CINCINNATI — Four Cincinnati young people are proving you don’t have to be an adult to put your ideas on paper and publish them. With some help of some proud parents, and a small fee, they enrolled in the Junior Authors Program and found a productive way to pass the time during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program was started by JaQuan Postell. She searched for kids who, like her, have a passion for writing. The program’s first eight-week chapter started with 10 young writers – four of whom finished.
Twelve-year-old Tamia Caudill’s "Glitch of the Past" was an idea she’s had for a long while.
“It’s about a woman in a facility, and she has to escape with two other people to get to an island off the coast of California,” Caudill said.
Rhema Postell talked about her book, "Kayla’s Eyes."
“It’s about a 13-year-old girl who has visions,” she said. “She can see the future.”
Ghizelle Cephas’ book is called "Special Forest."
“Once upon a time, there was a girl named Zoe, who was very smart because of her smarty-pants,” she said, reading from the book.
The youngest of the four, Talyn Westmoreland, wrote about life right now.
“Dear diary, today is March 8th, 2020. I had a wonderful day,” she read from her book.
Westmoreland said she wrote her book as diary entries because she thought it would be cool and different.
All four young ladies turned their ideas into page-worthy projects. Cephas said her story, on paper and in life, can teach other kids.
“I hope they learn if you try something – and it’s really hard – and you don’t get it – you might wanna keep trying until you get it,” she said.
The process included professional editing and cover illustration as well as rewrites on chapters before each book was published. That’s where the teamwork kicked in.
“We encouraged each other,” Rhema Postell said.
The hard work paid off for the four girls.
“It was a satisfying thing to finally get published,” Caudill said. “I was freaking out. It was amazing.”
She liked the feeling so much that her next book idea is already in the works.
“So this is the beginning of the story of my next book,” Caudill said. “Why is this happening? How is this happening? And who is this happening to?”
For Postell, seeing the girls finish and get their own published story to take home gave her a special feeling, as well.
“Creativity is sometimes put in a box and told, ‘Shh – be quiet,'" she said. “I want these kids to know: This is who you are allowed to be, and the world will see you, and you will change lives.”
Postell is an author, too. She said she wished she had someone to encourage her with her writing when she was young. People interested in finding out more about the program can do so here.