by LINDA FRABL | photos by Spark Photography

Inspirational Writer

Irene Hou, a 4S Ranch resident and sophomore at Del Norte High School, has earned many writing awards over the past four years. It all began in 2012 when she won the Award of Excellence through the Palomar Council PTA for a poem she wrote titled “Diversity Is…” The following year she won the same award for a different poem, titled “A Butterfly from Heaven.” Then in 2014 she won an Award of Merit for her poem “Believe, Dream, Inspire.”

By January of 2015, Irene took her writing one step further by self-publishing her own book, titled Snowspirit: The Virgo Key, under her pseudonym, Rainye Day. By May of 2015, Irene’s book was bestowed the Bronze Award in the Fantasy/Science-Fiction category by the National eLit Awards, a global awards program that honors the best of digital publishing entertainment.


Recalling the process of writing her book, Irene shared, “It took a toll on my social life, my family, and school. Occasionally, I envied the carefree life of my pals. Many times, I had to abandon plans with friends in order to work on this project. But I still continued to write.”

Snowspirit: The Virgo Key features a character whom Irene originally wrote about for a first grade writing assignment. Irene’s dad found the story so engaging that he encouraged Irene to keep poking around with it. By the time Irene got to middle school, she admitted, “My life revolved around Snowspirit! I spent hours researching and revising the story, and edited over 50 drafts of it before getting to the final product.”

Name: Irene Hou (15)
School: Del Norte High School
Parents: Lydia Shi and Tony Hou
Sibling: Kaylee Hou (10)
Favorite Place in 92127: The 4S Commons, because it’s a great place to study and hang out with friends after school or on weekends.


In addition to being an author, Irene also does Taekwondo (she’s a black belt), plays the piano (she placed first in the San Diego Sonata Competition), is an avid PC gamer (she’s learning 3D animation and Java), and loves to read. Irene volunteers at martial art tournaments and children’s camps, and she recently lectured at Monterey Ridge Elementary, encouraging the students to try to publish their own books.

At school Irene’s favorite subject is English, because “I prefer to express myself openly, instead of sticking to one right answer like in math and science.” In the future, Irene sees herself dabbling in screenwriting and computer science. She added, “My biggest dream is to change the world and make an impact with my writing.” Visit to read some of Irene’s imaginative writing samples.

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