Jim Thorpe teen's short story is published
AMY MILLER/TIMES NEWS Bridget McFadden, a junior at Jim Thorpe Area High School, holds a copy of the October issue of Teen Ink, where a non-fiction short story that she wrote was published.
Bridget McFadden is not your average teenager.
The Jim Thorpe Area High School junior has had an extensive career as a cheerleader, comes from a musically-talented family, and has a passion for the arts.
Now, the 16-year-old can also add published writer to her high school résumé.
McFadden wrote a short story about a personal experience that was recently published in the October issue of Teen Ink, an international magazine for teens written by teens.
"I was so excited (when I found out my story 'My Shining Freshman Moment' had been published)," she said. "It is such an honor and just looking through Teen Ink, I was the only one from Pennsylvania selected and there was people from Canada and United Kingdom. It was so cool!
"I found out at the end of October," she added, noting that Teen Ink didn't notify her.
"A lady wrote me a letter saying she enjoyed my article and started talking about the book she had published and how she was excited because she loves going to Jim Thorpe."
The inspiration for her story came during a creative-writing class last fall.
McFadden explained that the essay is about a cheering competition the Olympians cheerleading squad competed in, and the emotions she felt during the routine.
"We had to do a descriptive essay and I wanted to incorporate something that I love doing," she said, adding that she chose cheerleading because it has made a big impact in her life.
"I've been doing cheerleading since fourth grade and it was a big step from eighth grade cheerleading to high school because I made varsity my freshman year. It was so different because we started stunting and doing crazy routines so I wanted to write about my experience with that."
Following the assignment, the piece was sent to Teen Ink for consideration by McFadden's creative writing teacher, Trudy Miller. McFadden was the only Jim Thorpe High School student selected from the submissions.
What's next for the up-and-coming writer?
McFadden said she plans to take creative writing 2 next semester and hopes to continue developing her skills. She also plans to go to college after graduation and pursue a career in writing.
She also explained that if someone were to ask her for advice, she would tell them that even if you aren't a good writer when you start, you should never give up because you can improve.
"When I took creative writing, I wasn't that good," McFadden said. "I didn't know anything. I didn't know how to use imagery. My first essay was five pages of boring. Now I got published. You just have to keep trying."
In addition to writing and cheerleading, Bridget is currently active in school and in her community.
The daughter of Sean and Rebekah McFadden, she is a member of Students Against Destructive Decisions, chorus, school musicals, and started the Jim Thorpe High School Glee Club last year with a friend.
She also takes voice lessons, loves music and sometimes sings with her mother and sister, Molly. She is also actively involved with her church.