Ballard author and teacher team up to give voice to local youth


Local author Ingrid Ricks and teacher Marjie Bowker have teamed up for the third year running to give a voice to local youth through their teen mentoring/publishing program at Scriber Lake High School in Edmonds.

Ricks and Bowker originally collaborated on the project in 2012, using Ricks’ coming of age memoir, Hippie Boy, as a guide for a month long course to empower Scriber Lake students through writing. At the end of the course emotions ran high at a reading where the students shared the stories that they had written about their own lives.

From there the program expanded, allowing the teens to write and publish their own stories, culminating in (now three) published story collections We Are Absolutely Not Ok, You’ve Got It All Wrong and the latest book Behind Closed Doors: Stories From The Inside Out.


Ricks and Bowker also launched a website, which has recently be renamed, to facilitate teens helping teens through storytelling. The program is in full swing, with funding on the way, and has been featured in Reader’s Digest, in The Seattle Times and on King 5′s New Day Northwest.

“We want to have a spotlight on the serious issues that teens face,” says Ricks. “It’s been life changing for some of the teens involved.”

Students who were involved in the 2014 program (pictured above) are excited to be launching their book Behind Closed Doors: Stories From The Inside Out at a book reading this evening (Tuesday, June 2) at Café Louvre (210 5th Ave S #101, Edmonds) from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. The book is also now available online at

The Scriber Lake student authors from this year’s program will also be appearing on New Day Northwest Morning Show tomorrow morning (Wednesday, June 4) at 11 a.m.

Ricks and Bowker are thrilled to be part of this life changing program that has clearly had such a major impact on the lives of local youth and want to extend the opportunity to other schools and community groups. The duo have created a narrative writing curriculum which is now available for educators and they will be launching a Self-Publishing Workshop Guide in August.

They are also now offering workshops and presentations for educators and youth mentors who are interested in adopting the program. Click here to get in touch if your school or organization is interested.

Click here to learn more about the authors from this year’s program and the difficult issues that they tackled in their story collection.

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