In a country where half of all five-year olds belong to a racial or ethnic minority, only 10% of children’s books feature characters like them. Shout Mouse Press is changing that, empowering people from marginalized communities to tell their stories and, as published authors, act as agents of change. Working in partnership with other nonprofits, a team of teaching artists leads writing workshops that engage at-risk teens, immigrants, cultural minorities, and the incarcerated. Staff then professionally edit, design, and publish their work, help- ing authors to share their stories in the media and as public speakers, panelists, and student leaders. With more than 35,000 books in circulation, sales benefit the nonprofit partners and their authors. These powerfully original stories – children’s books, novels, poetry, comics, memoirs – amplify voices that would otherwise go unheard. It’s time to listen.
COVID-19 Update: Shout Mouse shifted all current Writing Workshop, Author Talk, and Author Pathways programming to virtual formats. It also launched its #ShoutInPlace project, a storytelling initiative designed to amplify underheard voices: youth authors were encouraged to process the pandemic, document their experiences as youth whose stories are rarely shared in traditional media, and foster reflection, creativity, and joy. Authors were paid $25-50 per submission, thus earning them up to $200 a month toward critical needs. They engaged with #ShoutInPlace every week for 20 weeks and submitted a broad range of writing and multimedia responses.
Headquarters: DC-Ward 2
Where They Operate: DC-Ward 1; DC-Ward 4; DC-Ward 5; DC-Ward 6; DC-Ward 7; DC-Ward 8; MD-Montgomery County; Our work spans Greater Washington, with primary project sites located in:; Edgewood, NE DC; East Capitol Hill, NE DC; Congress Heights, SE DC; Columbia Heights, NW DC; Our teen-authored books have been sold and distributed in 27+ countries around the world.
Age Groups Served: Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24)
Population(s) Served: Individuals with Disabilities; Individuals who identify as LGBTQ; Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Students; Immigrants/Refugees
Schools They Work In: Our primary partners in this work are fellow nonprofits serving communities whose voices need to be amplified. That current local partner list includes Reach Incorporated, Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop, the Latin American Youth Center, Beacon House, and Next Wave Muslim Initiative. We also have one-school based partnership at Ballou Senior High School in Southeast DC.
- Number of Shout Mouse Press Books in circulation:
44,000, including in every public school in DC, in 30+ local nonprofits and charter schools, as well as in libraries, bookstores, and homes across the country, and in 27+ countries around the world.
- Number of "unexpected" authors published:
More than 300 unexpected authors, including incarcerated youth, at-risk and immigrant teens in Washington, DC, and exploited children in Haiti.
- Individuals impacted by our work annually:
10,000 authors, readers, and audience members
- Speaking opportunities for authors to date:
Authors have spoken at universities (Denison, Pepperdine, George Washington, University of Maryland), 20+ high school, middle school, and elementary schools across Greater Washington, and at 15+ book festivals (National Book Festival, AWP National Convent
Awards & Recognition
2015 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Finalists, Child Author Category: Our Lives Matter; The Blue Spark; Little Girl in a Big, Big World
2015 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Honorable Mention, YA Nonfiction: Our Lives Matter
2017 Foreword INDIES GOLD Winner for Child Author (17 and Under): The Day Tajon Got Shot
2017 In The Margins Book Awards Notable Book: The Untold Story of the Real Me: Young Voices From Prison
2018 In the Margins Book Awards Top Fiction Title: The Day Tajon Got Shot
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