Teens, Idea Exchange | January 3, 2018
The time has come to introduce our second Teen e-Writer in Residence. Throughout 2017, Mya Kidson wrote short stories, poetry, reviews, and blog posts for ideaexchange.org/teens. Now she’s passing on the baton to local teen Federico Chaux for 2018.
A few weeks ago Charlotte, Ethan, and Gemma from the Teen Tastemakers were lucky enough to have a private sit-down conversation with Federico about his new position. Read on for his thoughts on writing, libraries, community, and why he’d bring a camera with him to a desert island:
Why did you apply to become the Teen e-Writer in Residence?
I applied to be the Teen e-Writer in Residence because [the position] sounded pretty interesting. I really like working with the library; I think it’s a really cool organization. I think it has a lot of opportunities for youth, teenagers. I thought it sounded like a really cool opportunity to do something different than school work. That’s definitely why I applied; to do something different in my community.
What do you think you can bring to the position of Teen e-Writer in Residence?
I bring a lot of stuff to the table for this position. I do speak three languages; I have a lot of experience writing in the three different languages.
I don’t usually have a lot of freedom to write what I want. It’s cool to have the opportunity to write freely, about whatever I want. So I think I could bring a lot of my creativity, a lot of my imagination, a lot of my writing skills that I’ve learned throughout high school.
You mentioned that you’re multi-lingual. How do you think that will impact your role as the e-Writer, as opposed to somebody who only speaks English?
There is a French youth community in Cambridge, and a Spanish-speaking community. I think it would be cool to grab the attention of that demographic. It would be pretty cool to write something in English and have it translated (by me) into French and Spanish so other people can read it. I think that would show that Cambridge isn’t a city with just one language.
What’s your writing method?
I start with a plan. I usually like to make grids on Word, and say, “Okay, this is my introduction, this is my subtopic, my arguments, or my ideas for the text,” and then I finish with a little grid for the conclusion. Then I write my big ideas. I like to use different highlighters on Word – they have really nice colours. Then I end up developing the ideas further on when I’m writing it in a final Word document.
And if I can I usually like to get other people’s perspectives. I like to say, “Hey can you read this for me?” Just to get constructive criticism.
What’s your experience with the library?
My experience with the library is obviously with volunteering. I go to the library a lot to study, too. I really like the librarians at the Hespeler library. It’s a really cool environment to be in. It’s healthy, it’s clean, people are super nice, and they’re really welcoming to teenagers. Sometimes places aren’t open to teenagers because they’re like, “Oh, teenagers are bad,” but the library is just super open and they say “Come chill at the library, read at the library.”
You’re stranded on a desert island and you can only bring one thing. What would it be?
I would probably bring my camera. If I do get saved or picked back up from the island at least I’ll have some cool pictures to show people and be like, “Hey, this is a desert island that I was on for a couple of days or a couple of months.”