Meet Zoe, senior here at Barnard. She was published this fall on Huffington Post–read on to find out how it happened and all about her goals as a writer!
1. Name, year, major
Zoe Mendelson, 2012, Urban Studies
2. How did you come to be published on HuffPost?
When I was 14 I submitted an essay to an open call for essays from teenage girls and it ended up in Red the Book. The editor of that compilation, Amy Goldwasser, has been helping me publish since then.
3. What inspired you to write the article?
Finding a lot of fear in my friends and in me too. Fear of not being able to do well in the world because of the economy and fear of just not being good enough. But the more I thought about it, the more the bleak picture I had in my head started to seem like an opportunity. So what if I never get a job? I have awesome friends, I’ll be fine. We’ll all be fine, and not to mention, without being able to spend on superfluous items, we may end up better off… And it developed in my head from there.
4. What other writings have you done?
I wrote an article for the Huffington Post last year about the way adults use facebook. The weekend I moved into Barnard freshman year, I had an article in the L.A. Times about how current financial-aid systems edge out the middle class. And of course, the original essay in Red the Book that opened all of the doors for me in the first place.
5. Which is your favorite kind of writing?
My favorite kind of writing is letters- for reading or writing. I like the idea of a piece of writing that can be creative, expository, or anything in between meant to be from one person to another. And I like the idea of sitting down to write something for one person. And I love to read something that someone wrote just for me. My favorite thing to read is the box of letters that my grandpa wrote to my grandma the year before they got married when they were living in different cities. He wrote them on the train to and from work every day and they describe his days, what he sees of the city out of the train windows, and how much he loves her. He drew cute little doodles on them and there is coffee spilled on them and they just have this magical energy.
6. What are your future goals?
A community center run by a group of friends where we can all teach, practice, and learn. Cooking, gardening, painting, writing, yoga, music, whatever. To promote the power of community, art, and real food. And also to learn how to grow mushrooms.
7. In which ways do you expect your writing to help you achieve them?
Explanation, expression, communication, and then hopefully comes connection.
8. What advice would you give to someone who wants to be published?
Style and writing quality are important so keep writing and reading and writing and reading and get good editors. But more important even is to be inspired. Your best writing comes because it is bursting out of you, because you have an undying, almost bodily need to communicate.