Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Talking with Teen Freelancer Allie Sakowicz

Allie Sakowicz is a 15-year-old writer and DONA-trained birth doula. She has had more than 20 articles published in magazines, such as Odyssey Magazine and Chicago Parent, as well as several in online publications, including True Genius Magazine and Scrubs Magazine.

Allie is a former member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps for which she attended President Barack Obama's Election Night and Super Tuesday Election Night parties, as well as the premiere of High School Musical 3 in Los Angeles. Allie's true passion, however, lies in the medical field - she aspire to be an OB/GYN.

What led you to start writing?
I've always loved to write, but I never thought that any of my work would get published. However, after I got my first article published, I realized how fulfilling it was to see my name in print, and I've been full-speed ahead ever since.

What was your first official writing assignment?

My first assignment was attending a luncheon where Katherine Holabird, the author of the Angelina Ballerina series, was a guest speaker. I have always really enjoyed her books and loved listening to her speak that day. A local parenting magazine decided to publish an article I wrote on the event. I spent over two years writing freelance for that particular magazine, and was given so many wonderful opportunities during that time, such as interviewing authors Meg Cabot and John Grogan and attending the Taste of Chicago preview party.

Do you have a writing specialty?

In addition to being a writer, I am also a birth doula, which mean that I assist women who are expecting a baby and help them have a more positive birth experience. Thus, I really love writing articles on pregnancy and parenting topics so that I can combine my two interests.

How do you find writing assignments?
I think the best thing that a writer can do to find writing assignments is stay informed. Keep up with current events, stay tuned to local events going on in your area, and, if you have any pitches that you think would work for a publication, don't hesitate to send them a query letter detailing your ideas.

What is your favorite part about being a writer? The greatest challenge?

I love being able to educate and inform people who may not know about the subject I am talking about or the event that I am covering. I've been fortunate enough to have some awesome assignments as a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps, like attending the Election Night party of President Obama and going to the High School Musical 3 premiere in Los Angeles. I do the best I can to convey everything that I am experiencing into an article so that my readers can feel the same things that I am.

What is your favorite/most memorable writing assignment?

I don't think I will ever forget the day that I got the call saying that I was going to have an article published in
Odyssey Magazine. The article was on fetal development, so it was a topic that I was very much interested in. Writing the article under a very short deadline was really hard work, but in the end, receiving those copies in the mail several months later made it all worth it.

How do you find time to write with all of your other activities?
I make time for things that are important to me. Writing helps me relieve stress and it is my little escape from reality. It's good to put pen to paper - or fingers to keyboard - every day, no matter what you're writing, as it will make you a stronger writer in the long-run.

What/who are some of your favorite books/authors?
I have so many! Some of my favorite authors include one of my good friends Maggie Stiefvater, John Grogan, Jodi Picoult, Chris Crutcher, and Lisa Beamer. Books that I love are Shiver, To Kill A Mockingbird, and My Sister's Keeper, among many others.

Advice for young writers?
Never give up, no matter how many people tell you that you cannot do something simply because of your age. It's not going to be easy to break into this business, but if you put your heart and soul into it and are persistent, you will be able to!


  1. Allie, you are a true inspiration to not just young writers, but all writers! Keep up the great work!

  2. Great interview ladies! Allie, you are an impressive freelance writier. Keep up the good work!