Volusia County Poets Laureate begin Young Authors Series.
Publishing was the furthest thing from Victoria Mullins’ mind as she walked into the library on City Island in Daytona Beach to attend a Young Writers Association meeting. The teen had been writing most of her life, but it wasn’t until David Axelrod asked her if she wanted to write a book, did the idea take form.
Axelrod and M.B. McLatchey were both named Poets Laureate of Volusia in 2015. Their mission was to: “Promote the reading, writing and appreciation of poetry throughout the county and in so doing, promote greater literacy, cultural activity and tourism.”
Mullins is now studying for a degree in elementary education at Flagler College in St. Augustine. Her poetry chapbook, Angels Don’t Understand Love, is the first in the Young Author’s Series. Chapbooks are small stapled books.
“I have always been a writer, even when I was in elementary school,” Mullins said. “My teachers would yell at me for writing too much.”
M.B. McLatchey became a mentor for Mullins and her first chapbook of poetry.
“I had terrific mentors myself, who really shepherded me through the process,” McLatchey said. “Victoria was a great mentee, she never hesitated to work with my advice, but I could also see she already has her own voice.”
“The community understands that poetry and the arts are vital to our kids’ education,” Axelrod said. “We want more schools and students to join the program for the 2017-2018 school year.”
McLatchey was a high school student when she received her first award for her poetry and wanted to provide the same positive support she had been given.
“I felt I wanted to work with high school students,” McLatchey said. “When the student is making the transition from high school to college.”
“One of the best ways to write is to just start writing,” Mullins said. “One of our exercises at school was to write for 10 minutes on any topic.”
Mullins will celebrate the publication of her first book as a special event at 3 p.m. September 16 at Main Street Station in Daytona Beach. Mullins work will be introduced and there will be an open mic for other authors. The event is free and teachers and students interested in participating in the program are invited to come.
“The initial stage is always the best time for people to jump into any project,” McLatchey said.