Ever since Wise Ink was a fledgling blog, co-founders Dara Beevas and Amy Quale have wanted to use their publishing expertise to help young authors’ voices be heard. Project Inkpossible, Wise Ink's yearly initiative to publish the stories of young writers, is proud to be publishing the work of Timiya Reese, eighth grader at Robbinsdale Middle School, and author of Brianna’s Voice.
When asked about her inspiration behind the story, Timiya admits that writing it was challenging. “At first it was hard to find ideas, but then I thought about (using an idea from) MY life.” She thought about the complexities of school bullying, and how “people come off harsh when they don’t mean to.” Brianna, the protagonist in her story, has to navigate being bullied herself as well as how to handle seeing bullying happen to others.
Timiya's teachers, Matt Pletcher and Jason Vogel, know a thing or two about the joys and challenges of teaching creativity to kids. They encourage other teachers to focus on the teaching of structure- the hero’s journey for example. The key, they say, is to “teach kids that they HAVE experience (to draw upon for creative writing). And their experiences and ideas are valid.”
Project Inkpossible's goal is to get young people inspired by the publishing process itself, from editing to interior design, to cover art. “The learning opportunities in this go far beyond simply writing a story,” says former teacher and Wise Ink Marketing Director, Roseanne Cheng. “Project Inkpossible teaches young people about the many important pieces that go into the creative process.”
This week, Timiya got a glimpse of the first sketches of her book cover, and she’s beginning to envision what the end product of Brianna’s Voice is going to look like.
“Strive to do your best,” she encourages other young authors. “Don’t depends on other people to hold your hand (during the writing process). Just push through and finish.”