This post is for the kids. The ones who feel unseen and unheard. The ones who feel less than compared to others. The ones who worry that a better day will never come.
I’m here to tell you that your voice, your smile, your beauty, your brilliance fill this world with hope and love. Hold your head high, young heroes. Now strut. That’s right. Do you. For real. Bump what people think. Put some swag into your walk. Put some stank into your steps. You just made them look. Guess what they saw? A leader. A trailblazer. A difference maker. That’s what you are. Check you out. Proud, brave and bold.
I went to a violin vigil recently put on by the United Strings of Color. Between the stirring violin performances, young poets stood up and gave voice to their feelings. As they shared their pieces about the pain of colorism, the hurt of racism, the heartbreak of kids their age being murdered, something important was born. Each poet became a beacon, radiating courage, commitment and capacity to bring change.
You’re a light too. What’s your story? Put your heart on the page. Share your struggle and your song. Give us the weary blues and the sweet sunshine. Show us who you are.
Not sure how to start? Look in the mirror and say that you believe in yourself. You know what? Say it and then shout it. Really mean it. Then, sit down and get to work. Write your thoughts in a notebook. Type them on your computer or phone. Record a rap breaking down how you feel.
Do you, my friends. That’s what the world needs. Amazing, incredible, special you.
Here are some places to share your voice:
SKIPPING STONES: AN INTERNATIONAL MULTICULTURAL MAGAZINE
Skipping Stones accepts essays, stories, letters to the editor, riddles and proverbs, etc. Submissions should be typed or neatly handwritten and limited to 750 words and poems to 30 lines. They also accept illustrations, drawings, photos or paintings. Guidelines say to include your name, age and address along with your submission.
P.O. Box 3939
Eugene, OR 97403
The Girls’ Life Web site, http://www.girlslife.com, accepts submissions of articles, poetry and short fiction from writers under the age of 18.
Send submissions to:
Girls’ Life magazine
4529 Harford Rd
Baltimore, MD 21214
”Stone Soup welcomes submissions by young people through age 13. Include your name, age, home address, phone number, and e-mail address if you have one. Please do not include a self-addressed stamped envelope. Send copies of your work, not originals. If we need the original, we will request it. You do not need to include a photo of yourself.”
Send submissions to:
P.O. Box 83
Santa Cruz, CA 95063
SCHOLASTIC ART & WRITING AWARDS
The contest is open to students in grades 7-12. Works are judged on originality, technical skill and voice. Categories include science fiction/fantasy, journalism, personal essay/memoir, painting and photography.
Here’s how to enter: https://www.artandwriting.org/awards