Scriber Lake students release another book

Sep 17, 2017

For six years, nearly 100 Scriber Lake High School students in Edmonds have bared their souls through writing. The school’s sixth consecutive publication, “Movement: Owning Our Stories, Writing Our Endings,” was released Sept. 16.

The program’s mission is to foster healing, understanding, and literacy through personal storytelling.

Stories in the new book concern gang violence, eating disorders, mental health issues, death, abuse, deportation and drug use.

A book launch event will be held 6 p.m. Sept. 19, at Café Louvre, 201 Fifth Ave. S.

Events will include book signings and readings from student authors. Books can be purchased for $10 at the launch events or for $15.95 on Amazon. Curriculum guides for the narrative writing process are also available. All proceeds will go towards supporting Steep Stairs Press’ future writing projects.

The school’s first book, “We Are Absolutely Not Okay,” was released in 2012.

Teachers Marjie Bowker and David Zwaschka lead steep Stairs Press, Scriber’s publishing company. Recent graduate Shalyn Ensz provided significant contributions to editing and publishing the new book.

Ensz introduces the stories with a student-perspective foreword. Her name is also featured on the cover.

“After writing about my struggle with schizophrenic tendencies in Steep Stairs Press’ last book, I had been looking forward to coming back to help with this year’s book,” Ensz said. “Last year, I had a small part in the editing and proofing, while this year I had the opportunity to take a leadership role not only in editing, but mentoring the writers, compiling the stories, and collaborating with the cover artist.

“I did not have a story to share in this book, but I did have the opportunity to write the foreword. I’ve lead dozens of public and private speaking events for both books, including classes at the University of Washington, Rotary meetings and educator conventions.

“From the start of last year’s book to now, I have been helped give a voice for the movement we are hoping to inspire. It focuses on reaching people who struggle with abuse, trauma, mental illness, death of loved ones, and other life-altering events.

“Our goal is to spread awareness through the power of writing and start conversations about stigmatized issues that everyone – teens, children, and adults – may go through. When these personal experiences are talked about openly and honestly, it encourages others to share their story with those in similar situations while inspiring healing through the writing process.”

Nikolas Cook’s contribution to “Movement” is called “Her.”

“It sheds light on bullying and its longterm effects, including hallucinations and eating disorders,” Cook said. “If it wasn’t for Shalyn’s Ensz’s story ‘They’ (from 2016’s ‘I’m Finally Awake’), I would still be hiding my story from everyone. Sometimes it only takes one person to get a lot of people talking.

“I am also now Steep Stairs Press’ PR representative. I am one of the Scriber alumni (I graduated in June) who help Marjie bring these books to the public. We hope to reach out to people by sharing experiences – our goal is to individualize society through personal storytelling.”







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