Veronica Roth, author of the New York Times Bestselling Divergent series, visited Gresham High for a presentation and Q & A session in the school auditorium and was welcomed by many enthused students.
Roth’s visit was facilitated by a Barnes and Noble representative in collaboration with head librarian Neil Wong. Students were able to pre-order books, signed by Roth, and were encouraged to submit questions.
Wong was excited for her visit.
“I think it’s great for the students to meet her because she’s not that much older than they are and she can set a good example and inspire them,” Wong said.
Freshman Taylor Ingram also thinks that Roth’s visit can benefit students.
“I think she did this tour to share her story and inspire people, maybe not just young writers but other students who look up to her,” Ingram said.
The school library buys books from Barnes & Noble, which is where they were presented the opportunity to host Roth.
“The tour was set up by the wonderful people at my publisher, in cooperation with booksellers. In Portland, they reached out to schools and asked them who wanted to host me, and Gresham was the first to respond. For an author, that’s a really amazing thing, to have the support of both schools and students,” Roth said.
Roth’s presentation took up 40 minutes, in which she detailed everything from her inspirations to her writing process, and the life of a writer.
Most of all, she talked about one word: failure. She wanted her audience to grasp that failure is very real, and it will most likely happen no matter what interests they pursue. If they really love something, they would not let failure stop them.
“So I may have given up on dance, gymnastics, high jump, volleyball, debate, and choir, because I failed, but I’d never give up on writing,” Roth said.
The Q & A portion, which lasted only 10 minutes, left the audience with some interesting answers from Roth. Perhaps the most inspirational advice that Roth imparted was about her writing process.
“I just let myself be curious about my world and the things around me and let myself follow that curiosity, wherever it took me. I just liked things, and thought about why I liked them, and didn’t let anybody make me feel bad about it,” said Roth said.