What do you do when you don’t know what to do? You write, of course.

At least, that’s what I do. So when the pandemic hit and everything started getting really scary and overwhelming, I wrote about it. In my journal. On my blog. In the outline of a short story that I may never actually write. This time though, it wasn’t enough to work through my feelings on the page. The more I wrote and thought, the more I realized I wanted to do something.

But what could I do?

I’m a writer. I’m not a doctor or first responder. I don’t have millions to donate to charity. I don’t run a food pantry or other public support organization. So what could I do?

I could write.
I could read.
I knew how to publish books…

Wait a second. I could publish an anthology of writing by Mainers during the pandemic and donate all of the profits to an organization that could do some good with it.

That I could do, but I needed help. I asked the United Way of Eastern Maine if they would be willing to be my beneficiaries for this project. They said yes!. Then I put out a call for submissions of poetry, stories, and essays. Thirty-seven Mainers answered the call.

By Maine writers for Maine people

Thirty-seven writers of all ages, experience levels and backgrounds entrusted my publishing house, Imperative Press Books, with their work in hopes that, together, we could help our friends and neighbors.

The acceptance letters went out yesterday, and already messages are flooding in from writers thanking me for including their work in the project. But I’m the one who should be thanking them.

Thank you for believing in this project.

Thank you for entrusting me with your work.

Thank you for being brave enough to share your writing with the world.

Thank you to those who donated your honorarium back to the project so we can maximize our impact.

Thank you for supporting the United Way.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I am so proud to share these stories, poems, and essays. Some are sad, others fearful. A few are funny. Most are at least a little bit hopeful.

Pre-order to support the United Way project

In two days, we pre-sold almost 70 copies. I hope we sell a billion. Not just so we can write a beautifully huge check to the United Way and help them reach each and every Mainer who needs it. I want that, absolutely. But I also want you to read works like this:

  • A hilarious rant from a 10-year-old who just wants the pandemic to end so he can go back to the library
  • A short story about the end of the world and the people (and bunnies) that make life worth living
  • A poem about the differences between nurses and sharks.

And so many other beautiful, insightful, honest representations of what it means to be a Mainer—to be a person—at this precise moment in history. I promise you’ll feel a little less alone, a little more connected, a little more helpful after reading this book.

I know I did.

Pre-order Now

This link will take you to the Imperative Press Books website where you can pre-order your copy of the book.