11-Year-Old Writer Woos Whitney Young

writer talks to students around the world

Some writers struggle their entire lives to get a book published. They could probably take a tip from Adora Svitak, who already has two works of fiction to her name. And she's just 11 years old.

Svitak, who stands just 4-foot-5-inches tall, stood in front of over 100 students at Whitney Young Magnet High School on Tuesday, talking to them about her experiences as an established writer.

"I would advise you that if you are serious about writing and publishing that you limit the TV," she told the teenagers.

Svitak knows what she's talking about. Along with two published books, the adorable little girl has written hundreds of short stories and poems, maintains a blog online, and travels the world with her mother to talk to students about writing.

Young Adora amazed the teens as she talked to them about "protagonists," "conflicts," and "plot."

"I wish I could be that smart," said junior Jaime Coaker, 17. "I'm a junior in high school and she's 11? I wasn't that smart at 11."

"She's insane," remarked Lauren Wash, 16, to the Chicago Sun-Times. "She's crazy. I want her to write my research paper."

Svitak was home-schooled and watches nightly newscasts. Her favorite authors include J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling, but she's not quite as fond of Ernest Hemingway.

So what does the prodigy have planned for her future?

"Continue writing, of course," she says.

Matt Bartosik, former blogger of The Chicago Traveler and editor of Off the Rocks' next issue, claims to have never written someone else's research paper in high school.

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