Founded out of a vision to encourage young people and contribute to a renaissance in creative writing instruction, VerbalEyze fosters, promotes and supports the development and professional growth of emerging young writers, ages thirteen to twenty-two. VerbalEyze achieves this mission through three key divisions:
- VerbalEyze Press publishes single-author titles and the Young Writers Anthology to provide young writers with the opportunity to become published, earn royalties and scholarships, and learn the entrepreneurial skills of successful authors.
- VerbalEyze Education houses the Writers Workshop program—headed by Rebecca Green—which facilitates and supports an interconnected network of writers workshops for young people and the Solutions program which promotes creative writing as an intervention method for young people in high-risk environments.
- VerbalEyze Writers Cooperative provides young writers with a community of professional writers who provide one-on-one support and critique designed to hone and polish their writing to the degree necessary to make publication a possibility.
Tavares Stephens founded VerbalEyze as an open mic venue for high school poets and singer/songwriters to showcase their talent. As it has been since its inception, VerbalEyze is an expression of his passion for helping others and teaching young adults transformative life practices. He has been featured multiple times in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for his service as an educator and mentor to youth in the metro-Atlanta area. He has been an English instructor at the middle and high school levels, teaching students with behavioral and discipline issues as well as gifted children. Tavares was the 2005 Teacher of the Year for Morrow High School and recognized as Teacher of the Year from Turner Broadcasting System.
Tavares is a poet and spoken word performer who’s stirring and profound poetry makes you think deeper and move up higher. The subject of Tavares’ poetry spans life situations, political and social issues and human emotions. He also weaves the art of storytelling into his work by relating his poetry to stories and experience that have shaped him as an artist, classroom teacher and servant.
Derek Koehl joined Tavares as a writer-in-residence at VerbalEyze and helped expand its vision to what it is today. He brings a lifetime of experience as a writer, educator, writing coach, editor, and now publisher to his work with young writers. As a writer-in-residence at VerbalEyze, he believes the publishing industry is experiencing a transformation beyond a change in the mere logistics and mechanics of book production and distribution, but within the very fabric of what it means to write, to publish, and to be published. His passion, which is aligned with the mission and vision of VerbalEyze, is to help manifest a model of writing and publishing that is cooperative to its core.
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