By Ally Lanasa, Staff Writer
(July 2, 2020) Salt Water Media on Broad Street in Berlin is sponsoring an anthology of young Black and people of color voices called “Enough is Enough” set to release by early fall.
“It was kind of a brainchild between myself and Amber Green,” said Salt Water Media founder Stephanie Fowler. “We did a covid anthology because it was timely, why not do an anthology for young Black and people of color writers?”
The anthology is a collaboration between the local publishing company and the Salisbury-based Fenix Youth Project, Inc., which offers programs to educate and empower youth to use their talents for social justice.
“Salt Water Media has been a consistent supporter of young writers [and] young poets,” said Amber Green, founder of Fenix Youth Project, Inc. “I think the partnership in itself will just open so many doors for so many youth, who may not have known that this resource was locally on the shore.”
In light of the recent Black Lives Matter marches and deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, Fowler and Green hope the anthology will encourage young writers to reflect on their experiences and raise awareness about social injustice in their communities.
“We want it to be for young Black writers, poets, essayists and to find out what are they’re feeling,” Fowler said. “There is a sea change in our national conversation.”
It was important to Fowler and Green to empower young voices and reassure people of color that they are heard.
“We just wanted to provide a space for them to heal and deal with the trauma, but also to turn it into a tool to actually change their community,” Green said.
Green started The Fenix Youth Project, Inc. in 2015, which serves youth who have been affected by poverty, hunger, mental health issues, homelessness and incarceration.
“We encourage youth to use those talents such as dance, poetry, creative writing … and then we work with them and develop them into leaders to use those talents to bring awareness to issues in the community or different social issues that they want to educate the community or different decision makers on,” Green said.
The anthology is open nationally, not just for local youth on the Eastern Shore.
“We did get a lot of youth interested in submitting from different areas,” Green said.
Green will serve as the editor and curator of the anthology, while Salt Water Media will provide resources to design and produce the e-book and a possible print version.
“I’m looking for rawness, definitely passion and creativity,” Green said. “I think youth have a lot of different ways to find solutions to different problems, and we can find those solutions if we just listen to youth … I’m also looking for hope for the future in the pieces.”
As a writer, Fowler said she understands how the art form serves as a vehicle to understand the world.
“I feel like with what’s happening in our world with covid and with social justice … and LGBT issues that are so prevalent today, I feel like there are young people for whom writing could be a comfort, a cathartic means to get all these difficult topics and different feelings out of their heads and onto the paper,” Fowler said.
Each applicant is permitted one submission, either 1-3 poems or prose of 50 to 1,500 words.
Parental or legal guardian consent is required.
“The young writers will retain all rights to their work to publish and republish as they choose,” Fowler said.
Submissions are due to Green at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org by July 31.
For more information, visit fenixyouthproject.org or saltwatermedia.com.