TUE, FEB 18, 2014 09:00 EST

Lulu , the pioneer in independent publishing, today announced it has teamed up with Bridgeport National Bindery (BNB) to launch the Future Authors Program. With the mission of improving students’ writing and reading skills while building self-esteem, the first-of-its-kind program is being piloted in Agawam, MA with a group of 300 eighth grade students, each of whom write a 24-page book.

“The pilot program highlighted the potential these young story-tellers have,” said Michele Brennan, vice president of marketing and communications for BNB who developed the Future Authors Program. “Exploring the power of writing of all kinds, including songs and movies, motivated the students to explore their own thoughts and turn those into stories. As the result, we saw students that had never considered writing among their talents begin to think of writing as a career.”

Once the students’ books are complete, they are published in the Lulu.com bookstore and available for purchase. BNB then prints a hardcover book for each student with a unique International Standard Book Number (ISBN) to commercially identify the book. In addition to the books being available on Lulu.com, an archival copy of each book has also been donated to the Agawam Public Library.

“There is nothing more rewarding than hearing about a young author who has created and published their first book,” said Ginny Gomez, chief marketing officer at Lulu. “We’re excited to be working with BNB on the Future Authors Program to improve literacy and communication skills while introducing students around the country to just how easy publishing can be. This is just one more step toward our goal of providing tools for authors of all ages to share their experiences and realize their creative potential.”

Last week, Lulu announced the launch of Lulu Jr. to empower young authors to inspire, inform and entertain. The Lulu Jr. team is showcasing book-making kits and children’s books at this week’s 111th annual American International Toy Fair® at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center February 16-19, 2014.

For more information, please visit www.lulu.com or www.lulujr.com .

Erika Brooks

Lulu.com

ebrooks@lulu.com