1) What’s your group’s background?
Flip the Page: Central Ohio’s Teen Literary Journal evolved from a one-time special project in 2010 to an annual journal with over 250 submissions. With a contingent of teens interested in the literary publishing process, Thurber House initially sought to create a journal that would not only showcase the creative talent of the Columbus teen community but would also provide insight into the publishing field. Outfitted with a special grant awarded by the Ohio Arts Council, Thurber House developed a submissions committee and sent out a call for written work and artwork from area teens. Hundreds of submissions poured in. Since that day, Flip the Page has seen upwards of 250 submissions annually, and, in 2017, we are seeing record-breaking numbers with 325 submissions to date.
2) Describe your project.
Flip the Page is a literary journal staffed, written, and designed by teens. The process begins with a call for submissions of both written work and artwork from Central Ohio teens, ages 13-19. We define Central Ohio as Franklin, Delaware, Union, Madison, Pickaway, Fairfield, and Licking counties. Students in these counties are invited to send in a maximum of two written pieces at 800 words each or two artworks. Written works can vary in genre, including poetry, fiction, nonfiction, song, humor, etc. Artwork can also vary but must be able to present in a photographed format within the journal. Once submissions are in, a committee is formed, which is composed of students from Thurber House youth programs as well as past Flip the Page participants. Students on the committee meet five times over the course three months to discuss submissions and journal layout and design. The accepted submissions are then collected and formatted within Amazon’s Create Space and the final printed journal is formed. Accepted students are invited to read their work at the Columbus Arts Festival as well as at a book launch hosted by Thurber House in the summer. All accepted students receive two copies of the journal.
3) What is your goal for this project?
Our goal for Flip the Page is to celebrate the written word and artwork of Central Ohio teens and educate students on the process of literary publishing along the way. We find that too often our youth and their ideas are silenced or confined to a classroom. Flip the Page aims to challenge that notion of a discounted youth and provide an outlet for their creative expressions to be shared. We want teens to understand that their voice is powerful and worthy and, most of all, heard. In creating a journal completely staffed, written, and designed by teens, we hope to instill a sense of authority, confidence, and pride in our students. We also aim to share that confidence with the wider Central Ohio community. When our youth are empowered, our community becomes empowered. When our youth feel connected, our community becomes stronger. When our youth speak, our community becomes enlightened.
4) How much money do you need and what will you use it for?
We are looking for $2000 to fund Flip the Page. This money will be budgeted to cover the printing costs of the journal. We print two copies to give to each of the published authors and artists as well as give one copy to their school. We print these journals through Amazon’s Create Space and make them available for purchase through Amazon as well. With such an influx of entries this year, the number of journals in need of print has increased.