A book launch party and author reading is planned for Tuesday, June 3 for 15 Scriber Lake High School authors who have published a powerful new book intended to broaden the dialogue on such topics as bullying, addiction, incarceration, broken homes and other struggles faced by today’s youth.
The book, titled “Behind Closed Doors: Stories From the Inside Out”, is the third student story collection published through www.weareabsolutelynotokay.org, a program that helps teenagers find their voice and power by writing and publishing their personal stories.
Since November 2011, Scriber Lake High School English teacher Marjie Bowker and Seattle author Ingrid Ricks have been using Ricks’ New York Times bestselling memoir “Hippie Boy: A Girl’s Story” as a guide for the publishing project.
Along with the student-story collections—which have resulted in life-changing experiences for the student authors involved—the collaboration between Bowker and Ricks has led to a partnership with Seattle Public Theater, in which student stories have been converted to a stage play, “You’ve Got It All Wrong Live”. The project has also led to the development of a newly launched Hippie Boy Teaching Guide designed to help educators and mentors everywhere transform the lives of youth through personal storytelling. Edmonds Community College recently selected “You’ve Got It All Wrong”, the second student story collection, for its 2014/15 Campus Read.
The latest student story collection takes readers into the lives of 15 teenagers as they grapple with sexual identity, death, addiction, their parents’ incarceration and more. By sharing their stories, students are closing the door on their painful pasts and opening doors to a powerful, positive future. They are also reaching out to other teenagers to remind them that they aren’t alone.
“Writing and sharing my story has helped me with understanding my struggles and how to overcome them,” notes Maize Phillips, who wrote about years of being bullied. “It has also helped me with letting my family know what I’ve been through, bringing us closer than ever. And sharing my story seems to lift up other people’s spirits because they can relate to it.”
“Through this writing experience, I have healed more than I ever could have imagined,” adds Marika Evenson, who wrote about the pain her dad’s criminal history has caused her. “I never would have thought that I would get my story out; that my voice would ever be heard.”
The book signing and launch party will be held on June 3 at Café Louvre, 210 5th Ave. S. between 6-8 p.m.
“Behind Closed Doors: Stories From the Inside Out” will be available at the book launch as well as at Edmonds Bookshop, 111 Main St.
All proceeds from the book will go to fund the writing/publishing program at Scriber. To learn about the program, visit www.weareabsolutelynotokay.org.