For students who want to publish their writing but worry they may not have time with homework, jobs and extracurriculars, recent UCCS graduate and former Scribe employee Devon Martinez proves there is hope for that dream.
On Dec. 15, 2022, Martinez published his first work “Dying in your Twenties” as a collection of short stories he started nearly a decade ago. The 106-page book is comprised of 8 short stories and 7 vignettes that deal with the trials and tribulations of young adulthood.
“I’m 27. I’m still alive, but it’s rough out here,” Martinez said.
According to Martinez, he got the ideas for many of the stories while thinking about his experience so far living through his 20’s. Rather than exploring the assumption that being in his 20’s means nonstop fun and excitement, he digs deeper into the harsher realities of this time of life.
“When you’re in your twenties you go through all these little ‘deaths.’ Like you go through a breakup, you go through losing a job, you go through all these things that really test you,” Martinez said.
Martinez uses his experience in digital media and directing short films to allow the dialogue to flow naturally. The book reads like a screenplay, where instead of descriptions in between dialogue, the characters themselves set each scene through their different perspectives, allowing the reader to make their own interpretations.
“I just want the dialogue to speak for itself,” Martinez said.
Martinez’s work shows that vulnerability is not a show of weakness, but a skill which should be celebrated, especially when dealing with life’s most difficult moments. He exemplifies this in the story “The Old Man” towards the end of the collection.
Most impressively, Martinez was able to balance school, outside jobs and working at the Scribe while writing this piece. His mental discipline is evident in the advice he offers to students wanting to publish their work.
“Just accept critiques. I think about four of [the stories] were workshopped in my creative writing class,” Martinez said, also noting the value of learning which types of criticism will help him grow.
“Writing’s like working out, you can’t just do it once a month,” he said.
The digital edition of “Dying in your Twenties” is selling for $3.99 on Amazon. According to Martinez, a paperback version will be out in May of this year, coming from his very own Booth Publishing LLC.
UCCS Alumni, Devon Martinez publishes a new book called Dying In Your Twenties. Photo by Kira Thorne.