In this episode we’re talking about creative writing with Maddy Dietz. We’ve wanted to talk to Maddy for a while now – she’s got some interests that we think a lot of listeners will identify with. She’s a high school student but is taking college courses, and shows up as a leader in Girl Scouts as part of the Girl Leadership Board and as a founding member of the Press Corps. She’s working on building a career as a fiction writer and journalist and has already had a couple of her works published.
Maddy can’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. Even before she actually learned to read and write, she was telling stories and asking her mom to write them down. It has become more than just a creative outlet, it’s her passion and something she’s actively pursuing as a career. Maddy writes short stories, is working on a novel, and dabbles in poetry. She loves fiction and science fiction and talks about how she gets lost in creating worlds and characters. If she could, she’d write all the time!
We talked with Maddy about how writing helps her personally, but also helps others. She knows how important it is to see yourself reflected in media, and she makes the media she wants to see herself reflected in. She writes characters she identifies with, but also those that she doesn’t. She’s trying to break some of the science fiction stereotypes of masculine, militaristic white men being the main characters, creating strong but realistic teenage girl characters that are more along the lines of who she’d want to read about.
Maddy shared her perspective on the severe lack of teen girls in fiction that are just being teen girls. They’re either very childish, or super mature with unrealistic skills. She took on the task of creating a teenage character who really is a teenage character. She describes it as freeing, and as her favorite character so far.
We talked about Maddy and Hannah’s shared love for sci-fi and why it speaks to them, like imagining a future where sexism and racism aren’t the main story – where our society has moved past those issues. Also, robots and space!
We also got into trial and error, inevitable failures that come along with submitting creative writing pieces to publishers, and how Maddy has learned to move past feeling defeated and keep putting her work out there. Maddy works on her writing craft by going to writing camps, joining online sharing and editing communities for young writers, and just working on different types of stories and practicing different styles all the time.
What’s your passion? How do you work on it? We hope you find Maddy’s story inspiring!
Check out Maddy’s published work in the short story anthology Triangulation: Dark Skies. Her story is titled Why We Endured the Darkness.
Here’s a resource Maddy asked us to share:
The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are a fantastic way for young creators of all skill levels and mediums to become more used to sending their works out into the world! They also have plenty of great scholarships.
Find out more about the show and reach out to our podcast team at GIRLTalk.GirlScoutsRV.org.