Elk Point’s Kobe Warawa is now a published author after his short story titled “The Quarantine Project” was published in a book called Isolation: A collection of poems and short stories written by young Canadians.
“I think I had watched a movie about a plague a little bit before that and it gave me the idea,” said Warawa. “But it’s just kind of a coincidence that I happened to write it a few months before COVID kind of took over.”
Warawa wrote the story in 2019 and after revising it to bring it under the word limit of the contest being held by Polar Expressions Publishing, submitted it earlier this year.
“I kind of forgot about and then a few months ago, I got that email that they were going to put in the book,” said Warawa.
“It’s really cool because it’s always been something I wanted to do. And having that happen is really cool and validating to see how hard would pay off,” he said.
Set in Chicago, The Quarantine Project follows a family in the moments leading up to the government’s decision to sacrifice the city in the hopes of saving the world.
“I chose an American city because it felt more true to the genre I was writing in,” said Warawa, who is a long-time fan of high fantasy and science fiction novels.
He said he was thinking a lot about the idea of the greater good when he was writing the story.
“Even though everything’s chaotic around you, it’s not always and there’s still reason to have faith and hope it will get better,” said Warawa.
Warawa said he hopes to write a novel in the future, but doesn’t expect it to become his full time job.
“From the research I’ve done that it’s a very hit or miss job with lots of risk involved. And I’m not a super risk-taking person. So my goal is to get something more secure, and then do it in my free time for enjoyment.”
He said some of the teachers from F.G. Miller have already been helping him with his novel, which he’s been working on a lot more since the start of COVID.
“Ms. Owen was the one who had the poster for the contest up and she’s helped, as well as my junior high math teacher Mr. Braga. And then the beta reader is currently our librarian, she was kind of the one who first got me reading fantasy, which is kind of cool now it’s almost coming full circle. And that’s Mrs. Bjorkman.”