There are few people that I have met in my life that share the same love for writing as me. In attempt at an enjoyable schedule my senior year of high school, I decided to take a journalism class. Through this, I met Minnah Arshad, a sixteen-year-old girl at Plymouth High School who plans to publish her own novel.
She was discovered at a writing conference in California over spring break where she was able to hand her soon-to-be publisher an unfinished excerpt of a novel she was writing. Two months later she worked on completing and publishing her book Kindness is a Waiting Place.
Having visited many places throughout her life, Arshad found travel as the main source of inspiration for her stories.
“I love to paint vivid images of places I’ve visited and make them come alive. I enjoy exposing readers to different places around the world.”
Her favorite place yet, Istanbul was the inspiration for her first novel. It features Penelope Whitaker, an American woman, as the protagonist who travels to Syria in order to do relief work and hopefully experience a revelation that will allow her to find some meaning — her suburban life had proved unlikely to do so. Arshad’s book — while taking you on a meaningful journey through character development — brushes upon relevant subjects such as heightened racial tensions and Islamophobia.
“I felt like the only way I could make a difference was through my writing.”
While novels are Arshad’s main focus, she also experiments with poetry and a few short stories. When asked how she pushes herself to grow in her writing, she said that forcing herself to write every day helps her grow in writing even though she might not be particularly inspired.
“I try to write every day, even if it’s only a paragraph. When I can’t write for my book, I’ll write about the weather or about something in my day.”
Minnah Arshad is one of many hardworking and upcoming authors of today’s generation, and I am so glad that I got to meet such a kind and interesting person. Her writing paints vivid images and touches the hearts of her readers to evoke change and promote empathy as well as unity.