance there (Yay!!!).
The writing has been great! Several months ago, I finished writing the book that I read an excerpt from and am currently searching for a literary agent, while also re-working a story that I’ve been writing for four years now.
What are you working on right now (writing or otherwise (nothing is a valid answer as well))?
As of now, I’m working on rewriting a story that I started in the seventh grade. I have changed it about a dozen times since I began writing it, but I think that this bout of changes will stick. If it doesn’t it’ll be back to the drawing board.
What has been your favorite Quarantine Read thus far?
I’ve been reading the Life of Pi by Yann Martel, and so far, it’s amazing and has driven me to consider certain things about the world in a different way, which I always love in a book. Other than that, I’m waiting for the final School for Good and Evil book to come in the mail, and I’m very excited.
How would you describe the writing community where you live in just a few words?
Undiscovered, and possibly nonexistent.
What would be a few words of advice you would give someone wanting to get into any writing community?
Be open to feedback and sharing your work with others; it’s one of the most important parts of the writing process. And remember that you don’t have to listen to every suggested edit– change what you think will make your work better.
Bonus question: what level of quarantine are you at? 1) relaxing with a book, 2) the dog clears her throat too loudly, 3) hot dog fries, 4) THE PRINTER IS BROKEN I DON’T NEED A PRINTER, 5) I am one with the Force and the Force is with me.
Level 1! I’m pretty low maintenance, so as long as no one decides to take all of my notebooks, pens, and my laptop from me, I’m good. Although, I can’t deny that I wish I were at level 5.
Kaya Dia is currently a high school junior who has been writing since she was in middle school. Now, with quarantine life giving her much more time on her hands, she spends her time listening to music, re-watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix, and of course, writing.