Write to the top

Franklin Township’s Francesca Zappia earns Indianapolis Public Library’s Emerging Author Award

By Erica Faunce

Francesca Zappia. *Photo by Donna Rice Photography.

Francesca Zappia, an author formerly of Wanamaker, has been awarded The Indianapolis Public Library’s Emerging Author Award for her second book. Eliza and Her Monsters was published this past May.

Eliza is a teenage girl who anonymously draws a wildly popular webcomic called Monstrous Sea. When she can no longer keep her online and offline personas separate, her anxiety issues and social problems become more complicated than ever before.

“This is as close to autobiographical as I’ll ever get,” Zappia said, describing how difficult the book was to write. “Writing is about telling the story, and getting it to people who it’ll help, so to be recognized for it with an award like this… It’s really humbling.”

Zappia, 24, has always loved telling stories and reading books, but did not start putting the two together until she discovered Harry Potter at the age of 8. “That was when I realized, ‘Oh, people write books. I can do this too.’” She’s been writing ever since.

Young Adult fiction is still Zappia’s favorite, in part because of its changeability, since young readers are sometimes more receptive to it. “There are a lot of adult readers who are kind of set in their ways – and what they want, and what they like – but with teenage readers, you can throw something really weird at them and they’ll think it’s amazing.”

Zappia said she has been lucky enough to meet some of her readers at book signings and the American Library Association Conference. She’s also worked with aspiring writers at the Chapter One Young Writer’s Conference in Chicago. “It’s always great to talk to them and see what they’re interested in.” She hopes to be able to meet more of her readers in the future.

To any young writers in our community, Zappia said, “If you love writing, and you want to get good at it, find the schedule that works for you, and then learn how to stick to it. If you want to be a published author especially, the one thing you need is the drive to not give up.”

Zappia will be honored with other finalists on Oct. 14, at Central Library downtown. Tickets to the Award Dinner are available, with proceeds going to the Library Foundation.