Jamila Moore is now 21, but back when she was just 15, her English teacher inspired her to write a story, and to improve it with dialogue and write it as a chapter book. And it took a few years, but she now has a publisher and a fully illustrated fantasy novel, written for young adult audiences: Alina and Adamaris.

“We were studying Shakespeare and it was not at all interesting. I was frustrated because I didn’t understand that language. But my teacher taught us how to think about the storytelling involved, and I was soon inspired,” she explained. “Then I had a dream about the story I was writing and was able to correlate it to Romeo and Juliet – that’s how my book was born.”

Jamila included her teacher in the book’s dedication and recently reached out to tell her, “I wouldn’t have written it without the diligence that you instill in your students! You’ve helped grow my interest in literature and I am so excited to share this accomplishment with you.”

Her advice to other students is to read more books! “That sounds cliché, but people cannot take your knowledge from you. People can’t take your imagination and self-expression from you,” she said. “Books can help you elevate in these areas. Read all books from different cultures, backgrounds and interesting topics you’d like to dive deeper into. Most importantly books are amazing at helping with reading comprehension! Knowledge and reading comprehension are powerful assets.”

Jamila is eager to earn her bachelor’s degree and attend nursing school. “I really want to become a doctor one day – and I’ll never stop writing, it’s such a passion. I’d love to pursue a career in writing, too. Maybe I’ll figure out how to combine those two goals!”

Written By:
Ann Abajian