We had the good fortune of connecting with Alivia Wynn and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alivia, what are you inspired by?
As a writer, I can’t wait for inspiration to strike or else I’ll be stuck staring at a blank page for hours. Instead I have to consider every moment as an opportunity for inspiration. Recently, a lot of my inspiration has come from today’s political climate. It seems like every day there’s more and more violence and division in the news, and I can’t ignore that. As a result, I make it a point to shed light on the experiences of marginalized groups. It can be hard to share my real fears and lived experiences, but if my stories and poems can help educate even one person, it’s worth it.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I wrote my first poem in 6th grade. Back then, my goal for every poem was to be as depressing as possible. It wasn’t until 9th grade, when I realized that poetry is more than that. I started participating in my school’s literary magazine. There, I was exposed to a variety of beautiful poetry. It inspired me to write about what I knew rather than what I thought people wanted to hear. Eventually, I built up the courage to submit my own poem, and it was voted into the magazine. That one acceptance helped me to see myself as a writer, and before I knew it, I was competing in competitions and reading my poems in front of the whole school. I continued to work with the magazine, and by 11th grade, I became the editor . The position helped me gain confidence in my ability as a writer and a leader, and opened the doors for so many opportunities. Since becoming editor, I’ve gotten the chance to participate in writing camps, publish work with VOX ATL, and even have my work published with the New York Times’ Upfront Magazine. These opportunities have taught me the fundamentals of writing and given me new techniques to improve my writing. Outside of workshops and classes, I spend a lot of time consuming stories through books, movies, and tv shows. Exposing myself to different stories helps me to continue seeing the world through a creative lens. Since most of my favorite stories come from movies and graphic novels, my writing tends to be centered around imagery. Once I have built an image in my head, I use techniques that I’ve learned from my workshops to paint that picture with my words. I want them to see what I see and feel what I feel. It’s taken years to get to this point, but now I’m proud to say that I want to write stories and poems that help my readers see the world from a different perspective. My goal is to give them an experience that sticks with them.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
1. I work with Alliance Theater’s Teen Ensemble, so I’ve seen a lot of shows at the Alliance. Whether you see a play or participate in a workshop, there’s always some fun at the Alliance. And, next to the Alliance at The High Museum there’s always awesome art exhibits to see. 2. It’s a bit of a drive outside of the city, but I think it’s worth it to see Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden. It’s a park full of art made out of repurposed material. It’s strange yet beautiful, and you could spend all day there and still have new things to discover.
3. Seeing a concert at The Loft was one of my favorite pre-covid past times. I love live music, and the Loft is the perfect size for intimate yet exciting concerts.
4. Yumbi is an Asian Mexican fusion restaurant that makes some of the best quesadillas I’ve ever had. Ponce City Market also has a great selection of restaurants to choose from. My favorite is Ton Ton Ramen & Yakitori
5. There are plenty of places along the Chattahoochee river to have picnics and watch nature. I love to find a new place every time I visit. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I wouldn’t be the writer I am today, if it weren’t for my 10th grade English teacher, Mrs.Conroy. In class she helped me develop my critical thinking skills, but outside of class she was my mentor and more importantly, my friend. She was there two years ago to read the first short story I ever wrote, and she was there this year when I won a National Gold Key and an American Voices Award in the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition. When I became the editor of my school’s literary magazine, she was there to coach me and share her expertise. Her constant support has helped me gain confidence in my writing and my leadership skills. For that, I’m extremely grateful.

Other: Email: Aliviawynn@gmail.com

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