Our First Writing Scholarship Winner Has Been Chosen; Congratulations Julia!

December 24, 2015

writing scholarship

Hey, the winner of the New Writer Scholarship 2015 has been released!

Build Your Own Blog is pleased to announce the recipient of the New Writer Scholarship 2015 is…

                                                                                                Julia Zemmol, age 18

Ms. Zemmol attends college in the Midwest region of the U.S., started blogging a few months ago and plans to write a children’s book in the near future.

In fact, she submitted a blog post with her application (her first one!) that is quite charming, funny and inspirational.

I knew right away that regular visitors here at Build Your Own Blog would enjoy reading this one, as it will speak to many of you.

With her permission, here is a copy of the post, titled Try New Things


This is my first official blog post ever.

I never thought in a million years I would start a blog. I always thought they were for middle-aged women who wrote about how crazy their life is handling 4 kids and a full time job.

Then I realized how many blogs I’ve read that I actually related to and I thought I would try it out.

As you all know, I started college this year (and I’m almost done with my first semester…what?)

The past 3 months have been one big rollercoaster. Learning how to juggle school work, living on my own, and making new friends has been nothing but challenging. Through all of this change though, I’ve learned quite a bit about myself and how prepared I actually was for college.

A huge part of college is being yourself and doing things that you enjoy while not caring what other people think of you for it, and this comes hand in hand with trying new things.

At the beginning of the school year, there was an event called Campus Life Night. This is when all (when I say all I mean ALL) of the clubs and student organizations have tables set up in a parking lot trying to get you to be a member of their club.

Let me just say, there are some of the strangest clubs on this campus (ex. Squirrel Watching Club and the Quidditch Club.)

I joined 2 that I never thought I would be interested in: Senior Citizens Club and Intramural Ultimate Frisbee. In Senior Citizens Club, 2 other girls and I go to a nursing home every other Saturday and play bingo with old people (nothing funnier when you call B4 and someone responds with “Did you say N30?!”) I love playing bingo, and playing with senior citizens just makes it even more fun.

I have only been in college for a short time and I’ve already done so many things that I would not have done while in high school.

Part of this is because I’ve known the people I went to school with since Kindergarten and I know they would judge me for it (then again I would have done it anyway because I don’t care what they think) and the other part of it is that there are not as many opportunities in high school as there are in college, which is probably why I want to try everything.

Not too long ago I decided that I want to write a children’s book. I even bought the cliché book for starting anything new: “Writing Children’s Books for Dummies” so that’s how you know it’s official. I have a few ideas written down and I have been researching the process and I can’t wait to get it published. My goal is to be able to go to Target and see it in the children’s book section.

Sometimes I eat meals by myself because I feel comfortable enough to do that. I go to restaurants late at night with people in my dorm because it was just a “spur of the moment” kind of thing. All of these things (and so much more) that I’ve done in this short amount of time is because I wasn’t afraid to do something different.

So whether you are 18 and just starting college, a 40 year old woman with 4 kids, or someone who I did not just describe, try something new.

Ask yourself this question: “When was the last time I did something for the first time?”

If you have to think for more than 30 seconds, then it’s time to take chances, make mistakes, and get messy (Thanks, Ms. Frizzle) because in the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take.

To read more from Julia, visit her website 18 Year Old Blogger


Quick Interview with the 2015 New Writer Scholarship Recipient


Name: Julia Zemmol

Writing Background: My blog is my biggest writing achievement thus far. I never thought I would start a blog but now that I have I really enjoy writing about things that I want to share with others. At some point in the near future, I want to write a children’s book. I think this will show a lot of people, especially new writers, that once you set your mind on something anything is possible.

How the scholarship will help me: I plan on using this money towards college tuition and helping to publish the children’s book.

Advice for new writers: Don’t be afraid to show people what you can do! Writing is a form of expression and your voice should be heard whether it’s in a blog post or simply an essay for school. It’s important to be confident in your writing which makes people enjoy reading your submissions that much more.

Be sure to say hi to Julia in the comments!


Will the Next Writing Scholarship Winner Be You?

Stay in touch if you are interested in applying again for next year’s scholarship.

Details will be coming soon.

I want to win the 2016 New Writer Scholarship


In the meantime, have you entered the Free MacBook Air Contest?

There is still time to win.


Cheers to your writing future and blog success,




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  1. Carol says:    •   4 years

    Congrats to Julia!

    1. Debaleena says:    •   4 years

      Congo dude!!

    2. Julia Zemmol says:    •   4 years


  2. Tiffany says:    •   4 years

    Congrats to Julia for winning the scholarship! You deserve it! I will look into applying for next year’s scholarship and hopefully I will be fortunate enough to be the recipient. 🙂

  3. Anika Madison says:    •   4 years

    Hello Julia,

    Congratulations! Well deserved.

    We often hear and read about young people being so selfish and it’s wonderful to read about a young person being so selfless. That is a wonderful thing you are doing in the nursing homes.

    Nice to know that you have learned at such a young age about trying new things and going after what you want.

    It looks like you have a bright future ahead of you and I am sure this will be of great help to you.

    Happy Holidays!


    1. Julia Zemmol says:    •   4 years

      Thank you!

  4. Eric Black says:    •   4 years

    Damn, really coulda used this. Next year it is!

    Congrats Julia!!

  5. Kofi A-N says:    •   4 years

    “CONGRATS! Julia Zemmol”

  6. tobyo says:    •   4 years

    you are so right, try new things! good for you and congrats!

  7. Keitha B says:    •   4 years

    Well done, Julia! Excellent points. Made me think.

  8. Sana Zahra says:    •   4 years

    Congratulations Julia 🙂

  9. cynthia jarjour says:    •   4 years

    Congrats julia well deserved! Keep it up and looking forward to reading your posts:) happy holidays

  10. Akhila Babu says:    •   4 years

    Congrats Julia…. And Merry Christmas and A Happy new year….

  11. Osun Christiana O. says:    •   4 years

    Congratulations Julia!!! Santa came early bearing gifts. Success in your endeavours.

  12. Sujha Sundararajan says:    •   4 years

    Firstly congrats Julia for winning the scholarship. Your post is quite simple and inspiring. All the best for your endeavors and waiting for your first children book…

    1. Julia Zemmol says:    •   4 years

      Thank you!

  13. Odiah says:    •   4 years

    I’m compelled to admit that this is a well deserved win. Thanks to Matt (and all the other judges) for giving. And to Julia, i’m a tad bit envious, which is normal, but what you’re doing is really beautiful. With this scholarship, the only thing i can add is to pray for encouragement for you.
    Cheers to the writer who just got 4000dollars more resourced for her hardwork.
    And a very Merry Christmas to all!

  14. saima says:    •   4 years

    Congrats Julia !It’s a wonderful beginning to your writing career and 2016 🙂

  15. MAHLATSI THAMAKGA says:    •   4 years

    Congratulations Julia….a very merry Christmas indeed

  16. Kezia says:    •   4 years

    Congrats Julia

  17. Damilola says:    •   4 years

    Nice one Julia! Congratulations!!! Keep it up and don’t relent in your efforts

  18. Nonjie says:    •   4 years

    Congrats sweets use it wisely… And stay humble…

  19. Kohylah says:    •   4 years

    Congrats Julia! All the best for the season!

  20. Patty Schissel says:    •   4 years

    Congrats Julia!
    Happy Holidays to all!

  21. Dana says:    •   4 years

    Congratulations! Great job! Wishing you all the best in your writing career!

  22. Sgt. Mac says:    •   4 years

    Congratulations Julia! 😉

    I’m sure you’ll put the scholarship to good use, and hope your dream of writing a children’s book, comes to fruition. Trying something new, in your youth is easy, but as you reach adulthood, get married, and have kids, it does get tougher.

    That said, if you want to be happy in life, try something new. Whether it’s in high school, college, or with your kids or grand-kids, doing something new, makes one happy, and content.

    At age 67, I can attest to the “Try something new,” mantra. I wanted to research and write about my families military history. I wanted to buy military memorabilia that relates to the family history. I wanted to expand my photography skills. I wanted to visit antique stores. I wanted to take walks with the wife. I wanted to spend more time with my grand-kids. I wanted to start a blog, and I wanted to learn how to build a website.

    Since I retired, I’ve tried all kinds of new things. But and should one try new things, in the prime of your life? Yes! Throw out the old mantra of I don’ have the time, and just do it! or as someone said long ago, “Turn that can’t do, into a can do!”

    Congrats on a great start, to what I’m sure, will be a wonderful life!!

    Sgt. Mac 😉

    1. Julia Zemmol says:    •   4 years

      Thank you so much!

  23. Nicoli says:    •   4 years

    Congratulations Julia!!


    You’ve already gone heads and tails further then I have and you’re only half my age (man I feel old saying that). I’ve had a WordPress account and Blog Title all setup for the last couple years, but just haven’t made it happen.

    You on the other hand got out their and did it… and that’s rarer then you think in the world of people who aspire to be writers. You’ll go far and I can’t wait to see your Children’s book on the shelves.

    Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with new adventures and writing goals met.


  24. Yatin Khulbe says:    •   4 years

    Congrats Julia

    You have got your Christmas present in advance. I am sure you’ll work more hard on your children book.

    Btw, I watched Star Wars todaym So, may the force be with you 🙂

  25. Oluyomi says:    •   4 years

    congrats, Julia.

  26. Owonifari Tunde says:    •   4 years

    Hi Julia,

    This is Tunde, from Lagos, Nigeria.

    You are probably the youngest amongst us all and it’s great to know you’ve got a good heart and talent to express yourself.
    A big thumbs up and congrats. I pray this is only the beginning of greater things to come.

  27. Gaya says:    •   4 years

    Hi Julia,

    I started college this year as well and I’m glad that I was able to do a lot of new things, things which I never dreamed I’d be doing a year ago. One of them was starting a blog, inspired by a new friend I made at college who had been blogging for some time.
    Great post! Congratulations on your win!!

  28. Seif A. says:    •   4 years

    Congrats from Egypt Julia 😀
    This is one-of-a-kind inspiring article. You have got the talent and the passion to do it and hope to see your book in stores soon.

  29. Helen Nneka Okpala says:    •   4 years

    Congratulations dearie.

  30. Dr. Rin Porter says:    •   4 years

    Congratulations, Julia! I look forward to reading your blog when you get it started. Although I might be one of the older women you visualized who were writing blogs, I want to tell you that we have a lot of experience that we would love to share with you. The blogs are not all complaints! There is wisdom there too.

    I am glad you won the scholarship. I think you will make a great writer and will do important things with your life. Whoever raised you did a good job.

  31. Jane says:    •   4 years

    Congratulations Julia!!

  32. zuimmie says:    •   4 years

    Congrats Julia! I feel so old when I read your Blog….All the best with life in college. ☺

  33. Phoenicia says:    •   4 years

    Congratulations Julia!

    I like your style of writing – fresh and buzzy!

    Good on you for wanting to write a book. You are obviously someone willing to face challenges.

    I have always had the urge to write and suprisingly only began blogging less than two years ago.

    All the best 🙂

  34. Olufemi says:    •   4 years

    Great win Julia. The judges did a good job fishing you out among so many good writings. I wish you a judicious use of your win.