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Nine young women from five countries explore the refugee experience, juvenile detention, motherhood, & more.
341 backers pledged $17,843 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$17,843

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(Photos and design by Kyle Gordon)
(Photos and design by Kyle Gordon)

What is this book?

Iroquois High School is the most diverse high school in the state of Kentucky: its students speak more than forty languages. Since June 2017, nine Iroquois students have been working closely with the Louisville Story Program to write a book that richly documents people and communities in Louisville that have not heretofore been documented. Collectively, the authors speak nine languages and have lived in seven countries. They're writing about the ravages of war, life before and after moving to Louisville as refugees and immigrants, the foster care system, juvenile detention, motherhood, misconceptions of their neighborhoods, and many other challenges and triumphs. They've written over 1,000 pages of original nonfiction, have interviewed over 30 community members to learn about their experiences, are in the process of editing all of this into a compelling, polished manuscript. These nine powerful young women are ready to take the world by storm. Their book will be published in October 2018.  

Watch them read excerpts from the book:

Here they are interviewing some of their neighbors:  

And here they are writing:  

 How far along is this project?

The authors of this book participated in Louisville Story Program's writing and oral history workshops during the summer of 2017 and for five days a week throughout the 2017-18 school year, and they are currently in the process of continuing to  revise their book chapters with intensive one-on-one editing and support. On October 11, 2018, they will offer their finished book to the world.

How will the money be used?

The funds we raise through Kickstarter will cover the costs of printing and freight for over 2,000 copies of the book. The book will be professionally designed and printed (offset printing, not digital) on high-quality 80 lb. paper, with an extra-thick (18 pt.) cover with scratch-resistant nylon lamination. And it will be a lot of book: at 8" x 9" and approximately 320 full-color pages, it will be the heftiest book we have ever published.

  • Printing + freight for 2,000 full-color 320 page books: $15,420
  • Kickstarter fees: $1,234
  • Total: $16,654

Revenues from future book sales will support the efforts of more people whose voices are often unheard as they partner with the Louisville Story Program to develop books, exhibits, and radio stories about their lives and communities. 

What is the Louisville Story Program?

The Louisville Story Program is a nonprofit that strengthens community by amplifying unheard voices and untold stories. We partner closely with Louisville residents whose voices are often unheard to develop books, exhibits, radio stories, and more about their lives and neighborhoods. According to Nikky Finney, winner of the 2011 National Book Award for Poetry, "The Louisville Story Program is challenging the arena of what a book is and what a book can do and where books matter in our communities." 

No Single Sparrow Makes a Summer is our fifth book project. Our first book, Our Shawnee, was the best-selling book in Louisville in 2014 and has been praised by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as "an inspiring story of perseverance." Our second book, I Said Bang!: A History of the Dirt Bowl, the Crown Jewel of the Most Basketball-Obsessed City in America, was published in February 2016 and has enjoyed an enthusiastic response from the Louisville community. It's the first book ever in which the members of a city's playground basketball community have developed a book that documents the richness of that community and its history. Our third book project, We Can Hear You Just Fine: Clarifications from the Kentucky School for the Blind, resulted in the nation's first professionally published book written by blind and visually impaired teenagers. Our fourth book, Available Light: Louisville Through the Lens of Bud Dorsey, honors the legacy of Bud Dorsey, West Louisville's most iconic photographer and was produced in close collaboration with him.

Our authors' books promote dialogue across the community and increase awareness of overlooked aspects of Louisville's culture and history. Our authors are paid for their work, and we leverage their achievements into as many additional professional, educational, cultural, and social opportunities for them as possible.Our authors have earned over $30,000 for their work, and their books have been taught widely in schools in Louisville and beyond.

The Louisville Story Program has been recognized with two Leadership in History Awards from the American Association for State and Local History, the 2017 Arts Innovation Award from the Fund for the Arts, and a Kentucky History Award from the Kentucky Historical Society.

Risks and challenges

In theory, an unforeseen circumstance could make it more challenging for an author or our book designer to complete their chapter on our current timeline. This seems highly unlikely at this point based on everyone's progress and strong commitment to the work. This is our fifth book project, and so far we have never had to delay a book's publication date after announcing it. We are currently on track to publish the book on October 11, 2018.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Thank you postcard

    A postcard thanking you in the nine languages our authors speak!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    The book

    A copy of the book! It will be a beast--8"x 9" trim size, ~320 pages, full color and captivating writing throughout. Free shipping!

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Book + T-shirt

    A copy of the book and a comfortable, stylish Louisville Story Program T-shirt!

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    Two books

    A book for you and a second book that we will (1) send to you, (2) give to one of the authors for her to give it to a person or institution of her choice, or (3) donate to Louisville Free Public Library.

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    Signed book

    A copy of the book signed by the authors!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Signed book + second book

    A signed book for you and a second book that we will (1) send to you, (2) give to one of the authors for her to give it to a person or institution of her choice, or (3) donate to Louisville Free Public Library. (Your choice.)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Signed book + 2 additional books

    A signed book for you and a two more books that we will (1) send to you, (2) give to one of the authors for her to give it to a person or institution of her choice, or (3) donate to Louisville Free Public Library.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Your name in print

    We'll list your name in the Acknowledgments section of the book! You'll also get a signed book for you and a two more books that we will (1) send to you, (2) give to one of the authors for her to give it to a person or institution of her choice, or (3) donate to Louisville Free Public Library.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Ship book overseas to author relative

    In addition to all of the rewards at the $150 level, we will ship a book on your behalf to an author's relative in Cuba, Iraq, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, or the United Kingdom.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Limited edition art print by Hafsa Jama

    In addition to all of the rewards listed at the $150 level, you'll receive a limited edition linocut print by author Hafsa Jama!

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    Author appearance

    Signed copy of the book, your name listed in the Acknowledgments section of the book, and an author appearance at a class, community meeting, book club discussion, or other gathering of your choice between October 2018 and May 2019. (Available in Louisville metro area only.)

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    Pledge $875 or more About $875

    Class set of books for Iroquois High

    We'll send you a signed copy of the book, list your name in the Acknowledgments section of the book, and donate a class set of 35 books to an Iroquois High School classroom for use in future instruction! We will include a bookplate inside the cover of each book listing you as the donor of the book.

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Funding period

- (30 days)