Approximately 35 student writers and 17 professional authors representing several disciplines will soon take the stage at the Fort Vancouver High School Center for International Studies. In homage to the eponymous poet and musician of Greek mythology, Orpheus features honest, compelling, original stories shared live before an audience.
Fiction writer Jewels will take the stage on the same night as daughter Trinity Stegall, a junior at Fort. Stegall will discuss her struggles to find her voice in public and overcome stage fright as a singer. Orpheus is an opportunity for her to challenge herself. “I’m kind of throwing myself into something that I know is going to help me later in life, especially if I want to be a professional singer,” Stegall said.
Classmate Lindsey Luis also plans to discuss finding her voice—politically, in Luis’ case, until she is old enough to vote. For her, writing and sharing stories is a way to take action. “It’s like wildfire; it spreads. If it’s a beautiful thought, it makes a beautiful impact,” she said.
This year’s featured authors also include Eli Saslow, a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter for the Washington Post.
This is the fifth year of Orpheus, coordinated by teacher Ben Jatos. More than 45 professional authors and 175 students have shared their writing since the event began.
“It’s been thrilling watching kids share their authentic voice and tell their stories in front of their friends, family and community. That they get to share the stage with professional writers empowers them and validates their talents,” said Jatos.