Helping Young Writers on their Bucket Lists

When I was younger, my writings were limited to scrawls in composition notebooks and dusty files with sparkly fonts that would never see the light of day. We didn’t do much creative writing in school, though that didn’t stop me. I was frequently scolded for doodling my characters in the margins of my notes.
One of my favorite teachers ever, my fifth grade teacher, proudly still tells me whenever I see her that she still has a poem I wrote for an assignment. Even 15 years later, that’s such a motivator to me. That someone believed in my writing. My trembling, skittish words actually had value to someone. That was so powerful.
And that’s why now I’m so passionate about giving other budding writers that same encouragement.
H2H Writing Awards
The Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards recognizes teen writers all over the country for their efforts and achievements. For the New York suburban and Hudson Valley region, there is an Indiegogo campaign underway to fund three scholarships to graduating seniors who win for an essay/memoir piece, a fiction piece, and a poetry piece. These scholarships will help them as they begin their college journeys.
I think writing has the power to change the world. We can look back to historical examples, like Uncle Tom’s Cabin, or Diary of a Young Girl. Throughout my life, I’ve been impacted by the writings of journalists and authors who use their words to give voices to those who can’t speak out. Nicholas Kristoff, who writes about human rights issues here and abroad. Carolyn Jessop, who wrote about her escape from the fundamentalist Mormon cult. Rose Christo, a novelist and Native American, whose writing shows both the good and bad of current Native life in America.
Writing has the power to change ourselves too. It lets us walk in another person’s shoes, and so we are more compassionate, a little kinder, a little wiser about how we treat others.
To me, funding these scholarships isn’t even about the money. It’s about recognizing the light inside a young writer. About saying, you have a voice and we hear it. You have a skill, a gift, and we want you to go forth and use it.

The people who have believed in me during my journey as a writer are still the cheerleaders I hear in the back of my head. And I don’t want to let them down.

If you have a few dollars, please consider donating! Show these teens you’re behind them, too. Or pass this campaign on to others. I promise you, these young writers won’t forget it.
Love always,

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