Affinity Magazine prides itself on being able to share the unique voices of teens across the world. Each month, Affinity’s editors will be honoring one teen writer whose voice the publication just wouldn’t be the same without. Affinity’s first-ever writer of the month is Ariel Zedric, who is currently studying Community Health and English while playing varsity volleyball at Tufts University.
Since joining our publication in 2016, Ariel has penned countless articles for Affinity (seriously, the list goes on and on!). Here at Affinity, Ariel is known for writing music interviews to help readers find their next favorite artist and for her dedication to the magazine.
“Ariel is an exceptional writer and I love working with her,” Affinity editor Zoe Selesi says. “I’ve never worked with a writer who submits around 6 articles in a week especially while being in college. Ariel is super hard-working and talented. With every article she writes, she gets better and better and I always look forward to reading her work!”
We sat down with Ariel to learn more about her life, her inspirations, and most importantly, her love of writing!
Alice Ao: What is your background, and how has it influenced your writing?
Ariel Zedric: In terms of identity, I’m half-Asian, half-white and for much of my life, I struggled with a sense of belonging. My favorite thing to do in fiction is to write mixed characters like myself.
I also come from a small town in the Midwest, so my sense of home is strong. I grew up extremely close to my American family, and I have a great group of childhood friends that are some of the most remarkable people I’ve met. Relationships are something I value the most, and I really hope this comes through in my writing. Whether it’s in an interview or a story, I always try to stress the importance of relationships.
AA: What sparked your passion for writing?
AZ: My dad’s a writer, and my mom used to be a journalist, so writing has always played a huge part in my life. Words are just such a powerful way to reach people.
AA: How has going to college shaped your perspective of life and your role as a writer?
AZ: College has given me the opportunity to be independent, travel and experience things I hadn’t before and those make for the best inspirations in writing.
AA: What’s your writing process like?
AZ: I’m a huge “stream of consciousness” gal, so the hardest part is getting started! Usually, all I need is silence or some background instrumental music to get into the right headspace, and I can bang out a couple of articles in one sitting.
AA: What’s your favorite part about writing for Affinity?
AZ: So much. I’ve been writing for three-and-a-half years, and it’s been a blast. I love the relationship between all the writers and editors, and recently I’ve been getting super into interviews for the A&C site. I’ve got to talk to some amazing artists so that’s definitely been a highlight.
AA: What’s your favorite article you’ve ever written for Affinity?
AZ: Oh man, it’s so hard to pick just one but if I had to choose, my favorite article on the main site would probably be a (semi) satire piece about Trump’s presidency called “Orange Aliens Have Taken Over America: 7 Things You Need to Survive the Next Four Years.” It was super fun to write and painfully true.
My favorite article on the A&C site would be “A Conversation with A.T. White on Starfish, Grief, and the Time Traveling Abilities of Music.” It’s an interview with the director of the movie Starfish, and getting to talk with him was something I will always remember.
AA: Outside of Affinity, what else do you write?
I have my own blog! It’s just a place for me to talk about life, traveling, school and whatever else is on my mind.
I’m also in the process of editing my first novel! It’s about two sisters and how the grief process affects their relationship.
AA: What are some causes/issues that you are especially passionate about?
AZ: Oh wow. I’m passionate about pretty much every social justice and political issue there is, but to name a few: gun control, education, women’s rights, healthcare, Planned Parenthood and representation of minorities in the media.
AA: What final advice do you have for new and/or young writers?
AZ: Write as much as you can. I’m a huge fan of a daily journal because even if it’s not polished writing, it’s a great way to get in the habit of writing every day.
Write what you know. Your experiences, good or bad, are what will mold your writing, embrace them!
Want to write for Affinity like Ariel? Apply to become a staff writer here!