Meet Sonia Marta, an award-winning author

Hi! I’m Sonia, a 15-year-old writer with 4 books published already! You may know me as a student, a keynote speaker, an explorer, the author of the award-winning The Rapping Astronaut, Bucharest City Tour, and co-author of Women Leading the Way! I visited more than 3,000 children, visiting kindergartens, schools, universities, zoom calls and live events, inspiring them with my presentations. I then brought Storywise to life - the podcast hosted by me, and created a book club on my YouTube channel.

"Cliché, but stop thinking about the ifs, and start thinking about the what ifs. Even the smallest thing, or in this case a bit bigger change, like a perspective shift could bring you about the accomplishment you’ve always dreamed about."

When did you start your business?
All the crazy ideas for my writing career started at the ripe age of 3, as when I was a toddler who couldn’t even walk on all fours, my mom exposed me to all types of books; glittery ones, texture ones, you name it! Everything started out from collections of three-stanza poems I adored, and a pen and paper later, my mom was sitting next to me, eagerly helping me write our very first poem. Fast-forward 3 years later and I had my very own mountain of poems marinating on my desk; over 300 of them! In year 5, 2 years later, I decided to go to my mom to tell her my next crazy idea; wanting to publish them! And so, I dove into the world of writing at a very young age, with my first poetry book being published at 10 years old!

What was the inspiration behind your work/business?
My first poetry book was inspired all the way back to when I was a 3-year-old toddler reading Romanian poets like Lucia Munteanu. One day after kindergarten, I just got a splurge of energy and came home ready to start my career as a writer.
For The Rapping Astronaut, my first book in English, I was inspired by all of the bewildering Christopher Nolan movies, and for the movie fans out there, specifically Interstellar. I fell asleep that night ready to dream such a saturated dream that I knew when I woke up that I had to write it all down.
My guide to Bucharest, my hometown, for Bucharest City Tour, a Trip with Sonia, was more of a nostalgic idea. Growing up, my mom would always bring me a book about the city she’d visited, like Katie in London, Madeleine in Paris. Yet when I myself happened to visit an old friend of mine who used to live in Bucharest, I found no book about my hometown for children. They were all either picture books or adult stories. So, with a little feisty flame inside of me, I decided to start my very own project. I took a tour of all of the landmarks mentioned in the book and researched all the facts; it was a true adventure!

What are you most excited about in your work/business?
The all-day, every-day motivator for me is undoubtedly the sparkle in children’s eyes as a teen tells them it is possible to make your dreams reality; and even more so at such a young age! Every time I write I imagine my comfort places and all the ideal vacations for me, which gives me an incentive to continue typing for hours on end. Publishing a project, or rather seeing a saturated idea lying in my hands after detailed story-board plotting is a type of feeling you can’t describe, that gives you a sense of fulfillment and makes you feel like you’ve succeeded.

What has been the most challenging thing about starting your work/business?
We all can imagine of the challenges being a published writer younger than 18 signs you up for, one of them being getting the work published to begin with! However, I want to tell you about a much more recent challenge I had to overcome. After a year of online school in 2021, I got writer’s block, for which the longer I didn’t write for, the more unbearable the task of opening a word document looked like. Luckily, with being surrounded by the right friends, and with my competitive side, I set myself a goal to just write a paragraph every day on whatever topic, to get myself accustomed to the intimidating blinking cursor on the screen.

What advice would you give to other women thinking about starting a work/business?
Cliché, but stop thinking about the ifs, and start thinking about the what ifs. Even the smallest thing, or in this case a bit bigger change, like a perspective shift could bring you about the accomplishment you’ve always dreamed about. Want to start an online marketing agency but don’t have the budget to start a business? Stop making excuses. Tomorrow never comes. It’s today or never. In today’s world, starting a business can be done for $0. Really. If you really want to do something, start making daily cues to nudge you subtly into finally starting it. Try shifting the people you surround yourself with on a daily basis. If you’re at work and that’s not possible, next weekend go sign yourself up for that first beginner’s painting class. You don’t need a life’s amount of art supplies to dive into molding your ideas from thought to real life. The way I did with a simple pen and paper in the spur of motivation, I just started writing a poem every day about the daily things I would discover or do as a child. As my favorite starting out book says, by the incredible James Clear in Atomic Habits, start building social clues in every room to make it easier for you when you’re starting out. I placed a piece of paper and pen in every room, so whenever I had a new idea, I’d just jot it down. Just start. Start thinking it’s only you and no one’s watching, and you’ll become unstoppable.

Why did you enter the Women Changing the World Awards?
The Women Changing the World Awards for me was a way of showing that it is possible. I want to prove to all the children, students and adults I met and will meet that age doesn’t stop you from pursuing your passions. I long to highlight the importance of education, respectively reading and curiosity, to keep learning stuff and improving yourself each day, and how far that will take you. It meant so much for me as it showed me all the times, I doubted myself were just stopping me from achieving my full potential.

What did you enjoy the most about being part of the awards?
Seeing such an empowering community of women literally change the world a step at a time was so touching for me, along with seeing such diversity from all fields of work, backgrounds and passions. I think the award ceremony will always have a place in my heart that will always be dear to me. And more so, I was able to connect with so many inspiring women, some of which I am still in touch with today. I had a chance to talk to them and listen, which left me captivated. Especially when I realized that there are so many people out there wanting and willing to put the effort, consistency, passion and determination into their aspirations. Oh, and apart from seeing London for the first time, a hub of opportunities waiting to be taken, the food was great, ha-ha. I will always remember my first trip to London!

What surprised you most about the awards?
All of the speeches some of the winners held! They made my eyes tear, and I am a tough audience for that! Hence hearing them and finally being in a room with women who all relate was so emotional, I have to admit.

How did the awards help you in your work/business?
Winning Silver in the Young Women Changing the World award made me realize all of the things I am capable of, and gave me a boost of motivation to explore different areas of industries too, some of which were familiar but I never thought of diving deep into.

What advice would you give to other women thinking about entering the awards?
What’s stopping you? Shh! Nothing! Nothing is the answer! Enter, because there is nothing to lose, and I say that as one of the very few Romanian writers to have won an international award! One thing I look down upon is the fact that I didn’t do all the things I wanted to as soon as I got new ideas. Give your best, and I promise you will be thankful you entered! Who knows, you might get nominated and even win! It’s only once you sign up for recognition that you realize how far you’ve come!

What has been the best thing about starting your own work/business?
The feeling of accomplishing your dreams! Starting my career as a writer now gives me sense of fulfillment, and I am so happy to have done so because frankly I can’t picture me without my work.

What’s happening next in your work/business?
I have some very exciting things coming out next year! I am exploring multiple things, so whilst I also want to work on my books, I want to be doing something else too! That is what is going to happen very soon, so stay tuned! I am starting a new podcast, something different compared to Storywise! And I am keeping myself very interested in the world of arts; cinematography, keynote speeches, presenting and visiting schools from foreign countries! I plan on only getting better!

What are your big plans for the future?
I want to continue my studies at university, followed by continuing writing and trying out new things. As mentioned above, I want to start a podcast, and long-term I want to form connections with people of my age like me, who keep themselves interested and determined on their niches. If that sounds like you send me a DM!

How can we connect with you?


2024 Women Changing The World Awards

Nominations are open now for the 2024 Women Changing The World Awards