Amplifying Your Voice, Reshaping Our World: A Nationwide Young Writers Series on Mental Health

The National Training & Technical Assistance Center for Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health (NTTAC) in partnership with Southern Word is offering the Amplifying Your Voice, Reshaping Our World: A Nationwide Young Writers Series on Mental Health. The virtual series will convene a cohort of young writers to create, record, and distribute pieces that uplift the voices and lived experience of young people with mental health challenges and their families.

Writers must be between the ages of 14 and 21 and be willing to commit to the following:

  • Participate in 10 ninety-minute sessions necessary to generate, revise, and practice the presentation of writing on the highlighted topics. The sessions will follow a writer workshop model where a mentor will facilitate a group of 10 participants through a series of discussions, model poems, ideations, free writes, revisions, and share backs with the goal of producing the final pieces. The sessions will take place on the following dates from 7 – 8:30pm EDT / 6 – 7:30pm CDT / 5 – 6:30pm MDT / 4 – 5:30pm PDT:
    • Monday, June 5
    • Wednesday, June 7
    • Monday, June 12
    • Wednesday, June 14
    • Wednesday, June 21
    • Monday, June 26
    • Wednesday, June 28
    • Wednesday, July 5
    • Monday, July 10
    • Wednesday, July 12
  • Agree to the recording and distribution of one piece of their writing. All participants will choose a poem, a song, a story, or a reflection to record via zoom that can be shared by NTTAC, Southern Word, and the writer to help young people navigate and process mental health challenges.
  • Accept a $500 honorarium for participation in all sessions and the final recording.
  • Some writers may have an opportunity to participate in additional performance and/or recording activities which would include additional financial compensation.
  • Agree to focus writing on one or more of the following topics:
    • Mental health in general (personal, family)
    • Lived experience navigating the mental health, education, child welfare, juvenile justice systems and/or services
    • Trauma and/or resilience
    • Racism, inequality, systemic injustices
    • Justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion
    • Youth peer support, family peer support
    • Empowerment, civic or community engagement in policy making and system design or reform related to the mental health system
Interested writers should fill out the following application form to be considered for the opportunity. Applications are due by 11:59pm PDT on Friday, May 12.
**Youth under the age of 18 will be required to submit a parent or caregiver's signed consent to participate**
What city and state do you live in?
If you do not attend any school, write "None" or "N/A."
(Dates: June 5, June 7, June 12, June 14, June 21, June 26, June 28, July 5, July 10, & July 12)
We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. Please let us know what accommodations you might need.

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