Writing Event Captures Students’ Personal Stories


The Living Ink showcase in the wrestling room, displaying students stories.

Anh-Thu Nguyen, Staff Writer

In November, student writing was put on display in Monroe-Woodbury’s wrestling room during the school’s Living Ink showcase. Students were able to visit the showcase with their English classes in early November and read the anonymous writing submissions completed by nearly all of the school’s students.

The event was inspired by the Stranger’s Project, founded by Brandon Doman, which is based in New York City. The project is a collection of over 200,000 handwritten anonymous “journal entries”. However, Doman has expanded this project to various cities in the United States.

The English department hosted the event to give students the opportunity to write about their own experiences and share them anonymously with the school. This was a school wide event in which students from every grade level and English class participated in. 

The event took place in the school’s wrestling room which held racks of students writing from different grades and classes. It was lit with purple and white string lights that set a calming ambiance.

The stories students wrote ranged from comical to serious with topics discussing change, mental health, and overcoming obstacles.

“Life doesn’t get easier, but it does get livable,” wrote one student.  

Many teachers were thankful for this opportunity to connect with their students on a more personal level through their writing. 

“It’s moving and emotional and gives a compelling insight to a variety of student psyches,” said Mr. Truett. 

Other teachers highlighted the importance of writing freely without fear of judgment and granting students to connect with their peers’ thoughts regardless of who that person is. 

To me, the project was really interesting. It was an opportunity for me to write what I couldn’t say out loud”

— Ryan Shuman

“This experience allows students to feel a sense of community with their peers; anonymously, students can connect to each other’s thoughts through writing, which is powerful for all those involved,” said Ms. Chappell, an English teacher. 

Through their experience, students have expressed their gratitude for being able to connect with their peers. 

“I can really connect with some of these pieces. They hold deep meaning to me,” said Michael Beckley, a junior. 

Not only were students able to connect with their peers, but they were also able to express their thoughts that were once difficult to share. 

To me, the project was really interesting. It was an opportunity for me to write what I couldn’t say out loud,” said Ryan Shuman, a senior.