One of the university’s students, Beth Reeks, has been ranked 14th in Time magazine’s list of the 16 most influential teenagers of 2013.
The 18-year-old first-year Physics undergraduate who hails from Newport, Wales, is in illustrious company, with others like music star Lorde and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Malala Yousafzai also on the list.
Released on November 12, the listing recognises Ms Reeks’ exploits in writing, which began at the age of 15 when she posted her debut novel, The Kissing Booth, on Wattpad, an online community for writers to share their work with readers worldwide.
“I was sick of the fact that the only Young Adult romances I could find were abut vampires and werewolves and the like. I wanted a regular high school romance, so I decided to write my own,” said Ms Reeks.
Her view was probably a well-shared one, with the romance novel garnering 19 million reads, and prompting publishing company Random House to offer her an authorship deal.
Since then, Ms Reeks has had The Kissing Booth and another novel published in four continents.
It all adds up to a glowing portfolio that also includes a nomination in the “Young Star” category of this year’s UK Women of the Future awards, which recognises talented women under the age of 35.
When quizzed about how her life has changed, Ms Reeks said: “It’s been a complete whirlwind, and I’ve enjoyed everything immensely. I take it all in my stride, but sometimes I sit back and realise just how crazy everything is”.
Not one to keep the benefits of her talents to herself, Ms Reeks also hopes to use her writing to“encourage girls to pursue the things they’re interested in”, and be a good role model for them.
She also seeks to inspire girls to pursue academic interests in typically male-dominated fields, a goal that has stems from her own academic path in Physics and the confusion that people express at it.
With a third novel, Out Of Tune, slated for release next summer, and a film deal mooted for The Kissing Booth, it seems that Ms Reeks’ star in the literary circles is not about to burn out any time soon.
Bryan Toh, News Teambookmark me