Summer 2013


Deirdre Fulton is a journalist, novelist, theater artist, and cat lover who recently bought an 18th-century farmhouse in Gray, Maine. By day, she is the staff writer for the Portland Phoenix, and by night she writes young adult fiction under the pen name Elizabeth Miles. She is also a co-founder of Lorem Ipsum, a Portland-based theater collective, and PortFringe, an annual theater festival in Portland's Arts District. She was introduced to the Telling Room several years ago by her dear friend Sonya Tomlinson, and served for two years as a mentor in the Young Writers & Leaders program. Since then she has been fortunate to teach and co-teach TR workshops for middle- and high-schoolers. She is very enthusiastic about the written word, and loves being part of the Telling Room community!

Emily Powers is a native of Auburn, Maine and a rising senior at Bowdoin College.  She comes from a family of ramblers and has been lucky enough to set foot on all seven continents.  Somewhere along state and country lines, she discovered a deep reverence not only for stories, but for storytellers as well.  Fortunately, she found the Telling Room her freshman year and started volunteering that summer.  Having come from a lower school background comprised solely of sentence diagramming and grammar workbooks, she marveled (and still marvels) at the creative free will that the Telling Room offers to its kids.  How proud the young writers become of their work, how they come to understand the importance of their own stories, how they use words in remarkable and unlimited ways, how they write more honestly than anyone she has known- all of these bits and pieces give Emily a higher standard for her own writing.  More than anything, the Telling Room has given her an example of how fun and positive the act of writing should be.

Elmer Shelton is a native of the first state of Delaware. After spending his early adult years in the mid-Atlantic states of Pennsylvania and Maryland, Elmer, equipped with a B.A. degree in English Literature from Gettysburg College; a M.S.W. degree from Temple University; and 10 years of work experience in the non-profit field working with young people who are at risk, left all he had known and headed to Maine. While taking a break from social work, Elmer was seeking volunteer opportunities when a chance meeting with Molly Haley, the then Volunteer Coordinator of The Telling Room, presented him with the chance he had been waiting for. A year after that chance meeting, Elmer walked into The Telling Room. He was introduced to creative writing at the age of 9. Over 160 poems and 24 years later, he has continued to write. However, whenever asked about his writing, he would say that he writes poetry. Through his volunteer work with TheTelling Room, and his engaging with the talented and creative young writers that go there, he now considers himself not simply a poet, but a writer. The Telling Room is a wonderful program that allows for creative self-expression and discovery of new talents. Elmer says he is honored to be a part of it.

Helena Smith is a writer and teacher who lives in Asheville, NC. After she agreed to spend the summer house-sitting in Portland, she found the Telling Room through a series of seemingly fateful connections, and she is thrilled to have been a small part of the magic that happens at 225 Commercial St. Everyone needs a place where they can tell their stories, and The Telling Room allows students (and teachers!) to share them with friends, with families, and with whole communities. This is a place where voices are realized, and heard. When Helena is not finding inspiration in the classroom, she might be spotted training horses and riders to get along, reading all kinds of books, and trying to craft the perfect sentence.