Palm Beach Central High School student publishes novel

'70 Meters' written by 16-year-old Ryan Snider
Student Ryan Snider signs copies of his book '70 Meters' at Palm Beach Central High School in Wellington on April 7, 2022.jpg
Posted at 4:28 PM, Apr 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-07 19:26:58-04

WELLINGTON, Fla. — When you walk into a high school library, you expect to see books written by hundreds of authors.

But at Palm Beach Central High School in Wellington, one of the authors is one of their own.


Dozens of students lined up Thursday for a signed copy of "70 Meters" about a floating city called New Atlantis. The author is their own classmate, 16-year-old Ryan Snider.

"Pretty ecstatic is really the only word to describe it," Snider said. "I wrote a book, I got it published. People are coming here to support me. It’s amazing."

Author Stephen Kozan published Snider's book after a virtual visit with Palm Beach Central High School students last year.

"They become authors for the day and submit a one-page fictional story idea," Kozan said. "After that I collect all of the flash fictions, select finalists."

Snider's flash fiction was the first chapter of "70 Meters," and that’s what won him the publishing deal. After about a year of hard work, he produced a 281-page novel.

'70 Meters' by Ryan Snider.jpg
'70 Meters' by Ryan Snider.

Kozan said he picked Snider's story because his creativity and imagination just came off the page.

"I believe this works for the future, for colleges," Kozan said. "If you can say, I published a book, that’s a pretty big deal. So I think of myself more as an incubator publishing company that can help propel students into further opportunities in the future."

Snider's passion for writing started years ago, along with his twin brother.

"I started writing seriously in middle school. And back then it was just me, my brother, and my friends, and my teacher," Snider said. "But now I see all these other people I know and don’t know asking me to sign their books, and it’s kinda like, it hasn’t fully sunk in."

But the teen admits, his creative process sometimes gets him into trouble.

"An idea that pops in my head, if I don’t have my notebook, I'll pull out my phone and I'll type it down," Snider said. "And they're always like, stop texting! Get off social media! And I'm like, I'm not. I'm writing. I got an idea."

Snider develops a relationship with his characters.

"They are the ones telling me the story," Snider said. "So whenever I get writer's block, they’re not talking to me. They’re not telling me the story. So I have to dig deeper. I have to find out what’s going on and then they’ll start talking."

"We have amazing students at this school," said Principal Darren Edgecomb. "I am beaming with pride."

With his principal, family members, and classmates surrounding him Thursday, Snider said he hopes this is just the beginning.

"I have currently 10 other story projects that I'm working on, including the sequel to this book," Snider said. "Another series that me and my brother are co-authoring."

So while this may be Snider's first book signing, it certainly won't be his last.

Kozan is visiting other Palm Beach County schools this week and does his publishing contest all over the country.

To purchase a copy of "70 Meters," click here.