Gina Pepe, a junior in our high school was published in “Teen Ink,” a national teen magazine, book series, and website devoted to teenage writing, art, photos and forums. Gina’s poem ‘Non-Stop’ was published recently which came as a huge surprise. We at the Sider Press were lucky enough to sit down with Gina and talk about how this happened.
Her English teacher Mr. Nappi, who encouraged all of his students in both his English classes and his creative writing classes to enter poems. When asked if she was aiming for publication she laughed it off “Of course not because out of all people why would I win?” Fortunately she submitted her poem. After trial and error, multiple drafts, and a couple of angry encounters with a thesaurus, she finally decided it was perfect and without her family reading it, sent it in.
When Mr. Nappi informed her she had been chosen to be published Gina was thrilled. Although some people she showed the poem to were unclear about what it was that inspired her to write it; she told me that it was quite simple; school did. She said “I just remember I was walking to class one day and I was like ‘People in the halls really piss me off, oh my god!’ you know what I mean?” And as a senior in Oceanside High School I can 100% agree Gina, these halls are deplorable. When asked what message she hoped to shine through her writing, she said she would just like people to try to see things through other people’s eyes once in awhile. Well said Gina.
See Gina’s poem by clicking here!