Updated: Jul 14, 2019
Em Odesser has been telling stories since she could speak.
“My preschool did a thing where you could dictate stories and your teachers would make them into mini-books,” said Odesser.
Since then, Odesser’s love of writing has only grown. In 2014, she co-founded an online magazine called Teen Eye. Two years later, she was promoted to the position of Editor-in-Chief.
A little while after, Odesser was inspired to continue working in the publication field. At age 16—“almost 17,” she noted—she began her work with Sad Girls Club (SGC). Following a post about an open mic poetry event, she connected with them via Instagram.
In addition to her current work with SGC, Odesser is a teen consultant and writer for a classroom magazine at Scholastic, has hosted and assisted in creating 18 With Issues, and the first ever VICE show for Instagram TV. Additionally, Odesser has even modeled for a few big brands, like Teen Vogue.
Apart from all of that, she writes freelance for multiple publications. She’s a creative, but refrains from adding that label to herself, or any others. “There’s no way to say you don’t like using labels without sounding like an asshole, but I try to stay away from using those when it comes to my work.”
For Odesser, writing’s been her truest love for most of her life where her growing platform allows her words to be shared past those who she knows physically. Now, at age 19, she's using that platform to lift others.
“I think a lot of people my age, especially those with similar interests, are facing a lot of pressure that comes from capitalism,” said Odesser. “It’s important to not make work your life and not make your life just work, but if you can enjoy what you’re paid to do, that’s great.”
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Words by Sofia Elena Arzola / Photos by Tarra Bouroumandi and Carly Matsui