The Teen Press Corps had an amazing opportunity to sit down and interview the young and talented Tavi Gevinson of Rookie Yearbook. Rookie is an online magazine for teen girls about fashion, growing up, interviews with special guests, and other cool stuff geared towards young women.
Teen Press Corps: What inspired you to write for girls?
Tavi Gevinson: I guess I was trying to write the kind of stuff that I would have liked to read. And I just felt like the stuff that was already out there for girls, media pop culture, just didn’t really respect our intelligence and I knew that I wasn’t dumb and my friends weren’t dumb so I wanted to write something for us.
TPC: What were your favorite books growing up?
TG:So many, I loved Ghost World, The Virgin Suicides. When I was little I loved The Westing Game and From the Mixed up Files of Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler.
TPC: How did you balance writing with going to school?
TG:A lot of the content was online so all I had to do was put it in print. I thought of it sort of like an after school activity.
TPC: When you were a kid, did you see yourself as a writer? Did you write for fun at all?
TG: When I was in elementary school, I really liked writing and making little books, but when I got to middle school I hated it because we had to do it for school. So when I started my blog, I still had it in my head that I hated writing. Then after a few years I was like oh, I’ve been writing my blog every day for years. So it was kind of a slow love affair to realize it’s something I liked doing and now it’s something I love doing. It gives me a peace of mind and a sense of sanity that nothing else does.
TPC: Did you get a lot of support from your community when you first started out, teachers, parents friends?
TG: Yeah, I mean my parents have been with me all the way. They’ve always supported me and there pushed me into something I didn’t want to do. But teachers, some were very supportive and some seemed to feel weird about it, maybe because it was obviously distracting a bit from school work, but I did have a lot of support.
TPC: Where do you see yourself in five years?
TG: In five years I see myself living in New York, continuing to work on Rookie and continuing to do more writing and acting projects.
TPC: What advice would you give to young girls wanting to get into the business of both writing and acting?
TG: With writing, write about what you care about because you know it’s hard to figure out what other people want to read, but I do find generally people like reading about something as long as the writer is really passionate about it so if it matters to you than it matters. I would say for acting, know that the character you’re trying to become it not this person outside of you, it’s a part of you that comes out so you don’t have to worry about if you can be another girl or the person who played it in the play ten years ago, it’s your take on that character, you have to trust that you’re the only person who can do it that way.
Books edited by Tavi Gevinson —
Rookie Yearbook Two
Rookie Yearbook Three
Rookie Yearbook Four *Coming this October! Available for preorder now!*