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Keshav Dhir, Literary Entrepreneur and Gunn Student

TA Sophia N. ’19 spoke with Keshav Dhir, a Gunn student who founded an online literary journal for teens.

Keshav Dhir, a freshman at Gunn, is no ordinary high school student. At the age of 15, he created a free online literary journal to give middle and high school students a platform to share their writing and be inspired by the writing of other students around the country.

When he was very young, he discovered his passion for reading through J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series and from then on would spend hours each day immersed in the fictional worlds of Rick Riordan, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and many more. When he got a bit older, he grew curious about how authors managed to write so descriptively and transport others to their fictional worlds. After asking himself these questions, he gave writing a shot and found that he not only loved consuming written works but also creating them with his own two hands. Inspired by his favorite authors, he currently loves to read and write fantasy and sci-fi. He has also forged his own path in journalism and has interviewed people such as Sal Khan, the founder of Khan Academy, and Steve Rasmussen, the owner of Milk Pail Market in Mountain View.

Scribere, Winter 2017 Issue

He soon reached out to a children’s publishing company to see if his work could be published, but he never gota response as to whether they would consider publishing his work. Frustrated by his experience, Keshav made it his mission to create a platform for young writers to share their work and read short stories and poems from other talented students. He founded Scribere, an online literary journal, to promote creativity in students and give them the opportunity to submit their own work for publication and receive feedback from other student writers. Scribere is growing rapidly across the Bay Area and is now sponsored by Disney, ThinkFund, Youth Service for America, and the City of Palo Alto.

However, despite his success, Keshav is no stranger to criticism and writer’s block. When faced with writer’s block, he says, “I usually take a step back and think about what I’ve written, and see how I can improve it through description or dialogue or something else. Sometimes, I will just take a break completely and wait for something new to come to me. You can’t force the creative flow; it has to come to you.” When I asked him if he had any advice for young aspiring writers, he said “Writer’s block happens, rejection happens, criticism happens. Don’t let it get you down, just keep writing! Your writing is your own, so you decide when you’re finished or how much to add, not anyone else.”

Keshav encourages aspiring writers in the Castilleja community to submit their work to Scribere, following the guidelines outlined on their website ( He and his editorial board, which only consists of middle and high school students, will review the submission and decide whether it should be published in their journal. If not, they’ll give the author feedback on how it can be improved and invite them to resubmit. If so, they’ll reach out to the author and let them know when their work will be published.

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