When we started offering creative writing classes for kids and teens this year, we never planned to have an anthology of the works of our young writers. But after our first summer workshop, the Young Writers’ Summer Hangout at Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street, we were impressed by a lot of pieces that we said have to be documented in some way.
Then, as we had more and more young writers joining our weekly Young Writers’ Saturday Hangout at the Canadian American School at the City Club Alphaland in Makati, we already had a lot of possible entries for our anthology.
Last December 13, we finally launched our writing center’s first anthology entitled, “In Our Own Words” which featured 27 young writers. There were poems, essays, and short stories in our anthology.
When we were thinking of the cover for our anthology, we were searching for an artwork of kids writing or reading. Then, my mom asked her artist friend, Jonathan Rañola if he had any such paintings. Luckily he had “A Charming Narrative”, a mother reading to his son. It was the perfect artwork for our anthology! Jonathan has a solo exhibit now at Art Elements Asian Gallery SM Aura entitled Enchanted Visions, while San Francisco-based designer Tina Besa designed our book.
During our book launch, the young writers read their favorite lines from their pieces and had a book signing which thrilled them to meet other young writers. Of course, we had cupcakes topped with our book cover.
Here’s an essay from our anthology from one of our brilliant young writers who is obsessed with biographies and fascinated by Asian Literature. She said this is how she would describe a library, yes in her own words.
by Hannah Garcia, 12 years old
Encaged behind the dwarfish doors was a place that made everybody’s spine tremble, thanks to the Baltic air. The place smelled of roses, and was inhabited by a belligerent creature (with apologies), that scared the living daylights out of anybody that came across its path. The place was a safe haven to some, but stands as a torture chamber to most. For me, it is an enchanting sanctuary, for it has me enthralled by its hidden beauty. I could get lost in the beauty of that maze, and treasure every single moment of it. But the enchanting place is very deceiving. Behind those dwarfish boulders, a devilish spell is cast upon those who often visit that world. A spell that could make you forget everything. So keep your eyes open, and your senses awake, for you might be a victim of this beautiful land.
This article originally appeared in ManilaSpeak.com on December 14, 2014