The Origin Project was founded by critically acclaimed author Adriana Trigiani and Executive Director Nancy Bolmeir Fisher. Photos by Tim Stephenson/Tim Cox.
“Our young writers are the best in the nation.”
The Origin Project was founded by Executive Director Nancy Bolmeir Fisher and critically acclaimed author Adriana Trigiani ten years ago in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. “The Origin Project is a year-round in-school writing project,” Adriana says. “We began with 40 students in southwest Virginia and now serve 27 schools and 2500 students across the state from grades 2-12.” Each student is gifted a journey at the start of the school year and will write one essay poem, short story, artwork or song that celebrates their origins. “We celebrate our Appalachian roots with pride,” she says. Students then take field trips around Virginia to places that celebrate history, music, theater, and literature.
The Origin Project students leaving Barter after Unveiling Event. Photo by Tim Cox.
Throughout the school year, the Origin Project brings bestselling children’s book authors and illustrators, and young adult authors into the classroom. The purpose of these reading sessions is to inspire and instruct the students. Students’ work is published at the end of the school year in an anthology published by the Gupta Foundation. Students, schools, and local libraries receive a copy of the anthology. “The students present their work in public in an assembly for teachers, parents, siblings, and honored guests at the annual Unveilings around the state,” Adriana says.
Peter Paul Development Center students at Book 5 Unveiling Celebration at Museum of Contempory Art at VCU. Photo by Ann Samford.
Recently, the Origin Project created a workshop with teachers and students. This was followed by an Unveiling ceremony of anthology #8. Special guests included authors Jocelyn Nicole Johnson and David Baldacci. In 2023, the Origin Project will celebrate the Library of Virginia’s 200th Anniversary. “We are going to bring the message of the importance of libraries, librarians, and storytelling, and celebrate and honor the written word. It’s going to be spectacular. Our young writers are the best in the nation,” Adriana says.
To learn more about how you can support the Origin Project, visit their website.