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Alania Symanovich

THE CENTRE DAILY TIMES

Alaina Symanovich, a State College Area High School junior, has tasted literary success twice.

Her short story, “Love and Darkness,” tied for first place in the under-18 category of the Dashiell Hammett Writing Contest sponsored by Schlow Centre Region Library in State College in February.

And her latest effort has been selected as the first chapter of The Tribune-Democrat/Centre Daily Times “Your Story,” Volume II.

Symanovich, 16, said she has been told creative writing doesn’t pay, but she still wants to study it in college, at least as a minor.

“I still really would like to pursue writing,” she said.

“It’s so relaxing to write, just to get into this world you’ve created.”

Her best work usually happens in her room as she types, lost in contemplation, on her laptop. But often, inspiration strikes in the middle of long runs.

Regardless of where her muse whispers, she tries to convey emotions in stories, to do more than move characters around.

“I like getting to know characters,” she said.

“I’ve always been interested in people, in trying to understand what they do and how they feel.”

As an avid fiction reader, she’s eager to learn what awaits her heroine and ghostly companion in the coming chapters.

“I think I left a lot of doors open for other writers,” she said.

“So I’m really curious to see where they take it.”

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