Madeleine Lippey: Doing Write

“When someone, particularly a young person, is able to use creative writing as a catalyst for addressing conflicts around the world, theresult can be pretty extraordinary,” said Madeleine Lippey ’14. As the author of a children’s book, founder of the Do Write Campaign and Editor in Chief of “The Courant,” Lippey is no stranger to the extraordinary.

Lippey has been writing for as long as she can remember, making it her main form of self-expression. She strives to immortalize her thoughts and ideas through creative writing.

“I was initially attracted to the idea that no one could take away my thoughts once they had been written down, released in a small way into the universe,” said Lippey. “My younger self valued that a lot, but I think now I write to understand and challenge myself and my words, rather than to protect them.”

Lippey has channelled her passion for creative writing into various different efforts, both local and global. In 2010, she started the Do Write Campaign, an online literary magazine that receives submissions from all around the world. Each year, Lippey runs an international conference for young women to discuss world issues through creative writing. The past two conferences have taken place in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

“I started The Do Write Campaign in 2010 so that young women could be the journalists of their own stories,” said Lippey. “People’s personal and national tragedies are often perverted by the mainstream media. They should get the chance to represent themselves. Sometimes tragedy has a name, a family and a favorite boy band.”

Lippey has also written a children’s book, “A Little Peace of Me,” whichincludes a foreword written by South-African human rights activist and bishop Desmond Tutu. The book describes the South-African principle of “ubuntu,” the belief that human beings are interconnected by sharing and generosity, through the eyes of three different children.

“It started off as a long poem, but I was encouraged by my little brother to turn it into a book and engage the youngest, and perhaps the most underestimated, group of future leaders,” said Lippey. “The book addresses issues like HIV/AIDS and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a way that young children can begin to grasp.”

Lippey hopes to continue her writing career as she begins her freshman year of college, and also continue to expand Do Write.

“I think that globalized creative writing is a science that is rarely logical, but makes so much sense in so many ways,” said Lippey. “I’m determined to build up Do Write over my lifetime and promote the possibility of humanities-based social development.”