GHS football player a published author

Vivek at HMS Many people at Grapevine High School know Senior Vivek Pandit as a football player or an AP student, but now there is another title they can associate with his name - award-winning author.

Vivek, 17-years-old, recently published his first book, We Are Generation Z, which has already won the 2015 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award Gold Medal in the Youth Author category. Students in the creative writing classes at Heritage Middle School had the opportunity to listen to Vivek speak about what inspired him to write a book, as well as his advice for engaging in the classroom.

What began as a journal freshman year with observations about friends turned into an insider’s perspective on what it is like to be part of Generation Z.

“I didn’t set out to write a book, rather I wanted to capture memories to look at later,” Vivek said. “When I was a sophomore I decided to turn these journal entries into articles that could be published, until I was encouraged by my family to contact a publisher about developing these entries into a book.”

The next six to eight months were spent with a developmental editor who helped guide the writing process. Then came the line edits in which Vivek went word-by-word, line-by-line scrutinizing every word choice and every grammatical inclusion.

“I had to learn to be extremely disciplined during this process because I was practicing for football, doing my AP homework, preparing for the SAT’s, as well as AP exams,” Vivek said. “But I have always liked to learn, and have a passion for learning, so this was just another opportunity for me to learn something new.”

This was the message Vivek emphasized to the group of students from Heritage Middle School - never being embarrassed to show people a love of learning.

“The reason teachers liked me at Cross TImbers Middle School and GHS was not because I had the best grades, but I always tried to provide the answer and liked learning,” Vivek said. “Whenever I was asked a question that I was not sure of the answer, I was not afraid to answer because I didn’t look at is as the potential of getting something wrong, rather an opportunity to improve my confidence and learn something new.”

His message was one that inspired not only students and staff at Heritage Middle School, but also GCISD Director of Humanities Dr. Suzanne Newell.

“Often, students don't realize that their voices as writers have the potential to be shared with an audience beyond their classroom walls,” said Dr. Newell. “Vivek demonstrated, in his talk with these students at HMS, that this is a myth. The idea that anyone can write a book, they just have to put their mind to it, is one that could have a profound impact on those students who were able to hear Vivek speak - only time will tell!”    

Vivek is exploring the idea of writing another book. To learn more about Vivek’s book, click here.