Exeter student Ahnya O’Riordan, 17, has joined the company of Barack Obama, Jamie Foxx, Oprah Winfrey, Lin-Manuela Miranda, John Lithgow and other notable writers and performers as she was recently named a finalist for the 2022 Audie Awards, which recognize distinction in spoken word entertainment and audiobooks. Sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association (APA), O’Riordan was nominated in the Multi-Voice Performance category for her co-narration of “Twins,” which was written by Varian Johnson, and was also narrated by Grace Capeless, Mashari Bain, Malcolm Bowen, Antoinette Comer, André Blake, Armand Xavier and Rufen-Blanchette.
Published by Scholastic, O’Riordan described the book as a multi-award-winning graphic novel about twin sisters who are best friends. “Maureen and Francine do everything together and share all the same experiences. But once they start 6th grade, Francine decides she has new interests and wants to be more independent. Maureen struggles with this, but finds her own strengths along the way. O’Riordan, who voiced Maureen in the story, loved the story so much that she decided to share it with other Exeter students by donating copies of the audiobook to the Reiffton and Jacksonwald Libraries at Exeter Township school district.
A performer since age 4, O’Riordan said she really enjoyed the process of recording the story. “This project was a lot of fun. Once I booked the job, I was given all the content on the pages, which I had to read and familiarize myself with. I then went to a recording studio in New York to record each line. The actor who plays my twin sister was also there, so we were able to meet, build chemistry and record together.
When she learned that she had been named a finalist, she said she was very excited, but also very grateful for the experience. “Everyone did an amazing job bringing the characters to life, and I’m grateful to be a part of it! I was very excited to hear about the awards!” Audie winners will be announced in a virtual ceremony hosted by Kal Penn on Friday, March 4, 2022 from 9-10 p.m., and can be viewed online at https://www.youtube.com/c/AudiobookCommunity
O’Riordan attended Exeter Schools until Year 6, then moved on to Exeter Cyber Academy in college so she could travel the world and perform as a member of Kidz Bop and pursue her musical and acting career. Now a senior, O’Riordan will graduate from Exeter in June and plans to attend forensic psychology college while continuing to work as an actress.