When I worked on the series of Real Deal books for Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, I was lucky enough to connect with then-teen author Dallas Woodburn. Dallas wrote two fantastic essays for the books I edited, and in the past five years, we’ve stayed in touch as Dallas went on to USC, graduated, and is now in a gap year between undergrad and an MFA program.
Besides the fact that Dallas is a great writer, one of things that’s always blown me away about her is that she’s always working on a zillion really cool projects to benefit children and teens centered around writing and creativity. She self-published her first book, a collection of stories and poems called There’s a Huge Pimple On My Nose at the age of 10, and her second collection of stories, 3 a.m., came out in 2005. She’s also run an annual Holiday Book Drive for the past seven years, speaks about writing to students, and runs her own summer writing camp for youth.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Dallas founded her organization, Write On! For Literacy, with the goal of encouraging kids to discovery joy, confidence, self-expression and connection with others through reading and writing endeavors. As part of Write On!, Dallas has formed Write On! Books, where she plans to publish collections of stories, poetry, and essays written by young people that are exciting, fun, and easy for young audiences to relate to.
Dallas is currently accepting submissions for Write On! Books at her website, so if you’re a writer in elementary, middle, or high school, and want to be considered, submit your best stuff here.
Congratulations on all you do for young people and creative expression, Dallas. You are truly an inspiration to Smart Girls everywhere!