A Summer of Stories

Unprecedented Times
Through the Eyes of Young Authors

After a tough semester in lock-down last spring, Catholic Extension wanted to help young people living in these unprecedented times. Together with Playmakers Laboratory, we created Summer of Stories, an online writing resource and literary challenge for young authors ages 7-13. 

We were delighted to receive submission from schools, summer camps, and religious education programs supported by Catholic Extension. Kids from 15 different states offered a glimpse into their minds and hearts through poems, short stories, and essays. In their work, you will find tales of justice, mercy, compassion, and their love of family—all through the lens of their Catholic faith. 

We are honored to present a few outstanding submissions from young people who represent the future of the Church. Thank you to all who participated, and congratulations to the following authors who are showcased here. 

Voices of Catholic Young Authors

The following texts deeply express how children and teens, the future of the Catholic Church, are experiencing these historic times and, often, how their trust in a loving God sees them through.

  • Imagination Station

    Stories of Creativity
    Read More
  • Justice for All

    Stories of Social Change
    Read More
  • Tales of Trauma

    Children separated by ICE raids in Mississippi tell their stories.
    Read More

Heard on Relevant Radio

Our Vice President of Mission, Joe Boland, recently spoke with Relevant Radio about the Summer of Stories program. Listen here.

Among the faith communities we support are these young, beautiful minds. In these young children is our hope for the future.”

Joe Boland, VP of Mission

Why is Catholic Extension doing this? 

Attracting aspiring literary talent is part of Catholic Extension’s tradition!  The most notable example is the late, best-selling author Mary Higgins Clark whose first published short story appeared in Extension Magazine in March 1958.  In honor of Mary Higgins Clark’s passing earlier this year, we wish to commemorate her life and distinguished 100-million-novel-career, which all began with one story submitted to Catholic Extension!

This past Spring was one of the toughest semesters in recent memory for kids around the country, and we want to offer a practical way to stimulate young minds this summer.  

We hope to use this as an opportunity to spotlight the creative children of your schools and dioceses, and affirm their gifts and bright minds.   

Mary Higgins Clark
Best-selling Author Mary Higgins Clark

Writing is storytelling. No matter how you slice it, you’re saying ‘Once upon a time.’ That’s what writing is all about.

Mary Higgins Clark