Today, education non-profit Mighty Writers launches a weekly video series of literary-minded musical performances called Mighty SONG Writers, produced in partnership with media platform Literary Hub. Amanda Shires kicks off the series with special guest Jason Isbell, performing three songs and talking about some of their formative writing influences, from Tom T. Hall’s songwriting book to a fifth-grade teacher who made a big impact.
The Mighty SONG Writers series aims to raise money to support Philadelphia-based non-profit Mighty Writers, which teaches reading and writing to thousands of low-income and marginalized students every year and is seeing more need than ever during the pandemic. The series will continue with a new video every Wednesday.
Follow along at Literary Hub to watch the videos and read transcripts of the musicians talking about writing: https://lithub.com/tag/mighty-song-writers/
"There's never been a more important time for kids to think clearly about the world they're living in,” says Tim Whitaker, Executive Director of Mighty Writers. “At Mighty Writers, where we teach writing to over 3,000 kids annually in economically-challenged communities, we believe that writing has magical powers, chief among them the ability to think critically and express oneself with clarity. In light of Covid-19, and unprecedented social unrest, we are doubling our efforts at Mighty Writers to reach kids and provide both guidance and venues that allow them to express what they're feeling through the written word and are thrilled to have the support of these world-class musicians."
“It’s almost impossible to define the border between literary songwriting and lyrical storytelling,” says Lit Hub editor Jonny Diamond. “Just ask any novelist and you’ll find a few unsung songs scrawled into the back of a notebook… Same thing goes for songwriters—take away the guitar and you’ll probably end up with a short story collection. And that’s what so important about Mighty Writers: whatever the medium, it’s a great thing to give kids the tools to tell their own stories.”
About Amanda Shires
Amanda Shires is an award-winning singer-songwriter based in Tennessee. She has authored five solo albums, has won the Americana Music Association’s Emerging Artist of the Year prize and has earned a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry at Sewanee: The University of the South. As a member of the 400 Unit, Shires won the Grammy Award for Best Americana Album for The Nashville Sound. In 2019, she launched The Highwomen, a country group also featuring Brandi Carlie, Natalie Hemby, and Maren Morris, who released a self-titled debut album that Rolling Stone called “as powerful as musical storytelling gets.”
About Mighty Writers
Mighty Writers was founded in 2009 with the mission to teach kids to think clearly and write with clarity. The organization offers free programs for students from elementary through high school at nine centers in diverse neighborhoods around Philadelphia and New Jersey, including several bilingual locations for Spanish-speaking students. Mighty Writers offers daily afterschool academies, long- and short-term writing classes nights and weekends, teen scholar programs, mentorships, College Prep courses and college essay writing classes. Over 400 of the city’s best creative minds (writers, teachers, journalists, etc.) teach 150 writing classes a year to 3,500 kids at Mighty Writers annually.
About Literary Hub
LitHub.com is a daily source for all the news, ideas and richness of contemporary literary life, a website readers can trust for smart, engaged, entertaining writing about all things books.