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Exclusive Interview: Internet Sensation Carrie Berk

The teen novelist, anti-bully activist and lifestyle blogger shares goals with Kidzworld.

Jul 23, 2019

By: Lynn Barker

16-year-old writer/blogger/activist Carrie Berk grew up watching the strong work ethic practiced by her novelist mom Sheryl (“Soul Surfer”, the book then film about shark attack victim Bethany Hamilton who returned to surfing despite her horrible injury). Writing novels with her mom from an early age (she’s up to 21 of them!), Carrie is on her third popular book series “Ask Emma” about a teen writing a school advice column and dealing with cyberbullying. Her next “Emma” novel “Ask Emma: Boy Trouble” comes out in the Fall.

Carrie with an Ask Emma novelCarrie with an Ask Emma novel

Recently, while keeping current her fun, uplifting and informative “style empowerment” website “Carrie’s Chronicles”, the young activist wrote the script for a “Girls Against Bullying” public service announcement in which she appears with several teen celebs and regular girls in an effort to stop “mean girl” behavior and encourage empathy….we need to think about how the bullying victim feels!  Multitasking Carrie writes weekly articles, posts daily on her Instagram and just recently launched her YouTube Channel.

Strike a pose!Strike a pose!

Since Carrie’s goals and those of Kidzworld coincide (Kidzworld.com is a safe space for kids & teens online with a zero bully tolerance and full moderation), we are happy to present her views in this interview.

Kidzworld: Carrie, tell everyone a few details about your personal experience with cyberbullying that made you want to join a crusade against it.

  • Carrie: It first started back when I was 12 and part of a professional ballet studio. Girls were posting mean comments about me on my social media, and it was very painful. I wish I could say it stopped; I just filmed a video for Seventeen’s YouTube and some of the comments were very cruel and uncalled for. Unfortunately, cyberbullying is rampant in today’s world; people feel they can say anything hiding behind the mask of social media.
  • But instead of letting the negativity break me, I decided to use my experience as a positive force for change. Both my style empowerment website, “Carrie’s Chronicles”, and my book series, “Ask Emma”, aim to raise awareness about bullying and encourage people to be more accepting of each other’s differences. I always say “own who you are” and “be unapologetically you.” In all my writing, I try to teach people to practice empathy and compassion, and I work with No Bully on their platform to further spread this message. I believe we should lift each other up instead of tear each other down and always practice positive posting. 

At work on the ChroniclesAt work on the ChroniclesCourtesy of Olesja Mueller/Gallery Row Studio

Kidzworld: That is so needed! In addition to bullying, what do you think is the most important issue that teens, especially teen girls, should be concerned about today?

  • Carrie: Women are often looked down upon because of their gender—we constantly have to fight for equal pay, status and respect. But gender does not and should not limit one’s abilities. Don’t let anything or anyone prevent you from pursuing your dreams or devalue your worth. Girls are changing the world! 

Kidzworld: Do you already know what your major will be when/if you go to college? What have you chosen?

  • Carrie: I intend on majoring in journalism with a minor in fashion studies! I am passionate about both so I am really excited to learn more about each subject.

Kidzworld: You are one of the Generation-Z Multitaskers. Do you feel pressure to keep putting out more and more content or getting involved in more and more media? Do you have some tricks for relaxing and just kicking back before you burn out? 

  • Carrie: I don’t feel “pressure,” more so a responsibility to constantly produce content that inspires and empowers others. Although I do have a busy schedule, I enjoy watching some of my fave TV shows (“Gilmore Girls”! “The Bachelorette”!) and going for a fun workout class (SoulCycle or Rumble Boxing) to unwind. 

Carrie the casual fashionistaCarrie the casual fashionista

Kidzworld: Do you feel, as many teens do lately, that we need to get off our cellphones more and actually look people in the eye and talk to them? Could there be cellphone free dates and parties? What is your opinion on this? 

  • Carrie: It’s all about striking the perfect balance. Our phones are a great source of communication and information, as social media can connect us to people from around the world and allow us to explore topics and themes that may be foreign to us. That being said, it is important to schedule some face-to-face time where you and your friends can talk sans cell phones and get to know each other that way. 

Kidzworld: What band or music artist do you most admire and why?

  • Carrie: Panic! At The Disco is my fave! I have been listening to that band for years, and their upbeat tunes always put me in a good mood. 

Kidzworld: What if the internet didn’t exist?  How would you get your messages out there? 

  • Carrie: I’m so used to using the internet as my main platform, it’s hard to imagine a world without it! But I’m sure I’d find some way or another to get my message out there, most likely by confronting people and explaining what I stand for face to face. My books are also a great way to communicate my ideas—I’d have to add to the 21 I’ve already written!

Wonder what I'll write about next?Wonder what I'll write about next?

Kidzworld: What is your pet peeve while out on a date? What must your date never do or else you won’t want a second date?

  • Carrie: People who don’t respect your likes/dislikes and make you feel bad about yourself are major turnoffs for me. 

Kidzworld: For sure! How has your mom influenced your writing?

  • Carrie: I have grown up watching my mom sit at her computer with fingers flying across the keyboard. She has a constant influx of ideas and pushes me to continue practicing my craft so I can ultimately be a better writer.

Carrie wants to encourage individualityCarrie wants to encourage individuality

Kidzworld: What is next for you and what is a long-term future goal?

  • Carrie: My next book, “Ask Emma: Boy Trouble”, is coming out this fall, so I’m super excited about that! As for a long-term goal, I just hope to continue inspiring as many people as possible.

Check out Carrie’s positive messages on her Website: carrieschronicles.com  and Social Media Channels: Instagram: @carrieberkk, Twitter: @carrieberkk, Facebook: Carrie’s Chronicles, Pinterest: Carrie’s Chronicles, TikTok: @carrieberkk_

What’s Your Opinion?

Do you try to influence others to avoid bullying people on the net and at school? What do you think tweens and teens can do to make others feel more accepted? Have you suffered cyberbullying? You might help others by commenting below or, like Carrie, write about it online on your Kidzworld profile page!