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Published … Before She’s Even Earned a Diploma

Francesca Varela

In third grade, Francesca Varela (pictured) knew she wanted to be an author when she wrote her first short story, “My Trip to Neptune.” On March 7, she realized her long-time dream of becoming a novelist when her first book, “Call of the Sun Child,” was published.

Varela, currently a junior at the University of Oregon, is majoring in environmental studies and minoring in creative writing. She has written for campus publications including The Ecotone journal of environmental studies and Envision: Environmental Journalism. Her book is an intersection of her majors at the UO, in that it attempts to call the reader’s attention to the natural world.

“I want people to enjoy the natural world and prioritize protecting it,” Varela states.

Varela was first published as a poet in the 2002 edition of The Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans. She started working on “Call of the Sun Child” after she graduated from West Linn High School in 2011, and finished the novel in May 2012.

During her time at the university, Varela feels she has grown as a writer in terms of improving her treatment of plot and characters. Although it is difficult at times to balance her schoolwork and writing, she finds her creative writing class helpful because she gets to practice her passion as homework.

As for where she’s headed, Varela is set in furthering her career as a novelist. She intends to focus on young-adult novels before making the leap to adult works.

“Call of the Sun Child” is currently available through Homebound Publications.

– by Katherine Cook, UO Office of Strategic Communications intern



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