Hi, my name is Geoffrey Gevalt
I am a writer, editor, father, husband, explorer and digital nut. I am always looking for something new. I find it hard to say no. And I have more stories than even I realize.
I grew up in a tiny town in the mountains where everyone knew everything about everybody. I was not Geoff, I was "Aren't you Doc's youngest?" I was. My Dad was a doctor who made house calls, even though he had polio, an affliction we shared.
For my formative 33 years of life I was a journalist, mostly with newspapers, where I learned from some of the nation's best. I am lucky. We won lots of awards. We changed some laws and put some folks into prison. It was fun. And always interesting. It saddens me every single day that newspapers have become so irrelevant and the corporate bean counters did such a splendid job of ruining these fine franchises. That said, I persist as an analog reader of the crinkly, inky New York Times most every day. Thank you NYT.
Now I run Young Writers Project, a web-centered nonprofit that has worked with thousands of youths and teachers since we were started by the Vermont Business Roundtable in 2006. Why would a bunch of CEOs fund me for two years to start this project? Because each one of them know who's the best writer in their companies and colleges. And they know that because they know how important it is to be able to write well.
I'm in my 12th year of this, my latest, obsession. I tire of trying to raise money all the time, but I do not tire of engaging and helping and affirming young people. As Dirty Harry might have put it, "They make my day." I am blessed. I have lured, tricked, cajoled a small group of passionate people to work with me. They're amazing. They stun me by their ideas and what they do for these kids. And these kids are, literally, thousands of youths out there in Vermont and, now, all over the country and world. I've killed many, many brain cells on the Web end of this project, having now built and rebuilt the site -- along with platforms for teachers -- multiple times. The online community, youngwritersproject.org, now has 4,000+ active kids -- teens mostly -- who remain civil and respectful to each other -- a phenomenon that gives me great optimism -- in order to safely take creative risks.
A reminder where this community resides: youngwritersproject.org I heartily encourage you to take a visit. Send along a youth you know.
If I had my druthers, and soon I will be able to have my druthers, I would be doing my own writing, working in the garden, playing around with the kids on youngwritersproject.org, and trying new things. It's time for me to take creative risks. Which is what I'll do, starting July 1, 2018, when I hand over YWP to someone else, take the summer off and look forward, plan forward and do things for the future. Even at the salty age of 67. And some of it will be posted here.
If you like what you see and here, please tell me.