Who is Hayden Sidun?
Hayden Sidun (he/him) is a high school student, fiction author, and free verse poet. His lifelong passion for writing stories has led him to serve as his school newspaper’s editor-in-chief, create content for political campaigns and organizations, and become a self-published author. Outside of school and work and when he is not writing, he is involved in local politics and often finds himself sorting through his thoughts and surfing the Internet in the middle of the night. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, of which he is a proud native.
Hayden’s short fiction has been published in The Dillydoun Review, Adelaide Literary Magazine, Literary Yard, Button Eye Review, Potato Soup Journal, and The Chamber Magazine. His collections of short stories and poetry, Yet Another Frog Croaks and Fun Friday Nights, respectively, were self-published in 2021.
Born and raised in the Bay Area.
Hayden was born in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2004 and has lived there his entire life. He is now a senior at Granada High School and plans to attend Las Positas College starting in 2022.
In 2016, Hayden co-founded The Eagle’s Nest, his middle school’s official newspaper. He served as the newspaper’s editor-in-chief and, in that capacity, led staff meetings, wrote stories on national and international issues, and worked with teachers and other students on piecing together and circulating the newspaper each month. The newspaper was a success, but he resigned as editor-in-chief to focus on getting through his final year of middle school.
In 2017, Hayden joined the Boy Scouts of America. Throughout his time in the troop, he served in troop leadership, peaking during his year-long term as senior patrol leader. Hayden was also elected by his troop to the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s national honor society, in which he served in a few leadership positions, including village chief. Hayden left the organization in 2021 due to the organization’s discrimination against atheists and to focus on other aspects of his life; he left as a Life Scout and a Brotherhood arrowman.
Hayden is a barista at Starbucks and is proud of and very committed to his job.
A natural-born community activist.
In 2020, Hayden was brought onto the mayoral campaign of Bob Woerner as a content creator. In the time leading up to the election, he designed graphics and advertisements for the campaign’s social media pages and promoted the campaign on his personal social media accounts and places such as Nextdoor and, during candidate forums, YouTube livestreams. He also often penned letters to the editor promoting the campaign to his local newspaper, The Independent, and led the charge against the newspaper when it was discovered that its editors were publishing dishonestly-edited stories. Bob Woerner was elected mayor with nearly 65% of the vote and was sworn in as mayor on December 14, 2020.
At the recommendation of Mayor-elect Woerner, Hayden began serving on the city’s Equity and Inclusion Working Group soon after the election. The working group was formed as the city’s response to George Floyd’s murder and the Black Lives Matter demonstrations that ensued. As a member of the group, Hayden worked with other members of the community in sharing experiences related to social inequality and forming solutions to end systemic racism within municipal institutions and bring about social equality within the community. His service in the working group ended in 2021 and was followed by a brief stint as a graphic designer for the Tri-Valley Democrats and a fellowship with Remedy PAC, a political action committee founded by Democratic congressman Eric Swalwell.
Glued to the pen.
Hayden has been writing for as long as he can remember, and it is his lifelong passion for writing that set him on the path as an author he is walking down today. He often credits his late grandfather John, who taught him phonics and how to use a computer at a young age, for helping him discover his love for writing. An avid Jeopardy! fan, Hayden also credits his love for knowledge and searching for inspiration in the depths of human history to the show and its longtime host Alex Trebek, whom Hayden considers an idol and inspiration.
With help from his grandmother, Hayden wrote and illustrated his first homemade book on construction paper bound by a string of yarn when he was in kindergarten, and after many illustrated homemade books similar to the very first one he made, he began writing using a computer in fifth grade. Through countless abandoned writing projects and many hours spent educating himself on the art of writing and searching for his voice as an author, Hayden has greatly refined his writing style and found the success he has been searching for.
Hayden switched his focus to short fiction in the first months of quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic, and through many sleepless nights, he wrote, rewrote, and strenuously edited multiple short stories. These stories and the freelance editing services he used greatly shaped these stories and his style of writing, and on January 23, 2021, Hayden’s dream of becoming a published author was fulfilled when his short story “Journey Homebound” was published in The Dillydoun Review (read it here). Since then, Hayden has published 12 short stories in print and online. His debut short story collection, titled Yet Another Frog Croaks, was self-published on November 18, 2021; it focuses on the complex subjects of death and existentialism (buy it here).
In late 2021, Hayden began exploring poetry after years of voicing his distaste for poetry. The result was his debut poetry collection, Fun Friday Nights, which was self-published on December 11, 2021, as a Christmas present for his parents (buy it here). The collection is written in untitled freeform poetry and explores his childhood with two young parents.
Aside from spontaneous writing sprees, Hayden is actively working on multiple writing projects, including a novella and a second poetry collection.