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A slightly transparent girl sitting on a bed, startled to see a mirror image standing with her back to the camera, looking at her.

“Girls” by Fiona Stewart

Fiona Stewart - 2020 Youth FellowI wrote a short story about a girl and a ghost to explore different themes of pressure and silence. In the beginning, I imagined Alexandra more as a physical ghost—several early outlines had Jesse guiding her towards the afterlife, but it felt flat, and the characters didn’t respond. I decided to try magical realism and blur the lines between real and supernatural, so I ended up flipping the story and having Alexandra attempting to guide Jesse through her (Jesse’s!) life.

During the fellowship, I learned how to present my work and process feedback in order to revise my ideas. For me, it was very helpful to ask people to read my story and respond with their takeaways in order to understand where my vision translated into my work and where it did not, and also to embrace the things I had not previously anticipated. Thank you so much for reading my story, I hope you enjoy.

Fiona Stewart was a 2020 Just Buffalo Writing Center Youth Fellow. She is a writer from Western New York pursuing English and History in college. In addition to writing, she loves reading, green tea, and the rain.

“Girls” cover artwork by Angel Barber.