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CityLit Teens Writers Release Book and Read at B&N


Join the "Writers of Mass Destruction" from this year's CityLit Teens program as they read from their new book, Speak the Truth, Even If Your Voice Shakes.  The reading on Sunday, June 12 at 1pm at the Barnes & Noble White Marsh is also a fundraiser for CityLit Project. Mention your support of CityLit at the register and a portion of your purchase will help support future youth programs. (Better yet, download and use the voucher from the PDF link below).

What: CityLit Teens Reading
When: Sunday, June 12 at 1pm
Where: Barnes & Noble White Marsh
8123 Honeygo Blvd. Suite E
Baltimore, MD 21236
Phone: 410-933-9670
Note: Purchases support CityLit Project (use voucher below)

Bumps in the road. Unanswered questions. Trying to find their places...not only as people, but as writers. These are just some of the topics explored by a special group of young people who participated in CityLit Teens. Every Saturday morning for two months they gathered, wrote, and shared their literary art. Even when their voices shook, these young writers possessed the courage to speak.

The program was led by Robyn Barberry, English Teacher at Overlea High School and recent graduate from Goucher College's MFA in Creative Nonfiction program. Read Robyn's introduction to Speak the Truth below.

It’s 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Do you know where your teenager is? 

While most of their peers were sleeping, following friends on Facebook, playing Xbox, or yes, even watching cartoons, a group of extraordinary young people from the Baltimore metropolitan area were channeling their writing talents into the book you are holding. “A small sacrifice for a big opportunity,” they might say, when referring to the two months’ worth of Saturday mornings spent brainstorming, drafting, revising, and sharing their writing in a variety of forms.

The program was called CityLit Teens. 

We met in the elusive “Building L” on CCBC’s Essex campus, which offered a great opportunity for these high school students to get a taste of college life. They were a voluntary Breakfast Club for the twenty-first century, beginning the session as strangers from differing backgrounds, yet ending up united forever, on paper and in spirit. These “Writers of Mass Destruction” chose their name to signify the power their words can have in the dissolution of stereotypes and inequities they see in their world. During the symbolic journey within themselves, in their immediate surroundings, into the past and the future, and to locations that exist only in their imaginations, the Writers of Mass Destruction found themselves and each other. It is their sincerest hope, and mine, that in reading their pieces, you will find a connection between their words and some place inside yourself. 

Perhaps you have a clandestine inner voice just screaming for you to let it out.

This publication would not be possible if it weren’t for CityLit Project, which exists to promote the culture of literature in Baltimore. Not that long ago, we were called “The City That Reads.” Gregg Wilhelm, CityLit’s board of directors, and interns who help deliver the organization’s many programs are working hard to restore that title to Charm City, especially amongst Baltimore’s young people. CityLit Teens is the program which enabled Writers of Mass Destruction to find a home, establish a small writing community, and write and design a book together. The best part is that it doesn’t end here.  There will be other CityLit Teens groups forming and other books just like this one helping young writers to let their own personal truths be told…even if their voices shake.   

Click the PDF link below to download a voucher to use at B&N for the CityLit Project fundraiser on June 12 (or make sure to state your support for CityLit at B&N sales registers).

Click here to download PDF

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