Aiyana Spear

[Aiyana Spear 2017-18]

Aiyana likes to write hybrid pieces and has been a YAC member for 4 years. If writing were not an option, then knitting would be the most logical creative outlet for her.

Aiyana Answers the YAC Peculiar Questionnaire

  1. Describe the most embarrassing picture of you as a baby that your parents use to blackmail you. My parents tend to not blackmail me but if they were to it would be a picture of me and my sister wearing pointed colorful hats (for shade) eating ice cream. I had ice cream on my nose and was wearing a floral swimsuit.
  2. What is your third least favorite color and what number do you associate with it? Neon Green, 66
  3. What’s your favorite mythical creature? Animagus (animagi?)
  4. What is the current bane of your existence? Running (We’re in running quarter at school and I HATE IT).
  5. What’s the most extreme action literature has ever provoked you to do? I’m not entirely sure. Many times I have stayed up past midnight reading or writing, which is extreme for me because I usually sleep at 9.
  6. What game show would you want to be on? Why? Do cooking shows count? I can cook but I would not want to be on a game show.
  7. If you were a parrot, which Eastern European country would you travel to and why? Czech Republic during the summer: I’ve heard Prague is lovely and is not absolutely freezing in summer, and as a parrot I would want warmth.
  8. Who is your B-list celebrity crush? (Famous but not that famous.) Katie McGrath is the love of my life (although I say a lot of things are the love of my life).
  9. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “Everyone suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues.” What’s yours? Probably hope.
  10. What is your favorite Cards Against Humanity card? Okay, if you’re not familiar with Cards Against Humanity, answer this. On a scale of 1-10, how much do you hate whales? I’m familiar with it but, -100000 whales are great.
  11. If you were indicted tomorrow, what would the charges be? Jaywalking (I had a very elaborate dream in which I got arrested for jaywalking twice and had to check the box on the common app it was stressful).
  12. Please provide a weird stock photo that describes you personally.  

stock photo_aiyana


[YAC is…]

YAC is a group of slightly crazy teenagers, and I use that word fondly.

Laughter colors the walls of the room that we meet in, and I doubt that color will ever fully go away.

Every person brings their own skillsets, and somehow those skills create a conglomeration of incredible stories.

We are crazy, and nerdy and if you were a fly on the wall it might scare you a little bit, but we are YAC, and laughter fills our lungs. by Aiyana Spear


YAC is..
Blooming humanity
Refractured through
Rose-tinted prisms

YAC is…
(the cave)
Chewing the shadows
Cutting open words
And seeing
(the sun)

YAC is…
Cubed laughter
As building blocks
For your soul

YAC is…
Creating. the
From scratch.
by Abigail Munson 


YAC Young Authors Collective Spring 2017YAC is low-key a bunch of crazy high school students that get together on Wednesdays and talk about a lot of stuff, mostly writing, but sometimes weird stuff, like Adam’s irrational fear of a pea, or Lucy’s hue of purple or how Katy can’t spell, but none of us can spell, really, or form a complete sentence (like this one – it’s gone on way too long) but we still call ourselves writers, and that’s good and all because we’re all really good writers, but we all write different stuff, like Abigail who writes like a ton of poetry with all those really clever biblical allusions, and Madison who writes all this fantasy stuff that’s really cool, and always gets confused with Madeline, for some reason who always writes like way too much and can’t even finish this damn sentence, and Cassidy, who has like, a pretty weird sense of humor , but that’s cool and all, and Ellen usually writes about herself, but sometimes it’s about Hello Kitty instead  (and maybe Hello Kitty should be considered a member of YAC) and Aiyana writes descriptive essays, and Sierra writes a little bit of everything, and Thalia dresses like all darkly, which is weird because her writing is so bright, and I think that’s everyone, except for Jesaka, who has to be included, of course, and I’m not sure what she writes, but I’m sure it’s as good as the prompts she gives us, and that’s YAC,  🙂  by Madeline Dean


YAC is…
A place where I thought new things and mastered new thought. A room where lives were created. A group of great people I will carry with me forever. A space where anything is possible and magic can happen. A mindset where kindness and friendship are born. A home where new worlds are traveled and explored together. by Katy C McDonald


YAC is somewhere I’m understood 
YAC is splendiferous
YAC is where writers can be themselves
YAC is where friendships begin and creativity never has to end
YAC is like a convening of Powerful sorcerers
YAC is home
by Madison Hart


YAC is…
Land of misfit toys. But hey, we’re writers, what do you expect. Oddly enough, there’s very little writing involved, just a lot of inside jokes about writing. Or about the snack table. Or about each other. Mostly about each other.  by Thalia Medrano

There are two types of people in YAC… those who like linked stories and Cassidy. by Cassidy Nicks

YAC is…
A concept, a feeling.
It is not merely our group name,
It is green carpets, plush chairs.
It is laughter about nothing,
Laughter about everything.
It is Wednesdays and plot
holes and inside jokes.

We are YAC; YAC is within us
I know that sounds kinda
sappy, but the thing that
YAC is most, is the people.
Each year it changes,
because this people change.

At heart it is an
idea – and an idea
can go anywhere.
by Sierra Karas

[She Sat by the Window]

By Aiyana Spear

Ghostly fingers stroked the keys and beautiful music resulted.

It was a party, and some say that you hear the most lovely music in the world at parties.

No one seemed to notice that it didn’t appear that anyone was playing the instrument; it is more important for the music to be heard than it
is for the musician to be seen after all.

Sonatas and concertos filled the room, shoes clicking in time with the rhythm, dresses of every color only enhancing the magnificent gold decorations.


“Thump.  Thump.  Thump.”  …..     hide     hide    hide


Whispers, fabric rustling, heels clicking, music silenced


Silence, eyes following movement, muffled breathing


“Thump.  Thump.  Thump.” …..     come out      come out     dance    dance


Colorful dresses, a sonata continued, heels tapping the rhythm


Maybe it wasn’t a party now, the
music not as lovely as before, the dancing not as lively.

Apprehension now lived on their faces, not fear-yet, but nerves.
What if she comes back?

She sat by the window aiyana

[Book Review: Aiyana on The Hate U Give]

By Aiyana Spear

In my opinion, the sign of an incredible book is when I read it and it sticks with me for days after. I finished The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas almost two weeks ago, and there has not been a day where I didn’t think about it. I believe that I will continue to think about this book for the rest of my life.The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Reading about current social and political issues can be difficult; often when reading I want a book that will distract me from our current US problems. Writing about these issues can also be difficult due to the challenge of maintaining a balance between not wanting to go too far and be too political but still wanting to get your message across. Angie Thomas successfully and skillfully finds that balance, and her book, The Hate U Give, is a book that all Americans should read- especially white americans like me. When picking up this book for the first time, I assumed that it would be solely the gruesome, gut-wrenching details of a young black boy who was killed by a police officer. I assumed that it would only make me more exhausted that the issues so evident around me keep happening. I thought that it would leave me hanging only feeling more hopeless about the state of our world today. And in a way, it did, but not in the way I thought it would, and it did not exhaust me.

“A hairbrush is not a gun”

Starr faces many difficulties in this book, such as: witnessing her friend being killed, dealing with ptsd and  struggling with “simple” things such as arguments with her parents and her white boyfriend. These difficulties made Starr feel like a real person who I could connect with.  Often I wanted to take her and wrap her up in a blanket and protect her from the world, but Starr does not need my or anyone else’s protection- she is a badass who has gone through way too much for a 16 year old.

The main characters in YA novels have steadily become younger than me, both because I am getting older and these protagonists are getting younger; Starr is a year younger than me and she has gone through more than any teenager should ever have to go through. But the thing is, there is a Starr out there in this world, there are black teens and children in this world who have gone through more than I can ever imagine going through. And that is the value of this book this book makes the struggles of all of those children out there real- it gives them a voice and maybe, just maybe, it’ll change one person’s mind out there.

This book does not sugarcoat our world, it does not paint a rosy picture and, no spoilers or anything, it does not give the reader a hollywood ending where everything turns out perfectly. And after reading it, I wouldn’t want it to. It is searingly raw and honest and it not only tells of the story of a boy shot by the police and the aftermath of it, but it tells the story of a young black girl straddling two different worlds, the one of her black neighborhood and the other of her white rich school.

This book gives the human stories of people who are deeply impacted by the Black Lives Matter movement, who were incredibly affected by the many people who died. After reading this book, Black Lives Matter became more than a hashtag on twitter or a protest on the news, it became a real issue that is impacting teenagers just like me. This book is a searing portrayal of a heart wrenching movement.

“People like us in situations like this become hashtags, but they rarely get justice.”

[YAC Responds: Aiyana & Christian on What is the Purpose of Art in a Time of Crisis?]

[Aiyana Spear]

I believe that art doesn’t need a purpose. To do art, all you need is the drive to do it. But in times of crisis, art is one of the most valuable tools out there that can help people.

When I’m scared, I turn to stories. When I’m feeling hopeless, I turn to words. My sister turns to music, my friends turn to comics, movies, shows, watercolors, calligraphy, and (of course) books. In class when we are discussing tough topics, we always take breaks and do drawing competitions or lip sync battles.

img_5816Happiness, love, hope are the most important things that can help a person through a crisis. Art creates these emotions. Stories help to ground, help make sense of seemingly incomprehensible things. Music can bring peace and stability. Movies, shows, provide escape, painting is peace. All forms of art are works of love, and that love, that power, can help people get through crises, get through hell.

[Christian Wilson]

If you’re stranded in the middle of the forest with a Rembrandt, don’t be afraid to use that priceless son of a gun as kindling in a fire. One of the most common deaths when stranded in the wilderness is hypothermia, and if you can’t get a fire going, you will get sick and you will die. Remember, Van Gogh used to use burn his paintings for warmth and if an artistic master has no qualms about setting artistic masterpieces aflame, then you shouldn’t either. Even if the only reason you’re holding the authentic oil on canvas painting is so you can auction it off to a shady group of Russian oligarchs, remember that despite its acclaim, The Night Watch is not worth your life. Although, given the fact that that painting is twelve by eleven feet, you could probably also the canvas as a tent. While you lay awake at night, wondering if you will die in the untameable Scandinavian wilderness, you can also study the intentional strokes made by one of the greatest painters that ever lived. Art students across the globe have studied every tiny intricacy of the famous tarp that could shield you from the harsh elements. To me, that’s real prestige.

[Aiyana Spear, 2016-17]

Aiyana Spear, YAC 2016-17

Aiyana Spear, YAC 2016-17

Aiyana Spear grew up going to a variety of schools, including an art school, a science school, a farm school, and, finally, an all girls athletic school (GALS), which is the one she has been going to and loving for the past three years. She is in that period of high school where there’s nonstop stress (11th grade and multiple AP classes). And yet, she still finds time every week to go to Young Authors Collective (YAC) and write numerous hybrid pieces (because she doesn’t have to follow any rules). Aiyana’s love of math bleeds into her writing, where she combines that love with her love of words and stories.

“I write because writing heals me, because I find joy with just a pen, paper, and me.” ~ Aiyana

[Adam, Who Smells Really Nice]

by Aiyana Spear

About Adam Dorsheimer

Before you ask, that hat he was wearing was from his trip to Ireland this summer. He says Ireland was cool, but he also claims to have only met, like, three Irish people- though I guess that’s what happens when you visit during tourist season. When asked to pick between cats and dogs the response comes after he has turned away, embarrassed, and he mumbles “Fish.” He’s that kid who’s allergic to, like, everything. He gets really defensive about DC comics, but willingly admits that the movies are not great. He says that he tends to profile people, I mean, most people do but he worries that his snap judgements are rude.

Adam, who quotes various comedians, has a love of English class, and who would choose invisibility as his superpower.

I Feel Things In My Throat

By Aiyana Spear

A long time ago we had a conversation about beginnings and endings and all

the in-betweens. It was one of those 1 AM talks we used to have over text. Those

times when it felt like we were the only people awake in the world, those times

when I felt like I could tell you anything and everything, everything would be

okay. Well that’s what they felt like for me I don’t know about you. I doubt you

remember this one much, it was just one of many, but it was an important one for

me. Your insights made much more sense than mine; you’re too smart for your

age you know. Well, I guess we both are, but I am more mathematical than

profound. We talked about how beginnings and endings are not and never will be (more…)

Meet Aiyana Spear

aiyana (c)zoeknightAiyana Spear is an over-achieving student who spends her rare spare time obsessing over fictional stories.

What’s your favorite genre to write? Whatever I’m in the mood for.

What’s your idea of perfect happiness? My idea of perfect happiness is the simple things. Hanging out with friends and watching movies, moments in time when everything is perfect, and travelling with the people I love.

What trait do you most value in yourself? My logic.

What trait do you most value in other writers? Kindness, diversity of experiences.

What do you do when you’re not putting words on the page? Math, Netflix (Marvel movies), reading.

Which author(s) do you most admire? Benjamin Alire Sáenz, J.K. Rowling, Rainbow Rowell.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? I use a lot of commas, the word “that,” and “I don’t know.”

Favorite word? Bubbles. Because, why not?

Least favorite word? Soggy (in reference to rainy weather).

When did you first identify yourself as a writer? When I was six years old and I wrote a (bad) short story about ballerinas.

Why are you actively involved in Lighthouse Writers Workshop? Because I love to write and Lighthouse is an incredible organization to be a part of. I like having a weekly time specifically for writing.

What is your motto? I don’t really have a motto, it’s usually a random Harry Potter quote.