Thursday, October 22, 2009

Support The Beat Within

What is Books for The Beat?

A fundraiser where everyone benefits. Here's why:

* The Beat Within -- a writing and art program for young people in Bay Area juvenile halls.

* Local authors share their work with a wider community and support young incarcerated writers.

* And YOU receive an autographed book. Keep it as a present to yourself or give it away as a socially-responsible gift.

How Does It Work?

We are thrilled that authors have donated signed copies of their books to this important cause. See below and to the left for a partial list of authors.

For a $20 donation, you receive a thank-you copy of The Beat Within. (Read on to learn more about this local non-profit organization)

For a $50 donation, you receive a book and the good feeling that comes from donating to a worthy cause.

For $75, you get a book, a copy of The Beat and even more of that good feeling.

For $500, you get all of the above, plus coffee with a local author.

For $1,000, you get it all, plus a personal visit to a Beat Within workshop.

All donations are tax-deductible and include the cost of shipping and packaging of books. Proceeds go directly to support the program in Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Francisco, Alamada, Marin and Napa counties.

Smaller and larger donations gratefully accepted.

Special note to authors: Want to join your fellow Bay Area authors by donating books? We’d love to have them. Contact for mailing directions.

What is the Beat Within?

So glad you asked!

Thirteen years ago, The Beat Within was founded in San Francisco when social worker David Inocencio teamed up with a non-profit media/communications organization to offer writing workshops to youth detained in S.F.’s Youth Guidance Center.

The mission is to provide incarcerated youth with consistent opportunity to share their ideas and life experiences in a safe space that encourages literacy, self-reflection, critical thinking skills, non-violence and healthy, supportive relationships with adults and their community.

Originally, their work was printed in a 6-page magazine, which was brought back to them the following week. For some, it was the first positive recognition they ever received that they had a voice worthy of an audience.

Today, this mission continues. The Beat Within staff and volunteers hold weekly workshops in many county juvenile halls. We publish a full-fledged 70-page weekly magazine of writing and art that circulates in youth facilities all over the country.

Read more about The Beat Within by clicking here. Or click here for an article about The Beat in The Santa Cruz Good Times.

Here's what participants have to say:

"Writing gives me a new perspective on life because now when I write I see people reading my pieces (in The Beat Within) and they grow from my writings. It feels good to somewhat make an impact on my peers." -Chango

"When I have a pencil in my hand, magic happens. It takes me away to my own little world. A place where I have freedom." -Shabbs

Who’s on board for this amazing fundraiser?

Wow! We are thrilled that so many Bay Area authors understand the power of helping kids express themselves through words and art. See the list on the left for more participating authors. The list keeps growing.

Susie Bright, blogger and author of many books, including her latest, X: The Erotic Treasury

Laurie King, Edgar-award winner, bestselling mystery writer & Santa Cruz Artist of the Year.

Paul Fleischman, Newbery-award winning author of wonderful books for kids and teens

John Hubner, journalist and author of Last Chance in Texas

Micah Perks, author and co-director of the UCSC creative writing program

Karen Joy Fowler, author of the bestseller, The Jane Austen Book Club

Katherine Ellison, Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and author of The Mommy Brain

Elizabeth McKenzie, author of Stop That Girl, and other fiction

Jill Wolfson, Beat Within facilitator and author of young adult fiction

Minal Hajratwala, author of Leaving India: My Family's Journey from Five Villages to Five Continents

Yes! I Want to Help


You can donate through Paypal by clicking here.

Or mail a check (please note Books for the Beat fundraiser on the memo line) and send your donation to:

The Beat Within

Kim Nelson, development officer

275 Ninth Street

San Francisco, CA 94103

Questions? We are happy to answer them at