We can put to rest any concerns about children of the digital age not being interested in the written word, if the latest edition of Coastal Voices is any indication.
The anthology of selected poetry and short prose by local school students is an annual project of School District No. 46 and the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts. The ninth edition was released in a rousing celebration at Rockwood Pavilion June 6.
“It’s a volume of some of the best writing by students across our district, from kindergarten right to Grade 12, with almost every school submitting entries,” Roberts Creek Elementary school teacher John Lussier told the audience. “It’s 45 pages. This is our largest one yet. This year we had 724 submissions… and of those, 117 were selected by our adjudicators, a very difficult task for sure.”
Lussier and writers’ festival producer Jane Davidson are co-producers of the anthology. Davidson noted optimistically that some of the youngest writers on the Coast are also some of the most prolific contributors.
“This year’s anthology includes the largest contingent of kindergarten writers ever, and in that regard, our future looks bright,” Davidson said.
Lussier, who initiated the anthology project in 2010, later thanked the many student writers for their courage and gumption in putting up their writing for all to see.
“You are the inspiration as to why we teachers do what we do and why this journal exists,” he said.
Davidson added: “Keep writing. We’re listening.”
Hundreds of hard copies of Coastal Voices were handed out at the June 6 event, and the booklet will be available online soon at www.writersfestival.ca, Davidson said.