Sunday, January 8, 2012

Guest Post: Balancing Your Writing with School as a Teen Author with Rachel Yurchisin

I recently have been working with teen author Rachel Yurchisin, who just published her first picture book, Dairy of My Days in Kenya. She’s been a real inspiration to me and others as she focuses on her studies as a junior in high school, sports, her love for wild life and still finds time to promote her book. I started wondering if a teen author has the same challenges as adult authors.

Rachel is the fourth youth author I have encountered during my years in the world of ink and she is no different from many of us oldies who love to write and dream about sharing our work with young minds searching for a good story and a better understanding of the world around them in a good book.

So today, I have asked Rachel Yurchisin to share her thoughts on being a teen author and balancing her writing with school.


When I first got the notification my manuscript was accepted by Halo Publishing, I was overjoyed. 

It was an amazing feeling when I got the first shipment of books and saw my name on the cover, and my picture on the back. It was really a dream come true. 

This whole experience has not changed my relationship with any of my friends- many of whom have bought my books for the holidays. Even some of my teachers have expressed interest in my book. Also, now since I am a junior in high school- the college search is currently taking place. 

When I visit various colleges, many are impressed with the fact that I am a published author and I hope that will assist in my college acceptance probability.

I have found it very difficult to balance writing, the process of publishing and publicizing my book "Dairy of My Days in Kenya" with my schoolwork and hobbies. I give Virginia a lot of credit with putting up with me not keeping up with deadlines, etc. 

However, I believe that family comes first, and then school work, and then anything else. However, on the side I participate in the Zoo Crew at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, which is a group that teaches the public about the animals on exhibit. I also am in involved with the Future Scientists groups at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History that does surveys of wildlife on various museum properties throughout the course of the year. In addition, since 6th grade, I have been participating in science fairs on the state level and last year I represented the state of Ohio in a national science fair. 

For school, I am on the varsity tennis team and hopefully on the varsity softball team in the spring. As you can imagine, it’s hard to have a social life when you’re involved with all of these extracurricular activities- thank goodness I have very understanding friends and family, who support me through all of my endeavors. 
If you haven’t written anything yet, but you want to become an author, I would suggest starting to write about anything you find interesting. For me in particular- I have always found inspiration in nature and past experiences. 

If you get a spell of “writer’s block” make sure you relax- in most cases there isn’t a deadline and if you relax more than likely you will be able to think of something. If you already have something written that, you feel has potential for becoming a published work- send it in as soon as you can! 

The worst thing they can do is say no and suggest a few changes. It may make take a few tries but it is definitely worth it once you get the satisfaction of seeing your name on the cover of a book that YOU wrote. 

 About the Book: Diary of My Days in Kenya…is a fictional story loosely based upon the real life occurrences of a nomadic lioness who nurtures baby oryx as if they were her own young. During a drought, a naturalist, Susan Polling, and other professionals, are sent on assignment to observe and document this special pairing. The book’s spirited protagonist, Polling, offers the reader interesting insights as to why this unique phenomenon has transpired. The story explores how the traditional relationship of predator and prey is transcended, presenting a spellbinding account of how a parental bond, even a non-traditional one, can never be broken.

Diary of My Days in Kenya
Publisher: Halo Publishing, Int.
ISBN Number: 978-1-935268-89-5
Genre of Book: Children’s/Educational
Publication Date: May 2011

About the Author: Rachel Yurchisin’s love of science and nature has inspired her to write her first children’s book in the hopes of passing on her passion to other young ‘budding’ naturalists. Yurchisin is a junior in high school and participates in educational programs at her city zoo and natural history museum.

About the Illustrator: Fred Fulcher, the author's grandfather, is a retired Clevland firefighter and business entrepreneur residing in Parma Hts., Ohio. He is a self-taught artist and has enjoyed creating the illustrations for his first children's book.

Places where Diary of My Days in Kenya is available for sale:

You can find out more about Rachel Yurchisin’s World of Ink Author/Book Tour schedule at There will be giveaways, reviews, interviews, guest posts and more. Make sure to stop by and interact with Yurchisin and the hosts at the different stops by leaving comments and/or questions.

In addition, come listen to Blog Talk Radio’s World of Ink Network show: Stories for Children at The hosts VS Grenier, Kris Quinn Chirstopherson and Irene Roth will be chatting with Rachel Yurchisin about her book and writing.  

The show will air live January 23, 2012 at 6pm EST. You can tune in live at the World of Ink Network site at

1 comment:

Danielle Paige said...

It is difficult being a teen author, with school and its extra-curricular activities, and all the regular life aspects to balance. I find--and I'm sure this counts as adults too--the best thing to do is prioritize.