Artist of the Week: Siam Khamsopa


Artist of the Week: Siam Khamsopa

January 9, 2024

Siam Khamsopa is a junior at Warwick Valley High School with a passion for writing. As someone who grew up writing for fun, he didn’t start to take it seriously until this year, when he began to experiment with his medium of choice, short stories. 

Siam was inspired to pursue writing more from his Creative Writing course. He now writes  more often on his own. 

He is working on a short story classroom assignment with English teacher Danielle Dabella.

“Siam actively pursues growth. He seeks to model his own writing after authors who inspire him, he continually seeks criticism for the sake of improvement,” she said. “He recently crafted a short story in which he built a world and a character that is so complex and moving that it needs to extend to a longer work.  I truly value Siam’s will to grow as a writer and his ability to inspire in his craft.”

The work is set in a fictional world during a more medieval time. “The set theme would be ‘people and faith,’” he said. “The main character was originally a slave and he starts a slave revolt, which turns into a religious movement.” 

When it comes to inspiration, he is inspired by religious texts, his own experiences and learning from other people. Siam traveled a lot as a kid, primarily in the Midwest, so he has a plethora of experiences to draw from. Once he settled in Warwick, he also became more confident in his writing. 

As religion and faith is something that Siam finds inspiration in, he spoke about how both of those themes play a role in his personal life.

“I wanted to write what I thought would be a cool story about people and how faith is,” he said when talking about his short story. 

Not only does he draw inspiration from his personal experiences, but also from other authors. He is currently reading American author Cormack McCarthy.

“He’s very detailed with his descriptions,” Siam said “He rambles on almost. You’ll read his work, which has extensive descriptions and lots of words. He’s very wordy. The descriptions kind of feed into themselves, he’ll describe one thing and go into another and another. There’s no pauses. It makes it hard to read but I got used to it.”

Like every writer, Siam experiences difficulty but he knows how best to function to get his best writing into the world. 

“Usually when I get writer’s block, it doesn’t stop me from writing,” he said. “What I really struggle with is finding the tone to write. When I want to write, it has to be in a certain mood, I can’t be bothered. I have to sit down and be calm. Writer’s block isn’t a big deal because it doesn’t happen to me too often. But sometimes it’s hard to sit down and I’m afraid that if I don’t have the right tone going into it, I’m not going to be creating what’s good or what could be to the best of my ability. That makes it really hard sometimes because I constantly revise and rewrite and I get stuck.”

One of the most important parts of writing is the revision process which Siam has been a big part of.

“The best piece of advice I got, in regard to my short story, was to shift focus onto the main character because it’s a short story, but it feels more like a novel,” he said. “Besides, any criticism is valid in some sense.”

“I do want to start submitting written works to whatever competitions I can,” Siam said, explaining that he hopes to submit his work for Scholastic magazine next year. 

Outside of academics, Siam participates in wrestling and jiu jitsu. He loves combat sports like kickboxing and has goals to pursue these interests professionally. 

Of course, he still wants to write. “I would love, after I retire, to go into writing because it would be perfect.”

Siam Khamsopa


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