The Telling Room is offering VIRTUAL writing & publishing programming now! Please visit our Programs page for more information.



The much-acclaimed poetry collection featuring poems from our first 15 years is now published!

POETRY ANTHOLOGY | Paperback | 122 pages | 2020
List price: $18.95
ISBN: 978-1-7332633-4-4


There are multiple ways to buy copies and support youth voices:

•  Order online from our partner Print: A Bookstore

•  Visit your local bookstore for copies (email if it's not yet available)

•  Order in bulk! School, library, and nonprofit discounts are available. Email for more info.


*Introduction by Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman*

Since 2004, The Telling Room has been nurturing the voices and publishing the work of some of today's most talented and inspiring young poets and writers. Organized into three sections mirroring the transitional stages from childhood into adulthood, A New Land packages 30 groundbreaking poems from The Telling Room's first 15 years.

Follow one narrator as he revisits the winding river in Cameroon where he grew up. Feel how one of these poets feels when watching her younger brother grow into a Black man in the world. Imagine the horror of a wildfire in the midst of climate change. Listen to one young woman describe the joys and tribulations of teenage motherhood.

The poems here offer a stunning exploration of coming of age and a triumphant chorus of American youth, whose voices make up their "new land" and also reckon with the social issues that impact us all.


Early Praise for A New Land

"An utterly moving collection of youth poetry that mirrors the face of America. Artfully arranged, these poems plumb a multitude of experiences ranging from migration and family separation, to race and gun violence, to first love and sexuality. Through these young poets' eyes we see the world, we too, wish to re-conceive alongside them; through their courage and honesty we navigate the social challenges they strive to re-write."
Richard Blanco, Presidential Inaugrual Poet, author of How to Love a Country

"The voices in this collection of youth poetry are luminous with wisdom and electric with insight. A New Land allows us to travel into the brilliant future of American poetry. Don't be surprised when you find you don't want to go back."
Cate Marvin, poet and author of Oracle

"A New Land introduces us to a generation of remarkable writers. In poems full of rich language and moving detail, we come to see suffering, love, and yearning through their eyes. I felt like a traveler seeing places for the first time, awakened to the possibility, power, and consequences of each moment we are given."
Stuart Kestenbaum, Poet Laureate of Maine, author of Only Now

"Bold and truthful, these poems spread a smile on your face, relieve your overwhelming stress, and make you laugh from the heart. A New Land is important; it brings awareness and helps us to understand and appreciate youth experiences. Everybody, old and young, needs to have a chance to read this book."
Kifah Abdulla, artist, poet, activist, soldier, POW, exile, teacher, performer, world citizen, and author of Mountains Without Peaks

"This is a breathtaking collection of literature that captures the vibrant spirit of youth voices, as it chooses to narrate itself authentically. A New Land dares its readers to ask themselves, 'What about a memory can spark a muse if our lives were only told by a collection of poems?'"
Nyamuon-Nguany Machar, poet, spoken word artist, and youth educator

"This is not a window on the world, but a collection of doorways to walk through, into new lands. These wonderful poets share their worlds with us, make our worlds larger, richer, more diverse, more informed. Reading these poems will put you on a path to citizenship of the heart."
Gary Lawless, poet, bookseller, editor, publisher, and author of In Ruins


The Telling Room is a leader in YOUTH PUBLISHING, an emerging niche of the publishing industry and a unique and inspiring model in the field of literary arts education and creative youth development. Through our first decade of youth publishing we published over 3,000 authors, and more than 30,000 Telling Room books are in circulation. We have pioneered several innovative publication projects, and also reach youth through our online publication engine, “Stories,” which serves writers aged 6-18 from around the world, a statewide writing contest, and a literary magazine, for teens by teens. Our publications and events support The Telling Room's suite of youth writing programs and sends youth voices out to audiences across Maine, the U.S., and around the world. 



THE TELLING ROOM produces carefully edited, beautifully designed, and locally printed books of our students’ stories, poems, and personal narratives. Currently, we publish between 15-20 titles a year. Since the printing of our first book in 2007, I Remember Warm Rain, we have published nearly 150 anthologies, single-authored titles, and project “chapbooks," including the Maine Literary Award-winner The Story I Want to Tell, and a special anthology by students in the national award-winning Young Writers & Leader's program, A Season for Building Houses.

To purchase Telling Room books, visit our store

Book publishing has become a powerful part of The Telling Room. Students feel its impact when they first see their names in their books and transform from writers to published authors during public readings in front of real audiences. Teachers discover how much further their students will go with their own writing when they use Telling Room books with students, and invite authors from our Ambassadors Program to visit their classrooms.

Our young authors have created a buzz as their stories travel far outside their homes in Maine: they have appeared in many newspapers and magazines (including Poets & Writers, Fast Company, and the Boston Globe), on television and radio programs, and at renowned literary events, educational conferences, and have garnered attention at national award ceremonies such as Scholastic's National Arts & Writing Awards.

Two authors, Richard Akera and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Richard Russo, talk about their writing lives, following the publication of their Telling Room book, The Story I Want to Tell:



The writing we publish in book form comes out of Telling Room programs. Five of these programs allow participants to go beyond their writing work and be involved in the different steps of the publishing process, from drafting, to revising, designing, and presenting their work in bound books to a public audience. Each of these programs makes publishing a goal from the get-go, and ensures its students will leave the program with a book in their hands, one that they feel they had a big stake in helping to create. These programs are:

Young Emerging Authors Fellowship

Publishing Workshop

Young Writers & Leaders

In-School Residencies

Anthology Project

Overall, book publishing at The Telling Room helps to fulfill our organization’s mission. The opportunities that exist within Telling Room book publishing and through our writing and publishing programs give students self-confidence, strengthen their literacy skills, and provide them with real audiences so that they know their voices matter. Our books allow our students to impact their communities by connecting them with their readers and propelling them toward future success in school and life. It’s exciting to think about what might happen in book publishing next!



When books are published, we sell and/or distribute them online, to schools, bookstores, and libraries, and at events and conferences. Sometimes we have some books left over, and the “Read While You Wait” project is a newly funded initiative to help us distribute “remaindered” stock, plus some new titles, to offices and shops where people might read them while they wait, and then leave the books behind for the next people to enjoy at medical offices, laundromats, salons, coffee shops, transportation depots, etc. “Read While You Wait” is a great way to get our books out into the communities where our authors come from, and to introduce these communities to The Telling Room in general. You can help make this project a success by emailing with the names of businesses or orgs that might stock our books in their waiting rooms!

Telling Room authors have won dozens of Scholastic Gold Keys!


Aside from publishing books of student writing through our writing and publishing programs, we encourage the publication of student work in a number of other ways:

* Writers ages 6-18 from anywhere in the world can submit their work to our online publication, Stories, which features writing categorized by genre, as well as multimedia projects. Kid writing from all 50 states and most countries in the world are represented here.

* We also hold a Writing Contest, on an annual theme, offering Maine students the chance to have their work printed in one of our books, and the winner also takes home a cash prize.

* Our literary magazine! We Gen Z is by teens for teens, and is another place where kids in Maine, ages 12-18 or grades 7-12, can submit their writing and artwork.

* We submit student work each year to the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and the Maine Literary Awards as a way to publish and recognize student writing at the local and national levels, and we are always looking for other creative ways to display and share our writers' work.

* Finally, we keep a current list of Places to Publish for young writers who wish to be published outside of The Telling Room as well.


"Our voices deserve to be heard. They also need to be. No one knows us better than we know ourselves, and we can write and share our own stories." - Siri Pierce, 16, Telling Room Author