The Young Writers' Endeavor runs on volunteer support so that young Baha'i writers around the world can continue to participate in the workshop for free!
Nasim Mansuri is a fiction writer, poet and journalist with a focus on entertainment, community development and spirituality. She is a film, book and TV reviewer at Hypable.com, and editorial staff at BahaiTeachings.org. She has also worked as a freelance editor for science fiction, fantasy and romance novels. She's currently pursuing a BS in Chemical Engineering and a BS in Professional Writing in Massachusetts, where she's engaged in establishing a strong junior youth and children's spiritual empowerment program with the local community. You can find out more on her website.
Nasim started the Young Writers' Endeavor in 2019 to learn more about how youth can combine their writing talent with the civilization-building vision of the Baha'i Faith.
Prospects were bleak last year, when young and talented writer, Nasim Mansuri, sent out a cry for help on her facebook wall, seeking support for her Young Writers' Endeavor. Entire hours had passed and the comment section remained a barren wasteland. Despair was sure to be sinking in at this point.
One could say that, with a single comment, a beacon of Hope emerged from the cyber heavens and changed the course of our hero, Nasim's, story.... And here we are.
On a serious note: Hope is studying Geography and Environmental Sustainability and has aspirations to some day take part in forming a Baha'i inspired community school in her neighborhood. She thinks the Young Writers' Endeavor is a really noble, cool and relevant effort and considers herself lucky to be part of the team. She loves all literal arts but has a soft spot for poetry.
As you might see, Noura Scoggin recently got married, and as you might have figured out, to Raji Scoggin. They love to serve together and dedicate some of their time to building capacity in their younger friends. She has experience with slam poetry and performance poetry, which she used to do a lot back to when she lived in Germany. Now she is a first year Psychology student who wants to learn how to empower children and junior youth.
Noura joined the Young Writers' Endeavor this year and is excited to contribute to the building of a Bahá'í Art movement.
Raji Scoggin is not only Noura's husband, but also a musician, artist and poet. As a psychology and music major, he has the wish to contribute to the betterment of the world both through his profession and as an artist. By supporting local junior youth empowerment programs and children's classes he has gained some experience and a great passion to serve the younger generation.
Raji has a strong belief in the power of art to inspire the higher nature in people and is happy to support this initiative in order to contribute to "the dawning of a new era in art and literature".
Jackson has a BA (hons) degree in History with Theology and Philosophy. He is 100% British. Being from the south of the island, he's a Celtic descendant. His passion for writing comes from Cornish (homeland) landscapes, love of gothic fiction, comic books and poetry.
Jackson moved to Brazil in 2019 to pioneer after getting married to an amazing coastal Ecuadorian. He currently works as an English tutor teaching kids and adults in China, Taiwan and Japan. Since he moved to South America, he adopted two dogs and two cats: 2 Argentinians and 2 Brazilians to make a team and give some spice and love to life. Jackson joined to Young Writers' Endeavor after Hope Krummel visited him in Brazil and invited him to participate.
From advising the workshop development process, to providing participants with advice, encouragement, or even materials, these experts have volunteered their time to share their talent and expertise with the YWE participants.
Comics facilitator, Featured comics artist
Aaron Schmidt has been working in the field of animation, TV and film for over 19 years. Over the last 12 years Aaron has combined his love of art with his love of teaching. He taught animation at Mahidol University for 10 years. His most recent works include work on the short film “Prodigal” by director Tod Polson, 3D animation for a documentary on whale conservation in the Gulf of Thailand and production of a horror comic titled “Beasts and Children”.
Aaron feels the language of storytelling is one of the most powerful tools available to us humble humans. He is interested in storytelling in all its forms but is most passionate about visual storytelling.
Aaron Emmel writes fiction all kinds, but he has a penchant for time travel, flying robots and international espionage. He also designs games, writes comic books and graphic novels and edits books and magazines. Aaron’s short stories have been featured in dozens of publications in print, digital and audio formats. With the artist and game designer Aaron Kreader, Aaron authored the historical fiction graphic novel Zanján and the science fiction gamebook series Midnight Legion. Aaron is also a prolific author of articles and essays. His most recent nonfiction book is Human Rights in an Advancing Civilization, which has been called “brilliant and thoroughly accessible.” Find him online at aaronemmel.com or on Twitter.
Randal Shabani Seffu is a Tanzania-born hip-hop recording artist, song writer, poet and producer. He released an album titled New Day in July 2019. Randal makes music and music videos for educating, entertaining and uplifting souls.
Harvard graduate Tom Lysaght has written some thirty plays — published by Samuel French and produced Off-Broadway, on the main stage of the 1992 World Congress and in Andean villages of Peru (where he was Manager of Radio Bahá’í) with his El Teatro de Pan y Paz. In 2004-06, on behalf of the World Centre’s Office of Social and Economic Development, he made three trips to rural India to supplement the Institute Process with puppet theater, indigenous dance and story telling. His website, Social Drama/Sacred Space, serves as a resource for grassroots community building. A member of the Dramatists’ Guild, Lysaght has received some dozen writing fellowships. His historical novel, PERSIAN PASSION, was published in 2019. For 20 years he taught literature and writing at Brentwood School in Los Angeles, where he now lives.
Dr June Perkins is a multi-arts creative born to a Papua New Guinean Indigenous mother and Australian father. She was raised in Tasmania as a Bahá'i and combines poetry, blogging, photography, story and more to explore themes interesting her - peace, ecology, spirituality, cultural diversity, resilience and empowerment. Her first full published poetry book was Magic Fish Dreaming (2016). June's poems have been published in Nineteen Months, Tokens, Voices in the North, Under One Sky, Etchings, Cracks in the Canopy, World Order, Spooktacular Stories, Creative Kids Tales, Story Collection 2, Writing the Pacific, ABC Open, The Queensland Art Galley, Ridvan is Everywhere, and Talking Ink from Ochre. Her most recent book, is Illuminations: 19 poems and 1 story, and she is currently preparing a commissioned poetry performance for 'Panacea Poets' an online Queensland, Australia, Poetry Festival project. Visit her official website or her poetry blog, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, LinkedIn and Instagram!
"I live in Wisconsin with my beloved wife, Manijeh. The simple lines I write attempt to express those promptings of the soul that well up from time to time. They originate from unexpected but welcomed insights, reflection on the more profound aspects of life, or everyday experiences.
"Poetry has the power to take flight to the high heavens and beyond; turn to the earth of the familiar and caress her gently; then dive deep into the bowels of profundity. It is this quality of poetry that allows it to walk the shores and enter the seas of receptive hearts, therein to swim, plunge, and ultimately, dive for the coral and pearls of some deeper meaning. Poetry has the ability and power to express essence, beauty, love, and a host of other qualities. For this I continually strive. I hope someday to attain it."
Robert Malouf's official website can be found here.
Dana Shomeis Panahi designed the Young Writers' Endeavor badges at the end of every week.
With her art she tries to raise and move everyone's soul. Art has been part of her life since childhood, and through her family and her own experience she learned to paint and draw. She also learned that art in all forms can have a spiritual impact and comes from the human soul. That is why she has the desire to encourage the spiritual development of children and youth, so that through each person's unique gemstones a better world can be created. Currently she supports children's classes and is learning about the community building process in a neighborhood in Germany, while studying Music-mediation and Educational Science in Cologne.
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