Writing, and publishing, for a cause

Writing, and publishing, for a cause UI sophomore Emily Ward self-published a novel and will donate all proceeds to the Domestic Violence Intervention Program.

University+of+Iowa+Freshman%2C+Emily+Ward%2C+poses+for+a+portrait+on+Sunday+%2CMarch+26th%2C+2017.+Emily+just+published+her+first+book+called+++The+Disturbance+this+year+and+is+donating+the+proceeds+to+charity.+%28The+Daily+Iowan%2FJames+Year%29

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Alex

University of Iowa Freshman, Emily Ward, poses for a portrait on Sunday ,March 26th, 2017. Emily just published her first book called “The Disturbance” this year and is donating the proceeds to charity. (The Daily Iowan/James Year)

By Madeleine Neal

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After struggling with self-worth issues in high school, writing became a coping method for University of Iowa sophomore Emily Ward.

Ward is the author of a self-published novel, The Disturbance, which she described as a dystopian novel about finding a way to better oneself.After being a member of Alpha Chi Omega for more than a semester, she has chosen to donate her novel’s proceeds to her sorority’s philanthropy — the Domestic Violence Intervention Program.

Kate DelCotto, the assistant vice president of Alpha Chi Omega’s philanthropy, said the sorority works closely with DVIP.

“[We] work very closely with it to spread awareness,” she said.

The philanthropy, she said, focuses on what a healthy relationship is.

Although domestic violence is not explicitly mentioned in Ward’s story, DelCotto said, the color purple, which she described as being synonymous with domestic-violence awareness, is mentioned in Ward’s novel.

“[The story] alludes that there is something there,” she said. “[Something] affecting our society.”

Cindy Ward, Emily Ward’s mother, said her daughter always had a passion for telling stories.

“I remember when I helped her write her first book when she was 5,” she said. “[Emily said], ‘Mom, I need to write a book about what happened today.’ ”

When it comes to her writing, Cindy Ward said she has never done it for her own gain. “Her main motivation and goals [are to] do something good for others and not just [for] yourself,” the elder Ward said.

Emily Ward began working on the novel her junior year of high school, but she had had the idea for a long time.

When publishers turned her away, she said, she felt burnt out. At that point, she taught herself how to market the novel.

Ward said she hopes the book allows readers to focus on self-discovery and also enjoy reading it.

The Disturbance, she said, is the first book in a trilogy.

“[I’m] excited to finish it,” she said. “[I] keep writing new things.”

As an English and creative writing double-major, she is also working on poetry and short stories. Her writing cannot be done without family, friends, and an open mind, she said.

But after her doubts about her self-worth, she has discovered herself.

“[I] reached a place where I could find value in myself,” she said.

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