Hi, my name is Geoffrey Gevalt
I am a storyteller. I love to write, capture sound, take pictures and talk with new people. I am also a 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 -- and professional media outlets for that matter -- have become so irrelevant -- reviled and tarnished publicly and diminished privately by the mega-corporations that have taken over so many news operations. That said, I persist as an analog reader of the crinkly, inky New York Times (and, yes, the online version as well) every, single day. Thank you NYT.
In my last newspaper job at The Burlington Free Press in northern Vermont, I grew concerned that so many kids in school were learning how to hate writing: They thought it boring, unimportant. They also quickly -- as in fifth and sixth grades -- came to the opinion they were no good at it. So I started a weekly feature designed to highlight interesting student writing and to showcase some different -- and better -- ways to teach writing.
In 2006, with a founding grant from the Vermont Business Roundtable, I left journalism and transformed the newspaper feature into an organization; Young Writers Project, a web-centric, nonprofit that helps young people find their voice. YWP does this by encouraging kids to take creative risk in safe spaces; it gives them ownership, a sense that their ideas are important and lots of support and guidance. YWP also publishes best work to affirm their work and give them internal motivation. I ran the project for 12 years and in that time we connected with 110,000 young people, trained 2,000+ teachers and published best work of 17,000 youths in media partners -- newspapers, radio and other significant websites.
In July, 2018, I stepped down as executive director of YWP. It was a difficult decision; for 12 years it was a blessed job; each and every day I was moved by at least one young person's ideas or writing or visual art. Their creativity and energy and ability to observe and feel and share were striking. A reminder where this community resides: youngwritersproject.org. I heartily encourage you to take a visit and see what 4,000 kids create on their own. (And refer the site to a youth you know.)
That said, I had grown tired of constantly raising money; anyone who's run a nonprofit knows what I mean. And, more importantly, I was anxious to get to some of my own projects, to return to writing and photography and take what I have learned over my career and, well, just have fun.
So I am working on a novel (aren’t we all?); I post #smallstories on Mastodon — a non-monetized, open-source Twitter-like community: (<a rel="me" href="https://mastodon.social/@GeoffreyGevalt">Mastodon</a>) and almost daily pix on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ggevalt/
And my hope is to finish this site, this space, and keep it up to date if you want to just come to one place. Thank you for coming. Because … I know you are busy and the options for browsing are many.
If you like what you see and here, please tell me.
And, for that matter, tell any author, visual artist, musician that you appreciate their work. You would be surprised how much impact that will have.