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Kailani Z

Kailani is one of the co-founders of GenPen! She works with the instructors, communicates with the team, works on the workshops and camps, and is greatly passionate about writing. She loves writing of all forms; journalism, poetry, prose, and more! 
She has submitted her writing to many literary magazines and competitions, and has been regionally and nationally recognized by Scholastic. Some hobbies she has other than writing includes playing piano, playing badminton, and hanging out with her friends and family. 

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Lakshyaa N

Lakshyaa is our second co-founder. She is a social media manager, event planner, and instructor at GenPen. Outside of GenPen, Lakshyaa writes for her school newspaper and participates in her math honor society's executive board! Similar to Kailani, Lakshyaa loves to play the piano, listen to music, and spend time with friends. Despite being a math and computer science nerd, Lakshyaa loves connecting with other people through writing, and she specializes in poetry and journalism.

The Team

These are the contributors to GenPen
GenPen wouldn't be what it is today without them!


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Sarah R.

Hi, I’m Sarah, a junior at Naperville North. In my free time, I enjoy playing the piano, prepping for Model UN debates, and writing (obviously). I am super excited to help with marketing for GenPen because I love the creativity in the activities and the people are so amazing.


Melody X.

Hi! I’m Melody, and I am a senior at Naperville Central High School. I’m mainly a pianist, a tennis athlete, and a boba tea addict, and I have an INFP-T personality. I love everything imaginative - philosophy, photography, music, literature… and It’s why I support GenPen, and I’m looking forward to spreading this love for creativity outwards!


Samantha P.

Hi! I'm Samantha, a senior in high school. In my free time, I really enjoy baking, cooking, crocheting, and almost anything that requires a little creativity. I also spend a lot of time volunteering and I love learning new things, so I love being a part of GenPen's team!



Vittoria G.

Hi! My name is Vittoria Gallina and I'm a senior in high school. I really love swimming and reading. I'm also involved in Science Olympiad, where I get to do things such as crack codes and build catapults.


Nitya A.

Hi , I’m Nitya, a senior at Naperville Central High School! I love learning about math, science, and English. I enjoy listening to music and getting involved with my community, especially by working with kids. When it comes to writing, I definitely favor creative writing and grammar!

Thank You Partners and Sponsors!

Whether it be providing us space for our workshops, doing collaboration events, promoting us, or helping sponsor us, these organizations have been very helpful to GenPen's success!


Language Learners International

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Naperville Children's Business Fair

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The Alive Center

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Your Words Matter To Us

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Link Raise


Naperville Public Library

Why GenPen was Founded

    It’s difficult to gain confidence in writing, especially as a kid in school. When you’re doing a math problem, you are confident when you answer a question correctly. When you’re taking a history test, you are confident when you recall a historical event correctly. However, you technically cannot write correctly, and whether your writing is good or not is subjective. 
   I love to write because it is a place where my imagination can run free, and anything can happen - realistic or not. However, at first I kept almost everything I wrote that wasn’t for school to myself; I didn’t know whether or not it was good. 
   It wasn’t until I began attending writing workshops and camps that I began feeling comfortable sharing my writing with others. It was the encouragement from fellow writers that took my writing out of its hiding place, it was reading famous writings that gave me inspiration, and it was the guidance from supportive teachers and fellow writers that propelled me to write more. 
   Writing doesn’t have any rights or wrongs, and that’s the beauty of it. Sometimes, you’ll look at your writing with pride, and then find yourself performing completely transforming on it the next day with disappointment. It is a journey of becoming the best you: writing authentically, and you gain that confidence from walking through this journey and receiving help and encouragement from others. 
   My writing can now be found in many online literary magazines such as the Cathartic Youth Literary Magazine and Charmolypi Literary Review. I’ve also been nationally recognized with a Gold Medal by Scholastic Art & Writing. 
   Now, I want others who are in the spot where I used to be to earn confidence in writing. I I want them to see writing the way I see it - a place for imaginations to run wild and for voices to be broadcasted. I hope that GenPen can bring you the encouragement, warmth, and confidence that other writing workshops and camps have brought me in the past. Our instructors hope to bond with you and provide you guidance to keep you going. 

- Kailani Zhang, Co-founder of GenPen

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