Alexandra Franklin at the Andy Monument in Union Square

Primary Role:

Alexandra Franklin is the editor of the upcoming anthology The Best Teen Writing of 2011, which will feature a selection of award-winning writing from this year’s Awards. Alexandra spends her days in the Alliance office reading and talking to young writers, which is her favorite part of the job. She also does little things around here, like preparing letters and mailings for the award winners and helping out wherever she’s needed.

Secret fact:

Alexandra collects and restores manual typewriters. Her favorite typewriter is a 1920 Underwood Standard No. 5, which weighs more than a desktop computer and is way more fun to use!

Alexandra:

The Alliance has been a major part of my life for more than three years. I won my first award—a Gold Medal and an American Voices award—for a short story in 2009, when I was a junior in high school. The next year I prepared a general writing portfolio, submitted it, and won a Portfolio Gold award! I definitely hadn’t expected to win, but that award changed my life. I knew I wanted to be involved with the Alliance, because I had experienced firsthand how important their work is in encouraging young artists and writers and helping them pursue their craft. I was thrilled when Lisa Feder-Feitel called me and offered me a job as editor of The Best Teen Writing of 2011 anthology! It took me over three months to read through all of the award-winning works, and I loved every second of it. The Alliance does a fantastic job of identifying talent. The hardest part was choosing which pieces would be included in the anthology. I wish it were possible to publish every piece of writing that won an award. It was amazing to finally hold the first draft of the book in my hands. I’ve wanted to edit a book since I was six years old, and I’ve discovered that few things feel better than achieving a dream I’ve had since I was young.

Living and working in New York City this summer has been the best experience of my life. The Alliance staff has been like my surrogate family, and I love coming into the office every day because it’s obvious that everyone here feels strongly about the work they do. I’m a Mississippi native and a student at the University of Alabama, but I’ve fallen in love with the energetic pace and cultural wealth here in NYC. I can’t wait to come back!

Advice:

Identify the things that inspire you the most—the things that make you feel overcome with the need to express yourself and create something new—and chase those things every day. Never let go of whatever keeps your creative fire burning, and never stop doing what you love!

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