“Sound Off,” a monthly feature in The Herald Gazette sponsored by Five Town Communities That Care, is seeking original artwork and writing from teens on the topic of “What Does Bullying Look Like?”

“Sound Off” is looking for submissions for its October issue around the subject of bullying. Bullying is not only a national priority, but it is a local problem Five Town area teens live with and observe every day. What bullying means to adults is likely very different than what it means to teens, so this is teens’ chance to vocalize what they see and hear by submitting their creative work. Chosen pieces will find an audience of more than 8,000 people in the Herald Gazette’s readership.

“Sound Off” will accept poetry, short fiction, blogs, journal entries, lyrics, cartoons, photography and original artwork from teens in Appleton, Hope, Camden, Rockport and Lincolnville. It also will accept examples of text/digital exchanges that exemplify cyberbullying, as long as real names are left off. Submitted representations of bullying may not include photographs of teens being physically harmed. Submissions may be published under anonymous pseudonyms, if the students wish.

Educators and community leaders are encouraged to be the liaison with the feature’s editor, Kay Stephens, who works personally with the teens. The feature also is 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 reviewed by the FTCTC board and edited by Stephens.

To submit materials, send email to editor@fivetownctc.org; call 236-9800; or send mail to Five Town Communities That Care, P.O. Box 1135, 219 Meadow Street, Rockport, ME 04856. Submissions must 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. FTCC also seeks to foster increased collaboration and cooperation in communities in order to best serve the needs of their youth. Since April 2010, a full-page layout called “Sound Off” in The Herald Gazette has given middle school and high school teens in Appleton, Hope, Camden, Rockport and Lincolnville a platform through their creative work and for adults to appreciate what’s meaningful to them.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to dernest@villagesoup.com.