Arts & Culture

Sarah Joy Shin: Creative Nonfiction Columnist

Meet sixteen-year-old Sarah Joy Shin, a longtime investor in the TPS community and the Creative Nonfiction columnist for clay!

This eleventh grader has a passion for both numbers and words, so she can’t quite decide whether she’ll be going into a STEM or liberal arts field. (If she had to choose, she’d say liberal arts, though.) She might combine her interests, “whether it be majoring in a science and minoring in creative writing or vice versa.” However, she may also “end up doing something completely weird and unheard of.” Perhaps her future will even include hitting the top of the New York Times bestseller list, although she says that’s totally unrealistic. For now, all she knows is that “she wants to keep writing, no matter what her future looks like.”

If you’ve studied with TPS previously, perhaps you’re already acquainted with Sarah and her exceptional writing ability. She has written for the TPS ezine for a few years, this being her fourth year. Make sure to check out her new Creative Nonfiction column. Sounds like an oxymoron? Sarah intriguingly describes it as “memoir/blog/borderline diary/spoken word style pieces that are based on verses or a line from a poem or a theme from a movie all within the setting of events that I’ve experienced.” Aside from TPS writing, she does quite a bit on her own, including starting her own books (although not finishing them), which well qualifies her for her unique position.

A proud INTJ, the fall-loving Sarah resides in the Bay Area, California, where on a random day you might find her singing at the top of her lungs “or something else equally as embarrassing.” This pianist of eleven years advocates “tea, tea, tea” over coffee, and she’d “rather have chips than chocolate.” She can’t spotlight one favorite author (“Why would you ask a writer this question?”), but if she had to decide, she’d make it a tie between Brandon Sanderson and Laura Hillenbrand. Her favorite books are The Book Thief, To Kill a Mockingbird, Stormlight Archives (series), The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy, Wonder, Redwall (series), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Challenger Deep, Unbroken, and When You Reach Me. As of now, her favorite movie is Spirited Away (“YOU MUST WATCH IT”), and her favorite music includes jazz, R&B, and piano instrumentals. Sarah also has quite a collection of hobbies: “Writing is first, then reading, then watching movies, then thinking, then stargazing, then bantering with my siblings or close friends, then traveling, then eating, then studying, and then just sitting and enjoying the sun.” Her favorite Bible verse is Micah 6:8, because “I think it really encompasses what I want my journey of faith to look like.”

Stay tuned for Sarah Joy Shin’s work in the Creative Nonfiction column! And if you’re ever in the Bay Area, make sure to stop by with some of her favorite ice cream — strawberry.



  1. Aw, thank you, Kaitlyn. And oh goodness, please do, and I will be eternally grateful.

  2. Ahh Faven. =D Your column sounds fantastic.