Ambassadors on... is a regular feature giving the young women in our network the opportunity to share their insight, opinion, and experiences on a variety of different subject matters.

In our third of the series ambassador, Jess, talks about her journey as a young self-published writer.

Jess, ambassador since 2021

My name is Jessica, and I’m 17 years old. From a young age, I adored reading. Across the years that followed, I became disconnected from the world of books, and wanted to pursue other hobbies, such as hockey (my favourite sport), acting, and scouts; but nothing quite fit.

As I got older I realised that my main passion was writing, particularly creative writing. Non-fiction is informative, but there is nothing as good as picking up a good story, and getting lost in the world of a character. After finishing year eleven, with a summer without much to do, I decided to try out writing on a well-known online publishing service. 

One thing I noticed very quickly was the lack of representation within the writing community. The UK Publisher’s Association released its new diversity report in May 2021, and records showed that just under 3% of those working in publishing identified as having mixed, or multiple ethnicities. As a young, multiracial author, I had to face multiple challenges such as simply being told I am too ‘young’ to even think of making a change, and ‘that age equates to maturity’. My ideas were seen as less valued, simply because of my background. I decided to overcome these challenges, and not let people’s words or biassed opinions get in the way of my dreams and aspirations. 

The thing with confidence is that it takes a long period of time to build. When I started to write my first book, I was constantly second guessing myself, on whether my ideas mattered or if they were good enough. But as time went on, I realised what was the worst that could happen if I published my first chapter? It could have just gone unnoticed, but at least it was out there, in the real world, and published. When it came to the end of July 2021, I had finished the book completely. At that time, it had a hundred views. I was shocked, and surprised that one hundred people saw and took the time out of their day to read my work. As of now, 2022, my book has reached up to 18K views. You can do absolutely anything, as long as you put your mind to it.

When it comes to networking, the best way to get your message out, and collaborate with organisations, and those that you’d like to work with, is by trial and error. In some cases, it is alright to say no to things you believe will not benefit you, and when it comes to interacting with organisations, it is best to look at what experience you’re looking for, and potentially focus on your strengths, and what you can offer. 


Find out more about the Ambassador Community here.