LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Pastel Schway is a 15-year-old sophomore at Nevada Connections Academy, and she can already call herself an award-winning author.
"I always loved to read from a young age, and I just thought one day I'd try [writing] myself, and it actually worked out well," said Schway.
She was just awarded a national silver medal in the prestigious Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for her fantasy novel, "Empire of Embers."
"There are around 340,000 entrants each year, and less than 1% receive a medal. So, I'm very thankful for having received one," said Schway.
Pastel joins a list of Scholastic Art & Awards winners that includes some of the most highly-acclaimed authors of the past century, including Stephen King, Truman Capote, and Ken Burns.
"I was very shocked, honestly, and very happy. I'm very proud to be able to say I won this medal because those are some of the best authors," said Schway.
She credits tennis, her online teachers at Nevada Connections Academy, and her parents for inspiring and supporting her to write this 120-page novel.
"They also love to read, just like me. They were actually really excited to hear that I was writing a novel," said Schway.
She also explained what her award-winning book is about:
"It's about this teenage girl, like your average high school student, who thought her father was deceased. It turns out he wasn't so deceased after all, and then she goes into a different realm to meet him," she said.
To find out what happens after that, Schway says you'll just have to read the book. But the lessons you'll learn along the way are ones this 13 MVP knows all too well.
"The main takeaway from it is always to follow your dreams and be just like the main character in my book and really be ambitious, driven, and fearless," said Schway.
After high school, Schway said she is planning to attend college, where she wants to major in English. From there, her dream is to become a professional writer.
If you're interested in reading her book, you can buy "Empire of Embers" on Amazon right now.