Since April 2010, the full-page feature “Sound Off” in The Herald Gazette has given middle and high school teens in Appleton, Hope, Camden, Rockport and Lincolnville a platform for their creative work and a way for adults to appreciate what is meaningful to the teens.  Sponsored by Five Town Communities That Care, “Sound Off” is kicking off this school year by actively seeking ongoing submissions.

“Sound Off” is soliciting poetry, short fiction, blogs, journal entries, lyrics, cartoons, photography and original artwork from Five Town area teens on a monthly basis.  Educators and community leaders are encouraged to be the liaison with the editor, Kay Stephens, who works personally with the teens. The feature is also open to individual teenagers who want to submit work on their own.

All creative work has some sort of adult comment attached to it for context. All submissions will be edited by Stephens and the FTCTC committee and may be published under anonymous pseudonyms, if the students wish.

To submit, send written or visual work by email to; call 236-9800; or mail to Five Town Communities That Care, P.O. Box 1135, 219 Meadow St., Rockport, ME 04856. Submissions should include a real name and a phone number so Stephens can get in touch for editing purposes.

The mission of Five Town Communities That Care is to promote healthy youth development and to prevent problem adolescent behaviors such as substance abuse, suicide, violence, delinquency, school drop-out and teen pregnancy. It also seeks to foster increased collaboration and cooperation in communities in order to best serve the needs of their youth.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to