age of three, Elisa Ludwig ’92 loved to sit and read.
“I love being in a world of different characters,” Ludwig
told GA sixth grade English students in Mrs. Kristen Donches’ and Mrs. Glenda
Daulerio’s classes on April 10.
Reading led to writing. A few years down the road, Ludwig
started The Elisa Bulletin, which
featured bands (mostly Duran Duran), movies and the latest trends. She sold it
for 10 cents, but gave a 5-cent discount to family members.
Years later, the Germantown Academy graduate is still in
love with reading, is still penning stories, and fortunately, turning a little
bit larger profit.
“Writing always made me happy,” said Ludwig, who recently released
her debut novel, “Pretty Crooked,” a fictional story about 15-year old Willa
Fox, a new student at Valley Prep, who, in Robin Hood style, steals from the
rich kids and gives to the poor ones after she is welcomed into the inner
circle of the “Glitterati.”
helped bring Ludwig’s book to life by acting in the trailer.
With her recent milestone reached, Ludwig used the
opportunity to talk to young GA authors about her journey to becoming a
professional writer, which coincided perfectly with the sixth grade’s Author
Study project, an ambitious research and writing assignment.
“The project provides students the opportunity to select,
from an extensive teacher-generated list, an author and novel of their choice,”
Mrs. Donches said. “The award-winning young adult novelists range from writers
who create realistic fiction to those whose focus on fantasy. Historical
fiction and science fiction writers are also included on the list.”
Ludwig, who loved young adult novels when she was in middle
school, told students that she was encouraged to return to her roots and write
for teenagers after she submitted a story to a publisher with a teenage
Soon the Vassar College graduate was voraciously researching
and developing a story, a story that after hours of writing, edits and some
fine-tuning, was released with rave reviews to the public in March 2012.
“Every writer has their own path to becoming a writer and to
being published,” said Ludwig, who used to be a staff writer for Philadelphia Weekly and has worked as a
freelance writer for a number of other companies over the years.
Ludwig said she was inspired to read and write by her
father, Dr. Stephen Ludwig, who wrote books and journals.
“I wanted to be like him,” she said. “I came from a creative
Her love of writing only grew when she came to GA in fourth
grade, where she remembered her time studying under Middle School English
Teacher/Assistant Head of Middle School Mrs. Maggie McVeigh 1760 and Mrs. Daulerio
Ludwig also added that she “had incredible English teachers”
in GA’s Upper School, specifically Peter Drewniany 1760 and the late Ralph
Allen, and that “GA definitely prepared me for [college].”
After her presentation, Ludwig fielded a number of questions
from her excited audience and read a snippet of her new book.
“Ms. Ludwig’s presentation was perfectly pitched to a sixth
grade audience,” Mrs. Donches said. “The kids were keenly interested in how her
own experiences at GA informed her choices in the fictional world of Valley
Prep. They asked lots of great questions, many of which will help them as they
begin drafting their own author papers.”