Scriber Lake High School students to unveil ninth book at Edmonds Waterfront Center event April 30

Scriber Lake High School has announced the release of its latest student-authored book, I Used to Carry it All. An event to celebrate the release — the ninth book in the Steep Stairs Press series — will be at the Edmonds Waterfront Center at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 30.

According to a news release announcing the book:

I Used to Carry it All is a collection of often heart-wrenching, real-life stories crafted from the creativity and strength of students in the Scriber Lake community. Truth, with its healing power, is a theme running through the teens’ personal narratives. Their stories delve into tough topics including issues of gender identity, anxiety, loss and grief, belonging, self-harm, sexual abuse and family struggles.

“This book builds on 13 years of courage and honesty,” said Editor/Publisher Marjie Bowker, who teaches English at Scriber Lake High School. “The Scriber writers are committed to truth.”

Edmonds-based Scriber High School is an Edmonds School District alternative high school of approximately 150 students serving grades 9-12

The book release will be hosted by Carolina Hoppe, Kelly Peterson, and Arielle Effenberger — all Scriber Lake High School and Steep Stairs book alumni. Effenberger is honored to host the event because, she said, “These are stories we thought we might never tell.” Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the authors, engage in meaningful discussions and celebrate the power of storytelling.

One of this year’s authors, Wisteria Ray, explained that the stories “have been on the tips of our tongues since the events occurred.”

“To write them down, to publish them, and to read them out loud is like finally finding the word you’ve been thinking about all day,” she said. “Carrying our stories was a constant discomfort and publishing them feels like putting the weight down, a missing piece to our healing journey that will allow us to take hold of the future.”

The book release event at the Edmonds Waterfront Center will feature readings from this year’s authors, including Kelbi Maldonado, Andrew Barnes, Rory Gilbert, Olive Burke-Poole, Ashdon Sill, Coda Burrell, Kelsie Beede, J McGrath, Wisteria Ray, Maddie Markfield, Arielle Effenberger and Jasper Rhodes (poetry). Scriber student Jesus Ruiz created an illustrated story for the book with oil pastels, and his original art will be displayed at the EWC during the event.

One of this year’s authors, Jasper Rhodes, was recently selected as a finalist for the We Speak Youth Poetry Slam Competition. He was invited recite his poetry on March 1 at Edmonds Center for the Arts, along with two other youth poets and internationally acclaimed poet Anastacia-Renee.

The event will also feature Scriber Lake and Steep Stairs alum (2018 release, “Listen”), Yahaira Souza, performing original music. And because COVID restrictions prevented a release party for Scriber Lake’s 2021 book, This Smile is for Everyone Else, those authors will be recognized and celebrated as well: Thalia Sykes, Dominic Severich, Kalya Claggett, Emil MacDonald, Yahaira Souza, and Marz Souza.

I Used to Carry It All – along with the other eight Steep Stairs Press Publications — will be available for purchase at the event, at the Edmonds Bookshop and on Amazon, with proceeds supporting student programs at Scriber Lake High School. Edmonds Bookshop will also feature a selection of other topical books available for students and families. In addition, representatives from PFLAG will be available at the event with informative brochures.

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