Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Extending Helping Hands

This week, another teen suicide made the news. This one was in Canada, so some of you may not have heard about it. A fifteen-year-old boy, who had talked about suicide in the past, took his own life because he was no longer able to stand the bullying he received at school.

It has to stop sometime. Too many teens, and even preteens, are dying because they can't live with the way they're being treated anymore. Bullying hurts.

Bullying kills.

In response to the recent suicides, two people are taking action. (Well, more than two, but two are starting things off.)

My author friend Cherie Noel has a blog aimed at teens where she'll be posting about bullying, and will also be posting stories for teenagers, to encourage and entertain them. The blog, Tales of Rue and Woe, are about two boys who are experiencing bullying and teen life as they navigate high school and their relationship. She also hopes to post short stories from other authors (yours truly is planning to contribute). You can check out her blog here.

My awesome editor at Featherweight Press is also doing something to help. Ralph Gallagher has started the Helping Hands line at Featherweight, a line of short stories the royalties (author and editor) from which will be donated to a charity, chosen by each author, that supports GLBTQ teens. Helping Hands will kick off New Year's Day 2012, and will be an ongoing submissions call. Ralph's official call is below (copied with his permission):

Featherweight Press is currently seeking submissions for their upcoming Helping Hands line of stories. The Helping Hands stories focus on GLBT characters and issues. The author and editor royalties from all stories in the Helping Hands line will be donated to a charity dedicated to helping GLBT youth that the author chooses.

The Helping Hands line will kick off January 1, 2012 with one story being released each day for a week (or longer depending on how many submissions are received.) After that the line will be a continuous call with releases going out throughout the year.

Stories for the kickoff week should be less than 25k and are due on December 1. After that, stories of all lengths will be considered on a rolling basis. All genres, sexualities, and issues are encouraged as long as the work is appropriate for a Young Adult or Children's audience.

Any questions about the line can be sent to Ralph Gallagher at

I'm submitting a story that will hopefully be one of the kickoff stories for this line. If you're an author, I hope you'll consider submitting, and if you're a reader, I hope you'll consider buying a Helping Hands story. If you want to help, you could also look into donating to an anti-bullying organization.

There's plenty that all of us can do to try to make sure that no more kids are bullied to death.

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