Every year since our founding, The Telling Room has undertaken a yearlong Anthology Project, a themed writing and art project that engages hundreds of youth at our Writing Center and in local schools.
Our anthologies are as diverse and amazing as the students we work with.
The Telling Room reinvents itself annually under the auspices of a new theme that permeates our daily writing programs for young people and sets the stage for a new set of ideas, questions, projects, and activities. These themes serve as a way for our community to learn about contemporary life from the perspective of the young people who tackle these questions and ideas in their writing with us. In the past, we have explored themes of belief, neighborhoods, place, food, and more.The theme serves as an anchor to our diverse and multi-faceted programming, and each yearlong project culminates in the publication of our yearly anthology of student writing.
The anthologies in our Telling Room library are as diverse and amazing as the students we work with; each is filled with incredible and empowering stories from kids who might have thought they had no voice. As local bestsellers, these anthologies have been used in classrooms throughout the state, and have begun to change how kids see each other and how adults see the youth in their communities.
This year’s theme: COLOR. In the past, we have explored the ideas of neighborhoods, place, food, belief, water, time, encounters, and more. With this year’s theme, we have our senses—and our pencils—trained on color. Students will be invited to explore the theme in different ways as they write stories, essays, or poems—perhaps with certain hues and shades as a setting background, a descriptive detail, a character's name, or a trait or symbol. We never know what kids will write about and we are excited to discover what they uncover and create as they write around and within this year’s theme. A big part of the work we do with young people is to provide a framework for thinking about—and writing about—their lives differently, whether in relation to the larger world, their personal history, the future, their community, place, history, nature, and so forth. Writers are observers, witnesses. This year’s theme will act as a great canvass to explore the many ways that COLOR weaves and is woven into our world, each other, ourselves, The Other, the unknown, the ordinary, and even mystery. There are many possible topics—both for using the issues around colors as writing prompts, and also for investigating how writers use themes to craft poems and tell good stories that others will be eager to hear.
We hope you'll join us for this exciting new year of programs!
Check out these videos to get a sense of our previous Anthology Projects – each captures a different year-end event, typically held in May to celebrate the release of our newest book.
Encounters - 2017
Time - 2016
Water - 2015
Wild - 2014
The Encyclopedia Project - 2013
Searching for Maine, Searching for Me - 2012
Play - 2011
At the Table - 2010
Neighborhood Stories - 2009
The Belief Project - 2008