Dare to be a Voice

This month I’ll be focusing my blog on my forthcoming anthology Dare to be a Voice. Wildlife and wild places written by talented young writers are at the heart of this anthology.

Publishing an anthology was a brainstorm of mine when I felt the need to try something new and “daring” with my writing programs. I’ve been running creative writing programs in the local schools for eight years, and I was ready to shift gears a bit.

Dare to be a Voice, a collection of environmentally themed short stories, is the result, and I couldn’t be more proud. These authors, I gotta tell you, blew me away with their hard work and commitment. My program, Dare to Write, was largely an independent study, where the students did the work on their own time, with the help of my storycrafting lessons that I provided.

Proceeds from sales of the book will be donated to two non-profit organizations, World Wildlife Fund and Center for Wildlife.

World Wildlife Fund believes in protecting the future of nature and human beings, and is supported by more than one million members in the United States and close to five million globally.

Center for Wildlife is a private, non-profit organization located in Cape Neddick, Maine (USA), whose mission is to “build a sustainable future for wildlife in the community through medical treatment, rehabilitation, educational outreach, research, and conservation activities.”

This week, I’d like to present three of the writers . . .

KAROLYI CAMPANO

Karolyi is twelve years old. She has two sisters, a dog, and a guinea pig. Her favorite thing to do is to read or listen to music. As for activities, she plays soccer and is in her school’s band.

Some of Karolyi’s favorite authors include John Green, Leigh Bardugo, and David Levithan. Her favorite things to write usually are realistic fiction or fantasy, and she loves creating her characters.

To her, the hardest thing about writing this story was meeting the deadlines and creating the plot.

If she had to describe herself in three words, they would probably be procrastinator, listener, and thinker.

“This was the first polar bear I’d ever seen. Supposedly they were extinct. I had the rabbit. I didn’t need the bear as well for food. I lowered my bow.”

from THE LOST CUB

 

 


EMILY CULLAMAR

Emily is a 6th grader at Dover Middle School. She’s a Filipino-American born and raised in New Hampshire and embraces both cultures. She loves to run and often participates in local 5Ks.

She loves to travel and has been to places like Morocco, the Netherlands, China, and Australia with her brother and parents.

In Emily’s spare time, she likes to listen to music, draw, read, or write. Ever since she was young, she’s been interested in astronomy. Even then, she still has no idea what field she wants to go into.

If you ask her what she wants to be when she grows up, she’ll say, “Happy.”

“I could feel my corneas bleeding. The amount of light exposure my eyeballs were getting was inhumane. The others said I’d get used to the bright lights, but I wasn’t sure about that.”

from A DIFFERENT WORLD


ARISSA HENDRARTO

Hello readers! My name is Arissa and I’m in seventh grade. I would say I’ve been writing for my whole school career and I enjoy it very much.

Other than writing, I enjoy playing with my dog, Charlie, and doing sports. I play volleyball for my school team and a club team, as well as doing track and field with my school.

Probably my biggest inspiration is Amandla Stenberg. She was an actress in The Hunger Games, a trilogy I enjoy very much, and she speaks out deeply about her experiences in the mainstream industry being a minority. I relate to her in many ways, which makes her such a fitting person to look up to.

A film she will also soon be featured in is The Hate U Give, which is my favorite book at the moment. It revolves around Starr Carter. She is an African American teenager who lives in a poor black neighborhood, but attends a rich, white suburban prep school. Juggling the two worlds is already very difficult, but any self-image she has gets shattered when her childhood best friend gets shot by a cop. Starr is thrown into a difficult position. She has the option to speak out about what happened or stand down. It is a very powerful book, and I feel that anyone can relate to this character and put themselves in her situation.

My favorite show ever is Stranger Things. It’s a thrilling Netflix original about a boy who lives in Hawkins, Indiana in 1983. When 12-year-old Will Byers goes missing his mother Joyce launches an exhilarating investigation. They come across many mysterious events involving secret government experiments, as well as a very unusual girl. The young actors and actresses in this film are so incredibly talented and inspirational.

That was a little bit about me and what I enjoy. I hope you like my story, readers!

“A blob of trash two times the size of Texas was floating in our ocean. Our teacher wrote it on the SMART board and let it sit there for the rest of class for us to write about. That’s when I saw people actually writing. The shallowest guy I had ever met was viciously scribbling on his paper and I did too, miles and miles of words.”

from CHANGE FOR THE SCHOOL


If you are interested in helping share Dare to be a Voice with your family and friends, that would be amazing! Remember, every purchase of this book will help a species or biome in need. This is an easy way to help out the planet plus add some smiles to the faces of these young writers who worked their tails off to get this book out into the world!

Give me a shout here if you’d like to be a part of Dare to be a Voice street team!

3 thoughts on “Dare to be a Voice”

  1. This is a great project. So cool. I adore Emily’s answer to the question what do you want to be when you grow up. I’ve said the same thing along the way… and some uptight people have not been pleased with me, I can tell you that!

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