Celebrity author to inspire next generation at free event


Camryn Garrett, a published author, presented an interactive lecture on the process of writing and publishing.

A young adult author, filmmaker and screenwriter will be featured in the Writing and Media Center’s latest upcoming Speaker Series event from 5:30 to 7 p.m Wednesday.

Camryn Garrett, a published author who sold her first book at the age of 17, will present an interactive lecture about authorship, being published and writing while in college. This free event will take place via Webex, with registration available on the Writing and Media Center’s website.

“It can be really hard to live an artistic life while you’re in college,” said Rachel Mans McKenny, assistant director of the Academic Success Center. “Seeing how [Garrett] was able to feed her spirit and keep going and published during college…is going to be really enlightening.”

The Writing and Media Center’s Speaker Series began focusing on communication justice and language last year after a partial partnership with their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Vivian M. Cook, graduate assistant director for the center’s Academic Support Center, explains part of the reason for this is that voices from different backgrounds are not always taken into consideration in academic settings.

Cook highlighted that in an educational and university setting with lots of assignments, requirements and expectations for how people communicate, people do not always account for where people’s own stories are coming from.

Garrett graduated from New York University in May 2022 with a major in film. When she was 18, Garrett was featured in Teen Vogue 21 Under 21 for her work as a novelist and was 2018’s Glamour College Woman of the Year. With her third book coming out in January 2023, Garrett will have published three books before turning 25.

As a child, Garrett loved art and dove into the many different facets of the artistic world headfirst. Garrett experimented with drawing and journaling short stories before becoming a Times for Kids Reporter at age 13, the catalyst that pushed her to take her writing seriously. That same year, she participated in November’s National Novel Writing Month, a program where authors submit a 50,000-word story written within the 30 days of November.

Though all three of her books are texts that handle socially sensitive topics, Garrett explains that while writing her first book, “Full Disclosure,” a young adult novel about a queer black woman living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), she never intended it to be considered an issue book.

“It’s really interesting that some people’s existence is an issue that people learn about […] versus just existing,” Garrett said.

Garrett admits it can be frustrating to be categorized as a certain type of author based on if one’s identity falls into a marginalized community. She explains that when transgender, queer or black authors write about those identities, their texts are often seen as political statements, whether that was their intention or not.

“I think some people have different reactions,” Garrett said. “I’m fine with it, but I notice it. And I think that’s something to be talked about.”

During her presentation, Garrett hopes to channel her experiences to speak to students about the publishing industry and how being published young impacts the publication journey.

“I think once you’ve sold a book, or once you, you know, you start selling work…you can kind of lose the wonder and mystery that come with writing,” Garrett said.

Garrett also intends to discuss how the industry as a whole can impact an author’s writing and the changes an author has to make if they decide to make their stories their career. She explains that many young people put substantial pressure on themselves to be published at a certain age without realizing the challenges.

“There’s just career things to consider that I don’t think people realize because authors aren’t very forthcoming about them,” Garrett said.

Garrett hopes to be able to answer any questions aspiring writers may have but also intends for the presentation to be an open back-and-forth discussion.

Additional information on Garrett and her career can be found on her website, and more event details can be found on the Writing and Media Center’s website.