Author and Shaker alum speaks with students about her writing journey

elizabeth lee (e. l. shen) speaks with studentsAuthor and Shaker alum Elizabeth Lee, who writes under the author pseudonym E. L. Shen, spoke with students about her writing journey and reflected on her experiences in North Colonie during a visit last month.

Ms. Lee visited both Shaker Middle School and Shaker High School to speak with students. At Shaker Middle School, Ms. Lee spoke to 6th grade students, sharing many memories of her time at then-Shaker Junior High. She also talked about her own experiences of being bullied as an Asian American student, and how she used that to depict how the protagonist Maxine in her Young Adult novel The Comeback responds to similar circumstances. Ms. Lee talked about how her love of writing fostered as a child led to her decision to study English and Creative Writing in college before her career as an editor and author. Students were able to ask questions following the presentation.

Ms. Lee grabbed lunch with a few former English teachers in the Shaker Writing Center, and then met with approximately 30 high school students in the Shaker Media Center. The students, who were members of school writing clubs and student writing consultants, had submitted questions beforehand. Siobhan Matrose, Director of the Shaker Writing Center, presented Ms. Lee with an autobiographical writing piece she wrote and revised as a Shaker writing consultant in 2013.

Thank you to Ms. Lee for taking the time to visit and speak with our students who are following in your footsteps!

About E. L. Shen:

E. L. Shen (Shaker High School ’14) is a writer and editor living in New York City. Her debut middle grade novel, The Comeback (Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers, Macmillan Publishers) is a Junior Library Guild Selection, received two starred reviews, and was praised for its “fast-paced prose, big emotions, and authentic dialogue” in The New York Times. E.L. received her Bachelor of Arts from Barnard College of Columbia University, where she majored in English with a concentration in creative writing. When she is not dreaming up fictional worlds, she can be found editing novels for kids and teens at Penguin Young Readers, figure skating, singing opera, and eating too much chocolate. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @elshenwrites.


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