Three years ago, Becca Allen’s world changed.
Living in the small town of Holly Springs, N.C.,with not a lot of activities, Allen attended a book signing at Barnes & Noble by one of her favorite authors, Sarah Dessen, a young adult novelist and freelance newspaper journalist. Allen said she was inspired by Dessens’ ability to master two distinctly different styles of writing — creative fiction and news writing. Allen’s encounter with Dessen inspired her to take up journalism.
The 17- year old rising senior wants to be in entertainment journalism,where she can get to know and report on celebrities. Allen said she loves talking to people and learning about their lives.
“Journalism is cool because you get to see under the surface and really find the depth of a person through interviewing them,” Allen said.
Allen has her sights set on feature writing rather than breaking news.
“Breaking news is interesting, but I get scared easily and if something dangerous happened I would want to be far away from it, not on the sidelines of the story,” Allen said.
This summer, Allen is taking a news writing course at American University to learn more about the craft. American is among her top choices for college, along with Clemson and Alabama — all schools with noted communication programs.
Allen, an avid reader, recognizes that it is difficult to make a living as a full-time fiction author. “Most authors don’t have a big job at first, so I could be a journalist by day and an author at night,” Allen said. Starting off her career she plans to work in print journalism doing newspaper or magazine reviews for her true love: books. Then, as her career progresses she plans to use public relations skills and journalism in her career.
“Journalism has made me more interested in the world and what is happening around me,” Allen said.