Youth Get Their Works Published in Whatcomics, Forest of Words

Whatcom County Library System (WCLS) will celebrate the talented young artists in our community during a reception for the 2018 Whatcomics exhibit and publication. Everyone is invited to attend the reception from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5,  at the Lynden Library, 215 Fourth St.
Since 2007, teens have submitted amazing artwork in many different styles including pen and ink, colored pencil, watercolor paintings, and digital art. Artists who are accepted for publication receive a copy of Whatcomics. The original artwork will be on display at the Lynden Library throughout the month of January in a special exhibit.
WCLS teen services coordinator Tamar Clarke sees many benefits of publication. “Whatcomics gives teens a chance to contribute — to share their passion, talent, and artwork,” says Clarke. “Publishing their artwork helps teens gain confidence in their work.”
The reception is the first opportunity for artists to pick up their copy of the Whatcomics and see whose artwork was chosen to be featured on the cover of the publication. This year, WCLS received more than 150 submissions of artwork from students in grades 6 through 12 throughout the county. The selection committee chose artwork from 109 artists for this year’s publication. The committee narrows the choices for the cover design, with the final selection made by teens.

Finalists for the Whatcomics cover included “CHEESE!” by Chloe Gorgue (7th Grade, Blaine Middle School), “Shuffle Boy” by Erin Jones (9th Grade, Lynden High School), “Unicorn on a Friday” by Courtney Kuiper (8th Grade, Cornerstone Middle School), “The Bloom of Spring,” by Jessa Lafeen (6th Grade, Horizon Middle School), “Beauty in Reflections,” by Heather Lambert (11th Grade, Nooksack Valley High School), “Deercat” by Lindsey McConaughty (7thGrade, Fairhaven Middle School), “Star Gazing” by Zaccheaus Price (8th Grade, homeschool), and “Beyond the City” by Adia Twitchell (8th Grade, Blaine Middle School).

Also, Whatcom County teens in grades 6-12 are invited to enter their original poetry for inclusion in A Forest of Words, a teen poetry anthology, which will be distributed to area schools and libraries.  Poets receive a copy of the book (and bragging rights!) if their work is accepted for publication. All published poets will be invited to read their poems at a poetry reading and reception event in the spring. A panel of library staff and area teens select poems based on originality, creativity, and craft.  Entry forms are available and submissions are accepted at every WCLS library or online at Submissions accepted now through  March 15.