One of my favorite times of the year has arrived — and it has nothing to do with a holiday. It has everything to do with a seed of an idea that was planted four years ago and which has blossomed into something rich in variety and content.
I’m talking about Voices of August, an annual project that brings together an online community of friends, family and others for a month of guest blogs. As curator, I’m the one who has the pleasure of inviting a mix of professional and amateur writers to participate in this fun exercise. There is no singular theme and not even a common prompt, other than to say to participants “whatever you want to write about” is just fine.
A few things stand out to me as I prepare to launch version 4.0.
One, this is one of few places where you’ll find a cross-section of generational perspectives. This year’s writers again range in age from their early 20s to the late 60s, with every decade in between represented as well.
Two, you’ll find geographic variety, too, with this year’s writers sending in their pieces from the West Coast — Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California — as well as the Midwest, the South, the East Coast…and Slovenia.
Three, you’ll quickly realize this is a big-hearted community where people feel safe enough to reveal personal issues and doubts, knowing they’ll find support among other writers and readers — in many cases, people they’ve never met.
Whether you’re new to VOA or a seasoned veteran, I hope you will be generous with your feedback. All writers yearn for connection, so please consider leaving your comments at the end of the actual posts in addition to anything you might say on social media.
Each day will bring a different voice and a different perspective, and I will link to each piece on Facebook.
— George Rede
Calendar image: City of St. Paul, Minnesota