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'YOU ALONE' Envy inspires story



Published: Fri, August 16, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Teen Ink publishers picked the story from a class full of submissions.

By ROSA MERCADO

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

For Sarah Allen, feeling second best compared to her older sister didn't turn out to be a bad thing.

The 17-year-old Boardman High School senior revealed her emotional tale of sibling envy in "You Alone," her short story that has been published in the book, "Teen Ink, Friends and Family."

"Teen Ink" is a book series written entirely by teens. The students' work published in the books was first published in Teen Ink's monthly magazines. The publishers then chose the best work for publication in the books.

Sarah said when her family read the story, their reactions were mixed.

"They were sad about it at first, but since it was so long ago, they know I don't feel that way anymore," she said.

Sarah's feelings of inadequacy and jealousy began to dissipate when she discovered that her sister felt the same way about her sometimes.

Teen Ink publishers picked Sarah's story from a class full of submissions sent to them during her sophomore year.

Though Sarah has always enjoyed writing, she didn't start taking it seriously until junior high school. "I had a teacher in the eighth grade who made English class interesting for us, said Sarah. "Instead of reading a story, we did mock trials or read plays and acted them out."

Sarah added that she did what every junior high school girl did -- write poetry about boys.

Other interests

The young author doesn't spend all her time writing however. She's been playing the flute since fifth grade. She is also heavily involved in the Student Leadership And Ministry youth group at Old North Church in Canfield.

Having thousands of teens across the country read her work may not bother her, but Sarah said she feels different when teens here read her story. "I don't mind when it's people I don't know, but with my peers here, it's kind of strange because I know them."

As far as her future goes, Sarah is staying true to her writing roots. She wants to major in English during college and then become a teacher.

The 17-year-old believes having self-esteem and feeling good about yourself are important qualities for teens to have. Sarah's advice for those who might be feeling the same way she once felt is this: "Be true to yourself -- in the end, everyone else will be gone, but you'll still be yourself."

rmercado@vindy.com




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