Non-Profit Spotlight: Shout Mouse Press
Shout Mouse Press is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit “writing and publishing program dedicated to amplifying underheard voices.” They accomplish their mission through writing workshops, story publications, and public speaking opportunities. In their 2020 yearly report, Shout Mouse Press said that over 70% of children’s authors are white, creating a publishing landscape where “marginalized communities, particularly people of color, are written about from a dominant understanding rather than from an author’s own lived experience.”
By collaborating with partners in the community, Shout Mouse Press has published over 51 books by over 500 youth from underrepresented communities. They work with Black, low-income, Latinx, Muslim, immigrant, and incarcerated youth to tell stories that would not otherwise be told.
The writing workshops are the first step for most of the Shout Mouse Press authors. Story Coaches and Teaching Artists lead young writers from marginalized communities in developing the tools to write mission-driven books from previously underrepresented perspectives. The programs are custom designed for the participating writers and eventually lead to publication.
After these young writers complete their stories in the writing workshops, they can have their books published. Emerging artists from marginalized communities illustrate the books and Shout Mouse Press publishes, promotes, and sells them. The revenue supports scholarship funds and professional development opportunities for author communities. Publishing the works is part of their mission to diversify publishing and amplify voices. If interested, you can purchase Shout Mouse Press books from their bookstore.
Post-publication, Shout Mouse authors participate in author talks as guest speakers at schools or in the community or literary spaces. Shout Mouse press also trains authors for these public appearances and assists with transportation to and from events. They have a form on their website to request an author talk.
Author Pathways is Shout Mouse Press’s post-publication leadership development track. Through author internships, college and scholarship essay support, and direct scholarship funds, Shout Mouse Press helps young authors accomplish their next dreams.
Shout Mouse Press’s most recent publication project is a series of storybooks written by immigrant youth. The Beyond Borders project consists of four books written by the Latin American Youth Center program participants and represents voices from eight different countries. The books are available for purchase now.
The books include:
- Searching for Sancocho by Jamileth Brito and Mario Serrano is about a young girl looking for her recently passed abuela’s sancocho recipe.
- Perla’s Magical Goodbye by Deyssy Mosso and Yenner Rengifo Chaverra is a story about a magical unicorn visiting a group of friends who have one last day together before one of them moves to the US.
- Jasmín Pictures Home by Andy Pina, Antonia Marisol Garcia, Pedro Reyes, and Yunior Jose Farcia are four immigrant best friends who bond over their shared language and love of soccer.
- Joy-Grace and the Dress Dilemma by Tseganesh Chala and Joy Ugwu is about a Nigerian, Jamaican, and Ethiopian girl searching for the perfect dress to represent her diverse heritage.
Shout Mouse Press believes that “everyone deserves and needs to see themselves in the stories they read, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or ability,” and that this is especially true for those rarely given a platform to speak or express themselves. This organization’s work offers young people the platform to express themselves on a bigger scale and help change the face of children’s literature.