YPG Cares Supports Room to Write

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Thursday, April 14, 2011, marked the second annual Room to Write Reading Celebration for students from the Bronx Early College Academy. The event was hosted by YPG Planning Committee Chair Kate Childs at the Random House Library and Auditorium, where approximately 20 seventh- and eighth-grade students delivered dramatic readings in front of family, friends, Room to Write volunteers, and YPG Cares members.

The readings were excerpts from original short stories the students had submitted to SLICE Magazine as part of the annual contest to be included in the “Young Voices” section. Every year, the editors at SLICE select four students to be included in the print edition, and they feature the short stories of several other students online. This year’s theme for the fall/winter issue was “Into the Wild,” which inspired a diverse collection of stories, from aliens crash-landing in the Amazon to a young boy searching for his lost friend in a haunted factory in Seoul. Saba Afshar from SLICE (also of Random House) announced the contest winners, and Jenna Ciongoli of Crown Publishing awarded 7th grader Ariel Nunez with the Best Performance Prize for his delivery of “The Terrific Rescue.” Copies of Volume II of the Room to Write student journal were distributed, and thanks to the efforts of YPG Cares’ Becca Worthington, Tara Hart and Alexandra Ragheb, all students took home copies of recent YA releases. Along with recent student field trips to HarperCollins and Penguin, the Random House reading was a culminating event of Room to Write’s successful 2010-2011 school year.

Elizabeth Evans of the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency founded Room to Write in 2009 as a book publishing volunteer group. Active at public schools in the Bronx, Park Slope and Harlem, Room to Write inspires confidence in young writers and encourages them to embrace writing as a creative outlet. Using the unique resources of the publishing community, volunteers help students to think critically about writing and to become passionate, lifelong readers. The group is currently over 60 members strong, and is open to anyone within the book publishing community. Please contact Elizabeth Evans at eevans@jvnla.com for more information, and check out the website at www.roomtowrite.org.

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