Words by Smiley Team
A children’s author is putting together an anthology of stories to raise money to support people in Ukraine.
The collection of stories, which are written by children for children, is being collated by author Nikki Young who has partnered with book publisher Saronti.
Children aged 7-16 were invited to contribute a story or poem of no more than 800 words or artwork, with the brief: “We’re looking for feel-good stories, poems or artwork about achievement, overcoming adversity, kindness, love and humour.”
Proceeds from sales of this book will go to charities helping the displaced people of Ukraine.
“Like many of us, I feel helpless when I watch the news," says author Nikki. "I wanted to do something but I didn’t know what and donating money didn’t seem like enough. Knowing how comforting writing and reading are in times of difficulty, putting together an anthology seemed like the right thing to do."
“I thought it would be a good idea to give children the opportunity to feel as though they could contribute to something that could make a difference," continues Nikki. "Ultimately, I felt that this anthology should be uplifting so that it could bring joy to not only those who read it but also to those who write the words that will fill it.”
Nikki tells Smiley News she had received a mix of "fun and imaginative stories, meaningful poems, and illustrations". Her own background is in producing books for young children, and in 2017 she founded Storymakers – a creative writing club for children aged 7 up to teens that provides weekly groups, holiday workshops and 1:1 English and writing tuition.
“My aim is to put the fun back into writing and to give children the opportunity to gain confidence in this area," says Nikki.
Nikki also worries about the strain that the last few years have had on children, including stress they may have picked up on from adults.
From two years of pandemic restrictions, to the war in Ukraine as well as the rise in the cost of living at home, children may be aware of the turbulence. Studies conducted during lockdown found that writing creatively helped to support children’s mental wellbeing, and Nikki hopes that writing the collection stories will have been an outlet for the children involved.
The submissions page specifically asked children to avoid the topic of war and violence, and to instead tell positive stories that will get readers smiling.
The anthology, Sunflowers and Nightingales, will be published in May and proceeds from the sales will go to charities helping the displaced people of Ukraine.
PRE-ORDER: You can pre-order a copy of the anthology, and know that your money will support charities helping Ukraine.
DONATE: There are many charities working on the ground to support people in Ukraine. Find out more.