Fast Forward: How Canon Solutions America’s Future Authors Project is building tomorrow’s writers

Books have always served as a kind of window into our souls—a collection of thoughts, that when pieced together with the right execution, can make a lasting impression on any reader. In a time when the art of storytelling is hitting new strides, the Canon Solutions America Future Authors Project is the right program, at the right time.

Its mission is to help develop the next generation of writers by providing students with insight into the process of writing, editing, and digitally publishing books. They are assisted by certified teachers, interactions with Canon experts, and insight from local published authors. And for the cool stuff, Canon cameras and instructional classes are also shared, which help provide vivid photography to accompany their writing.

Created 12 years ago in Palm Beach County, Florida, as a community outreach program by Canon Solutions America’s predecessor, Océ North America, it was expanded to Jericho, New York, in 2017. The groundbreaking program offers high school students perspective into the full process of writing—from idea conception, drafting and editing, through to publication. More than 500 students in Palm Beach County have benefited from the program since its inception.

While the Jericho School District was the first to participate following the expansion, the program has since branched out to other areas, including the TRIPOD at Writers Room, developed in cooperation with Drexel University. TRIPOD takes the series to new heights with a multigenerational program that includes local underserved members of the West Philadelphia community, along with students from the university.

“The resources and expertise make possible a whole new level of engagement,” says Roger Kurtz, a professor and head of the department of English and Philosophy in Drexel’s College of Arts and Sciences. “We are creating new opportunities for Drexel students, faculty, staff, and community members to learn and grow together.”

“The practice these students had with both writing and editing is a learning experience that will stick with them as they move into higher education and careers.”

Diana Fedderman, Assistant Superintendent, School District of Palm Beach County

The Future Authors Project stands as a compelling example of the power of collaboration between school districts and the business community. The winners are the students. Throughout the workshop, they are able to work on crafting poems, essays, and short stories that help bolster their writing, editing, story development, and critical thinking skills. In the end, the students come out of the project as proud, published authors with their first co-authored book in their hands.

“The practice these students had with both writing and editing is a learning experience that will stick with them as they move into higher education and careers,” says Diana Fedderman, assistant superintendent of the School District of Palm Beach County. “We truly work together with Canon to provide real world experiences the kids need. The thing that really makes it so neat is when they get to see all of their work come to print.”

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