F226. I Told the Paper with the Pencil: How Refugee and Immigrant Teens Find and Share Their Voices Through Writing

Room 202B, Washington Convention Center, Level Two
Friday, February 10, 2017
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm


We understand each other through stories. How can writers and teachers use writing to help the newly arrived balance the challenges they face? How can sharing stories and building community in the teaching setting help students and writers do the same outside of it? The Telling Room of Portland, Maine, honored by the White House for its writing program for immigrant youth, discusses and demonstrates the power of connecting teens to their community through writing—and what we gain when we listen.



Sarah Schneider, The Telling Room's grant writer, holds a BFA in creative writing from the University of Maine at Farmington. She previously worked at Alice James Books, and studied towards her MFA at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her poems have appeared in Cutthroat Journal for the Arts and elsewhere.

Richard Russo is the author of Everybody's Fool and a board member of the Authors Guild, for which he helps showcase emerging writers. He received the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for Empire Falls, and wrote seven other novels including Nobody’s Fool, two story collections, and a memoir.

Lewis Robinson is the author of the novel Water Dogs and the story collection Officer Friendly, winner of the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award and a Whiting Award. He hosts the podcast Talk Shop.

Molly McGrath is The Telling Room's publications director. She publishes thousands of young writers in books like A Season for Building Houses and The Story I Want to Tell, leads the Young Emerging Author and Publishing Workshop programs, and holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Goucher College.

Molly Haley


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center