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Now to a Manhattan middle school where students are celebrating National Novel Writers Month. Beth Fertig of WNYC visited to find out what these budding eighth-grade authors are writing about.
BETH FERTIG, BYLINE: Kiana Colon says her story is about a teenage drug dealer.
KIANA COLON: She is a stuck in her dad's footsteps. Like, she has to keep on with the family traits of being a drug dealer, and she wants to get out of it.
FERTIG: Sitting across from her, Karla Tribaldos starts her novel with an intimate scene about a girl bracing for a terrible school day.
KARLA TRIBALDOS: (Reading) I laid back into my bed and stared at the white ceiling and thought to myself - I can get through this day.
It's about a girl who's getting bullied in school, and she ends up falling in love with the guy.
FERTIG: There's a lot of drama coursing through the imaginations of these eighth graders at Tomkins Square Middle School. At least three kids are writing about a familiar subject in pop culture...
WOLFGANG CARDONE: So my story is about the reaction of people in a zombie apocalypse.
FERTIG: But Wolfgang Cardone insists his story isn't so much about the zombies.
WOLFGANG: Like, there's not really any scenes where they're killing them, stuff like that. It's just about what people do to each other to survive in this situation.
FERTIG: So we've got drugs, bullying and zombies. Eighth grade teacher Amy Anderla says this is her second time participating in a National Novel Writers Month. She's noticed young teens love reading and writing about people with terrible lives.
AMY ANDERLA: I think it's a way to experience things that you can come out of, you know? Like, you read the book, but you don't have to experience it.
FERTIG: Thirteen-year-old Samantha Smolar seems to agree.
SAMANTHA SMOLAR: I love horror books. I'm obsessed with reading and writing. Like, I go home and I write, like, horror stories and I just want to creep myself out.
FERTIG: Oh, and her story? It's about a girl with two heads. For NPR News, I'm Beth Fertig in New York.
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