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Richland Teen Stands Up to bullying and peer pressure in first book!

Mississippi Matters proudly announces that national award-winning 16-year-old writer, Lauren Hill, a 10th grader at Richland High School, has just published her first book. With great skill, Lauren writes about vital issues facing youth today.

“I love to write,” says Lauren. “Stories, characters and moral issues roll around in my mind all of the time, and I enjoy creating positive endings.”

Lauren's debut signing was Saturday. It was wonderful to see the support not only of friends and family, but also of local dignitaries including Richland Mayor Pat Sullivan and his wife, Cynthia, who once taught Lauren. Richland High School Principal, Dr. Scott Rimes, also attended.

Says Dr. Rimes, “Lauren’s writing skills are amazing for her age, and her stories grab readers, whether they are teens or adults. We are proud that Lauren is a student at Richland High School!”

"This is a real accomplishment," adds Mayor Sullivan.

For the last year, Lauren has been mentored at The Well Writers Guild (WWG), which is Mississippi Matters's sister organization. WWG identifies talented young local writers and mentors them. (For more on this program, see two videos below. New classes begin early next year.)

In every sense, youth writers such as Lauren are "select" just as their gifted peers are "select" in sports and artistic disciplines. Budding writers deserve opportunities beyond their school classrooms to take their abilities up a notch and be encouraged.

Lauren won second place two years ago in a national short story contest put on by the University of Mississippi. She was guided by Richland teacher Rebecca Bates. It was then that Lauren committed to write more stories and publish her first book.

Says Well Writers Guild director, Joe Maxwell: “Lauren is so talented. Her ability to weave a story, create believable dialogue and construct a captivating plot is something to behold. She is also willing to put in the time and effort to achieve excellence. What a pleasure it’s been working with her!”

To purchase Lauren's book for $12, visit Are you interested in your child studying with The Well Writers Guild and possibly being featured in Mississippi Matters? Learn more at



To view other "Wellers" works published on Mississippi Matters, click the following links:

Eden Cross, Age 12

Elizabeth Elkins, Age 12

Allie Brock, Age 13

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