Welcome to our new online journal, a digital space where young writers have the opportunity to explore storytelling and share their creative writing. The team of editing and writing mentors at New South Story Lab is so excited to bring you Headwaters, the latest collection of writing from the students at Lee High School and our community workshop in Baton Rouge, with submissions ranging from creative non-fiction to essay and poetry. There’s a little something for everyone, but each piece selected for publication was submitted as a “personal narrative” of a local young writer.
Our hope at Story Lab is that readers of Headwaters will learn something new about their young neighbors. Maybe you’ll learn how someone coped with the flood of 2016, or how a real family felt during the immigration policy changes in 2017. Perhaps you’ll learn about how young women choose self-respect over peer-pressure or gain insight about how students cope with the challenges of college admission. One thing becomes abundantly clear after reading the wide-ranging stories of local young writers: that not one of us - no matter our age, neighborhood, favorite subject, religion or socio-economic status - is spared the difficult but rewarding struggle of self-discovery. We’re all called to state claim over our own lives, to figure out what we’re about and what it means to be residents of the South in 2019, and citizens of a nation in the process of radically redefining itself. We all have to determine for ourselves what offers us meaning, purpose and a sense of home in this vast, ever-transforming world. To the students who submitted their stories: keep going, and may you hold stubbornly to your right to discover and voice your truth. Your story matters. Your story makes us all stronger, wiser and more prepared to face the challenges of modern living.