Deep Center has named 12-year-old Carolina Guerro, a 7th grader from Southwest Middle School, Deep Laureate for winter 2014. The honor recognizes Carolina as one of Savannah’s “deepest” young authors, whose creative writing is among the most skilled, original and fearless in the county.
“Carolina is a remarkable writer, both in skill and courage,” explains Dare Dukes, executive director of Deep Center. “She represents exactly what we foster at Deep Center: the ability and willingness to write about challenging and intensely personal stories, and to do so in truly compelling ways.”
Carolina was one of more than 150 students who participated in Deep Center’s fall semester 2014 Young Author Project, and she was voted to receive the honor by a combination of her program peers and by the general public through a social media campaign. Works by all participating students have been published in four anthologies, which are on sale for $12 at deepkids.com and in circulation within the Live Oak Public Library system. For the fifth time, artist Young Ju Kim has illustrated the whimsical covers. All book sale proceeds support Deep’s nonprofit creative writing workshops.
“Being named Deep Laureate makes me feel like people hear me and understand my feelings,” says Carolina of the honor. “And being in Deep makes me feel like I can be more than just a quiet girl in a room. It’s giving me confidence and showing me how to speak up and be heard!”
The Deep Center runs the Young Author Project in 14 of Savannah’s 17 public K-8 and middle schools, and up to 70 percent of the students come from low-income communities. All Deep kids, selected by their teachers, participate in a rigorous series of after-school writing workshops throughout the semester.
Workshops are taught by volunteers, who are themselves published and aspiring writers.