Friday, 4 December 2015

No Such Thing as Normal

by EDGE Author Sara Grant

During the Q&A of a creative writing workshop for thirteen year olds, I was asked, "If given the chance, would you go back to being thirteen again?" I blurted my response, “Oh, good God, no.” I shouldn’t have said it, but my instinctual response flashed from my brain and out my mouth before I could stop it. I recovered by saying something like “I love my life and believe in looking forward, not back.” Which is true and should have been my first response really.

The young writer asked a follow up question, “What would you tell your thirteen year old self?” My answer was basically it gets better.

My young teen years were probably the most difficult of my life. Here’s a picture of what I looked
like. I was pink-cheeked and chubby, and the mock Farrah Fawcett hair style didn't do me any favours either. I know looks shouldn’t matter, but when I was a teen, it seemed to me that it was the only thing that did. I remember telling myself over and over that some people have their glory days when they are teens, but my day was coming. And I was right.  

There’s a wonderful project that I support called It Gets Better. Its mission is to communicate to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth around the world that it gets better, and to create and inspire the changes needed to make it better for them. They have some amazing and inspiring testimonials.
I wish more teens could hear and believe these messages of hope and perseverance – and not just LGBT kids, but anyone who believes they are ugly, fat, stupid, or different from that illusive thing called normal. Now I know there’s no such thing.

About Sara Grant
Sara Grant has worked on both sides of the editorial desk. She has inspired and edited nearly 100 books for children. Her two YA novels – Dark Parties (SCBWI Crystal Kite Award winner, Europe) and Half Lives – are futuristic thrillers. She also writes a funny magical series for young readers – Magic Trix. Sara is currently developing a new action-adventure series for tweens with Scholastic. She leads writing workshops in the US, UK and Europe as part of BookBound and lectures at the University of Winchester and Goldsmiths.
Website: Twitter: @authorsaragrant
Book Bound is now accepting applications for its 2016 retreat for adults who are interested in writing novels for children and teens. It’s an intensive weekend of workshops, one-to-ones, and camaraderie. Visit the Book Bound web site for more details:




  1. Love this post - I wish I'd been told this at 13 when I thought of myself as hopeless. What a great project to be involved with.

    1. Thanks, Sue! I wish I'd known at 13 too! -- Sara G

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