Like other types of artists, most writers have been honing their craft, sometimes obsessively, since they were old enough to think. And, of course, the vast majority of kids, even those who grow up to have successful careers making up stories and poems, aren’t prodigies or wunderkinder per se. In their early years, they produce the same adorable, odd pieces of prose and verse you might expect from tiny people who don’t understand the world. What follows is a selection of unedited writing from up-and-coming young authors—from when they were much younger.
Men are different:
Red, yellow, white, black, and brown,
But they are still the same.
—Gerry Visco, age 11
Gerry is a writer, performer, photographer, and nightlife personality living in New York City. She currently writes for Interview magazine and Hyperallergic.
One day I had a farm. It was full of animals. One day the fish had baby fish. I was so happy. And the birds had babies too. I love my farm. My Mommy has this job. And that is cows. Then I said to one of the kittens, I love you! Then it was nighttime. It is time to sleep. The end.
—“Me and My Farm,” by Gina Tron, age six
Gina is an editor at Ladygunn magazine and contributes to various other publications.
I saw girls, that had curls.
There were ten girls, with pretty golden curls.
The came some girls, with on their neck pearls.
But the pearls, were stolen by squirless.
—Diana Bruk, age eight
Diana is a freelance writer living in New York City who attempts to treat the world with the same sense of wonder and sensitivity to animals that she had as a child.
When we had followed the werewolf about a mile, we came to a big cave. Inside was a shopping mall with ghosts and werewolves shopping! What a great time for shopping Hilary! said Alicia. Inside of the shopping mall was a note that said: NO HUMANS ALLOWED!
—Excerpt from Spooky Things by Hilary Leichter, age nine
Hilary’s work has appeared in n+1, Tin House, the Kenyon Review, the Indiana Review, and many other publications. She is a recipient of a 2013 fellowship from The Edward F. Albee Foundation and lives in Brooklyn.
More from this year's Fiction Issue: