The anticipation for Glitterati, The Telling Room’s annual sparkling literary ball, was matched only by the excitement that was palpable as the evening kicked into high gear. Both levels of Grace, a converted church that now is a swanky Portland eatery, brimmed to overflowing with revelers and supporters of the nonprofit writing center housed on Commercial Street.

“It’s a really big deal,” said Heather Davis, executive director of The Telling Room, which is marking its 10th year. “It feels like we’re not celebrating it alone. The Telling Room has galvanized people, and it’s a wonderful revelation that so many are still supporting us.”

Mary Allen Lindemann and Alan Spear, owners of Coffee By Design and winners of The Telling Room’s 2014 Red Buoy Award, came to the party with their daughter Alina. Toby McGrath, deputy chief of staff for Sen. Angus King, chatted with Katie Fulham Harris of MaineHealth.

Steve and Heather Jury of Scarborough said their daughter, Cameron, is one of the Telling Room’s young emerging authors. “Kids today are Snapchatting and on Instagram, and there is really no program outside of school that mentors them in how to express themselves,” said Heather Jury. “Our daughter is 14. Girls need to understand they have a voice.”

As the spirited live auction simmered down ($1,000 personalized Holy Donut, anyone?), Davis took the stage to bestow the 2015 Red Buoy Award to SPACE Gallery.

“We’re kindred spirits, and they have made our work possible,” she declared to an audience of over 400. “They believe in us, they host our events, and we could not be who we are without SPACE.” Nat May, executive director of the gallery, and Jessica Tomlinson, its board president, were there to accept the award.

At the VIP reception celebrating the evening’s featured authors, Telling Room board president Celine Kuhn of Yarmouth expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support.

“We’re celebrating a decade of resounding success that wouldn’t be possible without our staff, our students, our volunteers and supporters,” she said.

Featured authors Stuart Kestenbaum, Christopher Seid, Chris Van Dusen, Alysia Abbott and Genevieve Morgan each took a few moments to speak.

“I believe it’s so important for young people to have mentors,” said Abbott of Cambridge, Massachusetts. “It can transform their lives.”

“All art is a way to make the personal universal,” said Morgan, sharing a similar sentiment. “I really feel like The Telling Room, in this community, has done that for these kids.”

For more information about The Telling Room, please visit

Margaret Logan is a freelance writer who lives in Scarborough. She can be contacted at:

[email protected]

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