Everyone has a great story to tell

We all have moving stories, bits of insight into our Seattle lives that we've collected, created and captured. But too often a very limited audience hears them.

A walk through Seward Park moves you to capture the moment with some lines of poetry inked out in your journal. The details of neighborhood coming together for a summer barbecue at the grouchy old-man's house on the corner becomes an engaging short story about redemption that's now stored in your computer's hard drive. Your teenage son's fantastical account of a hobo who harbors the secret of inter-dimensional travel at his camp beneath I-5 remains a forgotten assignment turned into his English teacher. The uplifting shot you took of a dog licking an unwary toddler's ice cream cone at SeaFair sits burned on a CD that's stuffed in a drawer.

The Beacon Hill News & South District Journal and the artistically driven, community-building stalwart Southeast Effective Development (SEED) want you to submit such creations, new or old, to our Southeast Seattle Festival of Words and Photos. The submission deadline is Friday, January 27.

This your chance to help yourself and your fellow community members - with prose, poetry and photography - better understand, appreciate and respect each other and the neighborhoods we share, and the beginning of the New Year is the perfect time to make this happen.

We are looking for original, unpublished work that reflects life, as you know it, in the South End. Perfection is not something we seek here, just some honest, heartfelt expressions that embrace the human experience in our part of the Northwest world.

Please check out the guidelines for the festival outlined in the advertisement printed on page 7 before you start working on a contribution for this celebration of Southeast Seattle community. Don't hesitate to give me a call at 461-1311 or drop me an e-mail to editor@sdistrictjournal.com if you have questions.

Those who enter their work will have it evaluated by a panel of community members, and the ones they deem the most engaging will be shared with the community at the festival's main event on Saturday, March 11, at the Rainier Valley Cultural Center in downtown Columbia City. The selected work will also be printed in a special publication and distributed throughout the community.

You live in one of the nation's most complex collections of neighborhoods. For me, it's a point of pride to tell those unfamiliar with the Emerald City that the 2000 United States Census pegged Southeast Seattle as one of the most culturally diverse areas in the entire country. When walking in the neighborhoods and business districts of Southeast Seattle, I feel invigorated by the people and places I encounter, and I know I'm not alone.[[In-content Ad]]