Artist of the Week: Lauren Ellis


Artist of the Week: Lauren Ellis

May 20, 2024

Warwick Valley High School senior Lauren Ellis is passionate about writing! It all began with a personal journaling practice. Lauren would write down her thoughts as a way to work through her emotions, and quickly found herself inspired by the power of words and the craft of writing.

It wasn’t long before she’d begun experimenting with different writing styles and forms. As far as early inspirations for her writing, Lauren shared that she loved reading dystopian fiction when she was growing up and that she can see where elements of that genre have definitely informed her writing.

“A lot of my stories do have a sad undertone,” she laughed. “It’s just something I find easy to convey emotionally.”

As she continued to write and establish her own personal style, Lauren began to draw more and more inspiration from her personal experiences. As much as she enjoyed writing, though, it remained something just for her. She said that for a long time, she wrote just for herself.

“It’s more enjoyable than writing with others in mind, because you don’t know if everyone will relate to what you’re writing; it’s so specific to my experience,” Lauren said. “But then, when I started writing in high school, it felt like with all of the analytical writing assignments, that I was always writing for somebody else.”

Lauren found herself feeling somewhat disconnected from the things she loved about writing. She chose to focus on exploring her own voice as a writer her senior year. Lauren notices improvements in the quality of her work this year, and credits creative writing class with Ms. Danielle Debella. The class has helped Lauren develop her own vision and voice by providing her with both abstract and practical tools, such as applying literary devices and using proper punctuation.

“First semester this year we were coming up with our own story. We worked on visual pieces and metaphorical pieces, and all of that helped connect me to writing,” Lauren said. At the same time, she sees how her classes and practice in creative writing have also helped her more formal writing. “I feel like it’s really helped prepare me for professional writing in the future, when I’ll need to write for work.”

Lauren has spent quite a bit of time during her senior year writing some of her most personal material yet. Besides working on her college admissions essay, she has also been working on pieces that balance critical and literal writing with themes of identity.

“It’s about identity, what it means to you and how you define it,” Lauren explained. “It’s been an interesting topic. It’s about how you connect to your feelings and your past, and how you perceive identity or create it.”

Lauren’s personal essay and its related college application were successful!

Lauren has been accepted to Penn State for the fall. While Lauren is positive that writing will remain an important part of her personal and professional life, she is looking forward to studying towards a degree in special education. For the past three years, Lauren has been volunteering at a Warwick summer camp she grew up attending. She recalls a counselor there who made a lasting impact on her when she was a camper. She became a counselor as soon as she was old enough.

“I just fell in love with [the job], the way I was able to help people,” Lauren said with a smile. She sees education as her chance to make a similar impact on young people. “It was a very fulfilling job; I really connected with it. It’s something I’m passionate about, because it’s something I know I’ll be happy with for the rest of my life. I’m really excited!”


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