SouthPaw: Darien Student’s New Novel

Darien Student Publishes Novel about Left-Handed Heroines at a Secret Boarding School

For Bronwyn Fitzgerald, being left-handed is not only an asset but also a plotline. A junior at Darien High School, she has released her first novel, Gretchen Leary’s School for Left-Handed Girls. The middle-grade-focused book follows the adventures of ten-year-old Pippa Webster and her roommates at a mysterious boarding school.

Bronwyn Fitzgerald and Astrid Feeny

Fitzgerald co-wrote the story with her cousin Astrid Feeny, who lives in Winter Park, Florida. As good friends and fellow lefties, the two thought it would be “a fun idea to write something together” and did the whole project long-distance.

“It’s a unique concept that felt personal to Astrid and me since we’re both lefties,” says Fitzgerald. “We didn’t expect it to become a full-fledged novel. We kept writing because we enjoyed it, and came to realize we could make more out of our story.”

When asked what makes lefties interesting, Fitzgerald points to their special traits. “Creativity and intuition are both qualities attributed to lefties, and these are present in our characters,” explains Fitzgerald. “Lefties make up less than ten percent of the population, which makes us unique.”

Although she worked on a manuscript with two friends in middle school, this is Fitzgerald’s first published novel. She and her cousin began the project in February 2021. “This is a book I would have loved reading when I was younger, which is something I’m really excited about,” she says.

Fitzgerald agreed to share some details about the plot without giving away too many secrets: “Pippa has grown up as the overlooked sibling in her family and has finally found a place where she belongs, but a dark force is threatening her school that only she and her four roommates have a chance of stopping.”

The co-authors relied on technology to keep the novel on track. “We had a shared Google Doc and would regularly call and FaceTime to discuss plot details and plan out chapters,” says Fitzgerald. “We were almost always on the same page about how we wanted the story to go, so it was easy to just pick up where the other person left off.”

An avid reader, Fitzgerald loves mysteries and contemporary fiction. She also enjoys writing short stories and poems. She’s a member of Darien High School’s Current Literary Magazine, as well as the National English Honor Society’s Writing Center Leadership Team. When not focusing on literary pursuits, she runs track and cross-country at the school, serves on the leadership board of Best Buddies, and is part of the Tudor Singers.

Fitzgerald is excited the novel is carried in her go-to spots in Darien and New Canaan, in addition to Amazon. “Barrett Bookstore and Elm Street Books are two of my favorite bookstores, and I am so honored to have my book on their shelves!” she says. “Astrid and I are donating a portion of the proceeds to Best Buddies, an organization that’s meaningful to both of us.”

Fitzgerald says that writing this book was such a positive experience that she may tackle another one soon. “I think readers will discover there is room for a sequel at the end,” she notes. “I’d love to write more novels in the future.”

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